Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, improve your athletic ability, or simply do physical things every day, nothing is more of a pain in the ass (or should we say joints) than uncooperative joints.
That’s why we sifted through the current market offerings to find the best joint supplements that can help alleviate, decelerate, and sometimes reverse poor joint health.
The most common ingredients in these products include chondroitin, glucosamine, and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). While many have had great success with this trio, there’s been increasingly more research on other effective ingredients as well.
Check out our top joint supplement selections and buying guide to choose one that’ll help you get back to being your best active self.
The following supplements can help to improve symptoms and joint health in some cases. However, it’s not a replacement for proper medical treatment in all instances. Therefore, it’s always advised to seek the advice of a healthcare professional.
Top Joint Supplements Ranked:
- Transparent Labs WellnessSeries Joint Support – Buy here Editor’s Choice
- Bio Schwartz Premium Ultra Pure Turmeric Curcumin – Buy here
- Arazo Nutrition – Buy here
- Vimerson Health Glucosamine, chondroitin, Turmeric and MSM – Buy here
- Schiff Move Free Advanced Plus MSM W/ Glucosamine and chondroitin – Buy here
- Doctor’s Best Joint Formula – Buy here
- Garden of Life Wobenzyme M Joint Formula – Buy here
- The Genius Brand Genius Mobility Formula – Buy here
- NutriRise Glucosamine Chondroitin Turmeric and MSM – Buy here
- Kirkland Signature Triple Action Joint Health – Buy here
- Orphic Nutrition Glucosamine Chondroitin Turmeric and MSM – Buy here
Editor’s Choice – Transparent Labs WellnessSeries Joint Support
Transparent Labs products are top-notch which is why we tend to include a lot of their offerings in our supplement reviews.
They opted not to include the three most common joint supplement ingredients in Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. But rather, you’ll find patented Curcumin C3 Complex®, FruiteX-B®, Boswellin® Super, UC-II® Collagen, and Bioperine®.
“We’ve taken the initiative to create one of the industry’s most comprehensive joint supplements, made exclusively with five of the best clinically-studied ingredients for promoting healthy joint integrity, easing inflammation, and fighting oxidative stress.”
The patented curcumin complex contains 95% curcuminoids and has 200% greater bioavailability than standard curcumin. But if that’s not enough, they added 10mg of Bioperine to ramp up the absorption of the turmeric.
Then you have FruiteX-B®, a boron-based mineral that has been shown to help control the inflammation that causes bone loss and osteoarthritis.
Another ingredient, UC-II®, is an undenatured type ll collagen; the most common protein in cartilage. Collagen is needed for joint connective tissue.
Aging causes collagen loss and subsequently, compromised joint function. Transparent Labs joint support provides a very high-quality source of collagen.
Transparent Labs does not use artificial sweeteners, colors, and preservatives, and the product is gluten-free and non-GMO.
Who makes it
As told by the name, Transparent Labs is very transparent regarding what is in their products. That means no proprietary blends ever, therefore, you know exactly what you’re getting. The supplements are completely researched-backed and are right there with the best of the best.
Bio Schwartz Premium Ultra Pure Turmeric Curcumin
Unlike most products on this list, this one focuses on turmeric curcumin for joint health. They also included Bioperine black pepper extract, which is known to significantly improve the absorption of certain nutrients, and especially curcumin, which is not well-absorbed in the body on its own.
In fact, there’s research that shows black pepper enhances the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000% (1).
Consequently, you’ll potentially get more of the benefits from the main ingredients.
The turmeric extract is standardized to contain 95% curcuminoids, the most potent compound in turmeric root.
Bio Schwartz Turmeric curcumin formula is made in the USA, GMP-certified, all-natural, vegan, gluten-free and third-party tested for purity and potency.
There are also no fillers or binders and the only other ingredient is vegetarian capsule.
Who makes it
BioSchwartz is a top supplement brand that goes above and beyond to ensure they offer the highest quality products. In fact, they use something called the BS test which is a 6-step process that involves multiple stages of quality control.
They use only the best and researched ingredients that comply with the FDA and FTC, and all ingredients undergo extreme scrutiny before their inclusion in the products.
Arazo joint supplement is a USA-made advanced formula that uses five key ingredients: Glucosamine sulfate (shrimp and crab shells), chondroitin sulfate (bovine), MSM, Boswellia serrata extract, and hyaluronic acid.
The first three ingredients are included to help strengthen and fortify the joints while the remaining two compounds are added to help rebuild and maintain joint flexibility.
Boswellia is a natural painkiller while hyaluronic acid is found in healthy joint fluid.
