Avocado-soybean unsaponifiable (ASU) extract
Doctors don’t yet know how this dietary supplement works, but believe it may modify some part of the body’s inflammatory response. It has been sold in France for the treatment of osteoarthritis for more than 15 years.
Recommended dose: Generally, about 300 mg daily.
Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis)
This wildflower extract is a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid with numerous health benefits. Studies show that patients taking this supplement experience decreased tenderness and stiffness in their joints.
Recommended dose: Generally, about 240 mg daily.
The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, found in deep-water fish such as salmon or herring, encourage the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. You can find fish oil supplements in capsule and distilled liquid form at most pharmacies and natural products stores. Recommended dose: 1,000–2,000 mg of EPA daily. Vegetarians can take flaxseed oil, which contains ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), the compound from which other omega-3 fatty acids are derived. However, because ALA is not as effective in preventing inflammation, you’ll need to take significantly more flaxseed oil than fish oil.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
These herbs are believed to suppress cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and other inflammation-related enzymes.
Recommended dose: For ginger, 200–300 mg of standardized extract twice daily; for turmeric, 0.3–1 ml of standardized liquid extract three times daily. Products containing mixtures of anti-inflammatory herbs, including ginger and turmeric, are also available.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine sulfate appears to reduce inflammation and prevent joint deterioration. Chondroitin sulfate is a natural body lubricant that helps maintain cartilage elasticity and transports nutrients to joints.
Recommended dose: 1,500 mg of glucosamine and 1,200 mg of chondroitin daily.
Source: James N. Dillard, MD, DC, CAc.
Note: These supplements can be taken together, but many health care practitioners recommend starting with one and then adding or switching to another if the desired results are not achieved. Always consult with a health care practitioner for proper supplement dosages.