Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Essential Supplements in My Anti-Inflammatory Toolbox

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. The information in this post should not be subtituted for the advice and guidance of your own medical provider. All recommendations are based on evidence based testing shared via Consumer Lab.

Got inflammation?

You don't have to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease to have inflammation. Did you know working out causes inflammation? It's not bad news. Workouts done at high intensity causes inflammation as a result of damage to the muscles and tissues as you work them. This leads to soreness aka DOMS. If you've popped a couple ibuprofens after a particularly tough run or grueling session at the gym, you're treating inflammation. It's ok to use ibuprofen or other NSAIDs occasionally, but chronic use can lead to all kinds of problems including gastrointestinal and kidney issues.

After living with rheumatoid arthritis for 2 1/2 years, I've been changing my diet and taking supplements that have scientific evidence in reducing inflammation. At this point, I'll do whatever it takes to feel better and avoid taking pain medications. If you read my post on foods that reduce inflammation, you know I've been doing my homework. I want to share what I've learned about nutritional supplements and inflammation.



There's a lot of information promoting supplements purported to help with inflammation. It can be overwhelming! As a nurse practitioner, you know I follow the evidence. I've become that person who takes a handful of supplements in the morning with my smoothies and at night before I go to bed. With the most recent flare of my disease, I've looked to adding a few more lesser known supplements to my regimen. The jury is out on some of those but I'm going to share them because there's data to support their use in inflammatory states.

Fish Oil (EPA/DHA, omega 3) is a potent anti-inflammatory. When I was first diagnosed, my rheumatologist told me to immediately start taking at least 2.5gm per day. Krill oil is another option. Keep in mind when choosing a supplement that it isn't the amount of fish oil you want to look at, it's the amount of EPA and DHA.

Vitamin D should be in everyone's supplement regimen! Vitamin D is essential to overall health and has anti-inflammatory properties. I recommend Vitamin D to all my patients and full disclosure--every single patient I test is deficient in Vitamin D. Calcium should be taken along with Vitamin D to promote bone health. The D3 form of Vitamin D is recommended.

Probiotics are useful in promoting GI health and anti-inflammatory responses. GI health is thought to be linked to inflammation. There are many probiotics available on the market, but one of the most tested and proven to be effective is the readily available Culturelle.

Turmeric is a well known anti-inflammatory spice. Looks for a supplement that is high in curcurminoids. The addition of pepper to the supplement increases the bioavailability of the active ingredients. As I noted in my post on anti-inflammatory foods, I also add turmeric to my smoothies.


Boswelia is a known anti-inflammatory herb with plenty of evidence to support its effectiveness. I first became aware of boswelia when I started taking Novo Renew. Boswelia is part of the proprietary mix in that product. Not knowing how much boswelia I was taking with Novo Renew, I decided to take boswelia as a separate product to ensure I was taking the dose associated with reducing inflammation.



Rhodiola Rosea is actually not targeted towards inflammation but is purported to help with anxiety and stress, as well as fatigue. I've recently added Rhodiola Rosea to my regimen but it's too soon for me to comment on its effectiveness.


I also take a daily B complex. In addition to the supplements I'm taking, there are a few others that are recommended for inflammation but that I have not tried. These include CBD oilCat's Claw, Ashwagandha, Evening Primrose Oil, Bromelain, and Ginger. Magnesium has also been recommended. Bromelain is found in pineapple and papaya. For now, I'm content with adding these as foods as well as ginger, to my smoothies.

Keep in mind when selecting a supplement that not all products are created equal. Supplements aren't regulated by the FDA. Do your research before you buy and make sure you're getting what you paid for. Look for the recommendations of Consumer Lab, US Pharmacopeia, and NSF International. And remember the old adage: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Got inflammation? Supplements that can help! @oldrunningmom #curearthritis #runchat #running

What supplements do you take for inflammation, if any? Do you find them to be effective? Don't miss my post on Essential Foods that can help reduce inflammation. 


Post
I'm linking up with Kim and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics and with Debbie and Marc for Running Coaches' Corner.



32 comments :

  1. Sent to my friend, too. Thank you for doing all this evidence-based research and sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's kind of a personal quest! I hope your friend finds it useful.

      Delete
  2. Thank you for this post - you are so right, it's overwhelming when you start reading about inflammation and supplements. I am going to start on a few of these soon. I'm curious about CBD oil - do you think it's more of a placebo, or does it really work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The evidence is strong for CBD and inflammation. Interestingly, very little CBD is absorbed when you take it orally. The best use is inhaled (vaping) or topically. I did buy some CBD cream but I haven't used it enough to comment on its effectiveness.