It’s a restorative blend for both men and women.
Arazo joint support is GMP (good manufacturing practice) certified, third-party tested and it’s formulated in the USA.
Who makes it
Arazo has over a decade of experience researching effective ingredients and formulas. Their products are formulated with expertise from doctors, health specialists, and health experts, and manufactured in US FDA-certified, and GMP-certified facilities.
All products are third-party tested for purity and potency.
Vimerson Health Glucosamine, chondroitin, Turmeric and MSM
Next up, Vimerson joint supplement that packs a powerful 8-ingredient combo.
You get the glucosamine (shellfish-free), chondroitin, and MSM, plus Boswellia extract, turmeric, Quercetin, L-methionine, and bromelain.
What we also like about this product is that it doesn’t contain a lot of extra “other” ingredients. It’s just gelatin capsule and rice extract blend.
It’s also a good option for reducing inflammation in the knee, hips, and hands.
This product does not contain soy or gluten. It’s made in the USA, GMP certified, and non-GMO.
Who makes it
Vimerson Health is a fast-growing brand from the US that prioritizes customer health which is also why they use natural and GMO-free products.
They also make fresh batches of products every week to ensure you’re not receiving old and near-expired products.
Vimerson always has products in stock (thank goodness) and is proud of its great customer service.
Schiff Move Free Advanced Plus MSM W/ Glucosamine and chondroitin
Another great choice for healthy joints is the Move Free joint health Advanced formula with extra cartilage support.
It contains glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, calcium fructoborate, and MSM.
It’s one of the best options for joint support and should help with mobility, flexibility, and joint strength.
Move free is manufactured in the USA and is not a gluten-free product.
Who makes it
Move Free is a brand of Schiff, and is committed to providing top-notch products. They combine innovation and science to create a better movement for everyone.
Using natural ingredients, the goal is to offer healthy options and help users be able to “move free”.
Doctor’s Best Joint Formula
Doctor’s Best joint formula deserves a spot on our list of best joint supplements as it uses an effective combination of ingredients.
The formula contains BioCell collagen (from chicken sternal cartilage) which actually includes a few different compounds such as hydrolyzed collagen Type ll, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid.
They also included glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and MSM.
Doctor’s Best joint support is a great option for restoring many components of joint structure that are depleted with age and wear and tear.
It’s non-GMO, gluten and soy-free.
Who makes it
“We work to create a healthier world filled with thriving families, positivity, and happiness” describes the brand’s mission.
Doctor’s Best was founded by a physician in 1990 who wanted to create healthy products rooted in research.
The company is headquartered in Tustin, Ca and their team of nutrition nerds is an integral part of their success.
Garden of Life Wobenzyme M Joint Formula
A unique formula, Garden of Life Wobenzyme M joint support is made with plant enzymes, pancreatic enzymes, and plant antioxidants; all of which support healthy joints.
We really like that there are a lot of beneficial plant-based ingredients in this formula that support the joints and overall good health too.
The caps are enteric-coated to protect the enzymes for optimal absorption.
This formula is gluten and dairy-free.
Who makes it
Garden of Life is a well-known brand that starts every formula with real foods. They aren’t about including synthetic ingredients in their products and are focused on the health of customers.
The Genius Brand Genius Mobility Formula
You might say this formula is Genius… it features the adaptogen Ashwagandha; a key ingredient used in Ayurveda that has been shown in studies to support factors of mental well-being such as physical and mental stress.
Additionally, you get 250mg of Curowhite curcumin (25% curcuminoids) and NEM eggshell membrane that contains several ingredients (hyaluronic acid, collagen, and calcium) that support joints against pain.
There’s also Whole Foods powder containing tart cherry, blueberry, and ginger, and vitamins D3 and K2 for healthy bone support.
Genius mobility formula is made in an FDA-registered lab using non-GMO ingredients and it’s lab-tested to ensure top-notch quality.
Who makes it
The Genius Brand was born from seeing the need to offer the highest quality supplements that actually work. They don’t market to anyone in particular because they believe that “when products are made according to science, with quality as first priority, the benefits will always be consistent.”
NutriRise Glucosamine Chondroitin Turmeric and MSM
Made in the USA from all-natural ingredients, NutriRise is a triple strength formula that is right up there with many of the best options on the market.
A dose provides 2100mg per serving and supplies an effective combination of ingredients that include glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, Boswellia, turmeric, quercetin, and bromelain.
This extra-strength formula could be a good option to fast-track joint comfort and cartilage support so you can get moving.
