Everywhere you look, the health industry is pushing a supplement for one health complaint or another. But do these supplements actually offer real, quantifiable benefits? A research team decided to tackle exactly that question, and here’s what health advice they had to offer: yes, supplements do help especially when it comes to inflammation and joint pain.
The difficulty with joint pain is that exercise could likely alleviate some symptoms, but the inflammation itself affects our muscles ability to recover. So what to do? The researchers of this latest clinical trial decided to find out if nutritional supplements could reduce inflammation and improve recovery. They examined the effect of a multi-nutrient supplement containing amino acids, taurine, anti-inflammatory plant extracts, and B-vitamins on inflammatory status, physical function, and mood in middle-aged individuals.
Thirty-one healthy and active men and women participated in the trial. The participants completed one 28-day cycle of placebo supplementation and one 28-day cycle of multi-nutrient supplementation (separated by a one-week washout period). Everyone completed weekly perceptual logs and pre- and post- testing around the supplementation period. The tests measured brachial artery flow and blood components. The participants also completed physical tests that measured their ability to complete a vertical jump, as well as tests designed to measure handgrip strength and balance.
The researchers found that inflammation significantly decreased in both men and women. Perceived energy also improved for both. General pain, and joint pain decreased in men only, while anxiety and balance improved in women only. Men showed increased performance in vertical jump power and grip strength.
The research team concluded that a multi-nutrient supplement is effective in improving inflammatory status in both men and women, markers of pain, joint pain, strength, and power in men only, and both anxiety and balance (a risk factor for hip fracture) in women. Therefore, they stated, a multi-nutrient supplement may help middle-aged individuals to keep physical function and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
Ask for your doctor’s advice about boosting your nutritional health with supplements — especially if you are having difficulty with joint pain.