      Delete
  3. This is interesting to learn about. I don't take any supplements. I am not good at remembering and can't get in the habit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Desperate times call for desperate measures and I'm at that point where I'll try just about anything!

      Delete
  4. Such a comprehensive list - thank you for sharing! I take most of these supplements but Boswelia and Rhodiola Rosea were new to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was so excited to learn about Rhodiola and I so feel more peppy since I started taking it.

      Delete
  5. Really helpful, thanks! I take vitamin D (I always test low) and turmeric, but haven't heard of a lot of these other options.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most people do test low for Vitamin D. I recommend it to all my patients, as well as fish oil.

      Delete
  6. This is such great information. I am never great about taking supplements but know that there are so many good ones that can help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have really started taking charge of my health--I'm glad to have found so many effective supplements!

      Delete
  7. Great info here.

    I hope I don't need this stuff but you never know.

    I bet it would be helpful but I am not one for taking supplements.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good stuff Wendy - thanks for sharing! I recently saw the Boswellia on the NOW website and had wondered about adding it to my mix. I'm currently taking Omega-3s, Glucosamine, and a probiotic. I also put tumeric in my smoothies, but have wondered about taking a supplement instead. I also love using Magnesium oil on sore muscles and the bottom of my feet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard about topical magnesium and I may need to try that!

      Delete
  9. This is a great list. After my surgery (almost) two years ago, I came home with an extensive list of supplements to take, and many of these were included. I had to buy one of those "old people" daily pill sorter things to keep track of everything

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's interesting that you were told to take supplements! I don't feel that a lot of physicians are very knowledgeable about complementary medicine, so that's reassuring to hear.

      Delete
  10. I love this list! My friend told me about a liquid turmeric from Costco. It is actually pretty good. I started taking it but now keep forgetting to do so in the morning.

    I am intrigued about Rhodiola. It helps with stress and fatigue? I need to order it asap.

    I had never heard of Boswelia. So I can use that instead of Turmeric?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just started Rhodiola but so far I'm feeling more energetic. We'll see if it lasts.

      Idk if you can switch out Boswelia for Turmeric. I'm taking both!

      Delete
  11. I do take fish oils as well. The biggest problem I have with them is that the capsules are so large they are hard to swallow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are big! I take 3 in the morning and 3 at night. The things we do to feel better.

      Delete
  12. Very interesting Wendy. Have you any experience with astaxanthin? I see a lot of rheumatologists recommending it and I wondered if you have any positives/negatives to share.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't heard of astaxanthin so I did some reading before responding to your question. Astaxanthin appears to have some immune enhancing properties but I couldn't find any research to support its use in RA. I haven't tried it, so I can't comment on its effectiveness.

      Delete
  13. I started using Rhodiola about 10 years ago. I take it a little before I run. I think it energizes me. I also think CBD works for me. It makes me sleep really well. I have a rub I put on my feet. I was also sent Cryofreeze CBD that I roll on tired muscles. Post-marathon that stuff is GOLD! It has Boswalla in it too. As a Hashimotos girl I'm always fighting fatigue and I don't absorb Vitamin D well so I stick with supplementing and it helps a ton. I swear it takes a village.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously, my village is growing! I love how Rhodiola energies me. I hope it lasts!

      Delete
  14. Thanks for the information. Choosing supplements is so difficult. There are so many claims out there, plus some brands/types work better than others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I finally subscribed to Consumer Lab--it's going to be helpful for me personally and professionally. I love that they take all the evidence and share it plus do testing of products. It's important to purchase the supplements that have science behind them. Otherwise, sticking with well known brands like Carlson, Solary, Nature's Way, and Now is a good plan.

      Delete
  15. I've been considering the Probiotic you mention. I will give it some more serious thought. My Rheumatologist suggested fish oil I do take that, however now reading your post and the recommended dose, not enough! The first rheumatologist suggested CoQ10, seemed sound when I investigated it so I stuck with that one (I'm on a statin)

    Thank you for sharing, always a well thought out post and thought provoking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't seen CoQ10 recommended specifically for RA, but I have for cardiac issues.

      Hopefully the higher dose of fish oil will get you off the statin!

      Delete
  16. I've been taking anti-inflammatories for a while now. A lot of what you mention plus Alpha-Lipoic acid, Resveratrol, Ginger (you did mention, but hadn't tried) and spirulina. I think the B's I take are 6 and 12. I haven't been great with my supplements the last week, so thanks for the reminder to get on them again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My recommendations are more specific for RA but there are definitely benefits to the others that you mentioned, altho I haven't seen spirulina! I have put that in my smoothies but it's "too green" for me! LOL

      Delete