It’s gluten and dairy-free, plus there are no binders and fillers and the product is third-party tested for purity and potency.
Who makes it
NutriRise has a philosophy, “Ancient wisdom meets modern science”.
They place a big focus on mother nature, natural medicine, and using ancient knowledge to craft effective products.
All products are made in an FDA-registered CGMP-certified facility in the US.
Kirkland Signature Triple Action Joint Health
Kirkland is one of the best value brands out there and of the highest quality.
Their triple joint formula does not use glucosamine and chondroitin, but rather, a proprietary cartilage blend of cartilage and potassium chloride and undenatured type ll collagen.
These ingredients work together to support joint, cartilage, and bone health and integrity.
Boron and hyaluronic acid are also included for bone health and reinforcement for the joints.
This product does not contain shellfish and is gluten and soy-free.
Who makes it
A value brand, Kirkland has been offering high-quality products since 1995. Supplements are manufactured to GMP standards and most are VSP verified.
Orphic Nutrition Glucosamine Chondroitin Turmeric and MSM
Last but anything but least, Orphic Nutrition seems to have a great joint support product.
It’s loaded with 2100mg of beneficial ingredients and the four main pillars in glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and Turmeric. You also get boswellia, quercetin, and bromelain.
If you’re an active person who likes to break a sweat and hit the weights, this is a great combination that’ll help keep your joints functional. It helps to maintain cartilage and overall joint health plus strengthen weak points. This product is good for both men and women.
It’s made in the USA and is third-party tested.
Who makes it
Orphic Nutrition is a San Francisco-based company that understands the importance of being able to perform. In fact, they believe that people performing at their optimum can change the world… and who could argue with that.
Their products are created locally and sustainably sourced. Additionally, they make sure to perform routine testing in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices and they use third-party testing.
“Get Your Game On” is a tagline that Orphic Nutrition models their company after.
Common Joint Supplement Ingredients
While many won’t care to know anything about the ingredients in a joint supplement, it’s important to understand that not all are created equally.
There are many different formulas and ingredients, although, for the most part, a majority of joint supplements will include the following, commonly-used ingredients.
Glucosamine and chondroitin
Glucosamine is found in cartilage, which is the tough tissue that cushions and protects joints.
In supplement form, it’s made from shellfish or synthetically in a lab.
Although there are a few different forms of glucosamine, joint products use glucosamine sulfate as the forms are not interchangeable.
While glucosamine is one of the most common joint supplement ingredients, research is mixed on its effectiveness.
However, many find some relief from it and some research has shown modest benefits for osteoarthritis or breakdown of cartilage, especially in the knees (2).
But the research doses may not always be consistent, and therefore, it’s possible that an increased dose could have more of an effect.
The typical glucosamine dose is 1,500mg per day. But, there may need to be more research.
Similarly, Chondroitin is found in cartilage and it’s often paired with glucosamine in supplements and in studies too.
While some research on the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements is mixed, some are favorable.
In a 2015 review of 54 studies covering 16427 patients, glucosamine and chondroitin and glucosamine alone were more effective than a placebo for pain relief of the knee and improved function in those with knee osteoarthritis (3).
Although, the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin was more effective than glucosamine alone.
Research from 2010 shows promise for chondroitin due to its slow-acting effect and its safety, which may be one of its main benefits (4).
While there’s no conclusive recommendation on dosing, 1200mg per day may be a good area to get the potential benefits.
MSM is a naturally occurring organosulfur compound found in humans, animals, and green plants, and it can also be made in a lab.
It’s most commonly used to help with inflammation, and there have been several studies on its use for alleviating many symptoms (5).
Research from 2017 concluded that MSM can have very favorable effects on several factors of health such as joint and muscle pain, inflammation, oxidative stress, and antioxidant capacity.
Therefore, it can help to maintain and enhance physical function and performance.
There was also a 12-week study that showed MSM supplementation to improve joint function in Chinese populations over 50 years old, suffering from some form of joint degeneration (6).
Overall, researchers found that the populations experienced an improved quality of life.
Other research shows that it’s beneficial against cartilage degeneration (7).
There are, apparently, several other potential benefits of using MSM, such as speeding up recovery after exercise by reducing muscle damage, alleviating symptoms of arthritis, boosting immunity, fighting cancer, and more.
As for dosage, up to four grams per day have been taken safely with few known and mild side effects (8).
Turmeric is a popular spice used in many dishes, most notably curries.
However, it’s also been used for a long time as a medicinal ingredient.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to help manage many conditions such as metabolic syndrome, oxidative stress, anxiety, arthritis, and hyperlipidemia (9).
Not to mention, it may also speed up recovery following exercise that breaks down muscle tissue. This, in turn, could mean faster results.
As mentioned earlier, curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body on its own. Black pepper significantly improves its absorption rate, and therefore, makes it a powerful combo.
It’s also important to mention that extracts are a lot more potent and subsequently, beneficial as they contain more curcumin. You probably noticed a high percentage of curcuminoids (up to 95%) in some of the best joint supplements on this list.
There seems to be a consensus that 500-2,000mg is an effective dose range. However, a tolerable and beneficial amount can certainly vary between individuals.
Boswellia serrata extract
Also known as Indian frankincense, boswellia serrata extract contains properties believed to help with inflammation.
Boswellia contains acids that prevent the formation of leukotriene, a chemical that causes inflammation. It does this by inhibiting an enzyme called 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) that produces leukotriene.
Some research suggests boswellia can be beneficial for osteoarthritis (10).
In one study of 30 patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee, subjects given boswellia serrata extract experienced less pain, increased knee flexion, and increased walking distance (11).
Then in a 2018 review of 20 supplements, boswellia stood out for providing significant relief of knee, hip, and hand pain.
Boswellia may also be effective for rheumatoid arthritis, a serious inflammatory disease that wreaks havoc on joints (12).
Because it does have anti-inflammatory properties, boswellia may also be effective against other chronic diseases like cancer, asthma, and irritable bowel syndrome.
While the dosing can vary, it’s suggested by the Arthritis Foundation to take 100mg per day for osteoarthritis and between 1200-3600mg per day for rheumatoid arthritis.
Quercetin is another ingredient that you’ll find in some joint supplements.
It’s an antioxidant-rich plant polyphenol, flavonoid, and natural pigment found in produce and grains.
Quercetin may help in the fight against disease-causing free radicals in the body. These radicals can increase inflammation in the body, and when you have too much inflammation, this preludes to all sorts of ailments and conditions and eventually death (13).
But it’s shown in scientific research to be potentially effective for arthritis and joint issues (14).
In a study of 50 women with rheumatoid arthritis, 8 weeks of quercetin supplementation at 500mg/day reduced early morning joint stiffness, morning and after-activity pain (15).
Bromelain comes from pineapples and is commonly used to help reduce inflammation and osteoarthritis.
You could get it from pineapple juice, however, not enough for it to exert its therapeutic properties, hence why it’s offered in supplement form.
But while the studies are not entirely conclusive on its efficacy for ailments like osteoarthritis, there’s lots of promise and favorable research (16).
One review from 2012 was optimistic on its use for preventing cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, in the long term (17).
As for dosing, it’s hard to say but the research did mention that there were improvements seen with 400mg twice per day.
Bromelain has been shown to be safe and well absorbed by the body when taken orally.
The most abundant protein in the body, collagen is vital to the structure of muscles, bones, skin, ligaments, tendons, and more.
It actually comes from the Greek word kólla, which means glue.
There are several forms of collagen although there are four main types: l, ll, lll, and lV.
The difference between the four main types of collagen is that each one has a unique role.
For the sake of keeping things to the point, joint products tend to use type ll collagen which is found in elastic cartilage that cushions the joints.
You’ll find a few different types of collagen in joint supplements. We included ones that contain UC-ll, a brand of raw Type ll collagen, and a hydrolyzed form of collagen called BioCell.
There has been some research on these two forms of collagen.
Studies on collagen
In one study, patients suffering from osteoarthritis were given 40mg of UC-ll daily for 180 days, and they experienced improvements in joint pain and stiffness (18).
Let’s take a look at another study that was done using BioCell collagen to help treat patients with osteoarthritis in the hips and knees (19).
Volunteers were divided into two groups: one that received 2g/day of BioCell Collagen and the other a placebo, for 70 days.
The group who took BioCell experienced a significant improvement in physical activities compared to the placebo group.
However, it’s important to note that the studies were funded and partly conducted by the manufacturers of both collagen brands. This could have resulted in some bias, although, we can’t say for certain.
Collagen production slows with age and certain lifestyle habits (e.g., smoking, too much sun time, bad diet) can make it worse or damage it.
A quality joint supplement can provide the body with beneficial collagen to help support healthy joints. Additionally, it’s been shown to have some anti-aging effects by increasing skin elasticity, hydration, and dermal collagen density (20).
People also use collagen as it may help with muscle repair and growth and it could also be beneficial for bone health.
Naturally produced by the body, hyaluronic acid or hyaluronan is a gooey type of substance abundant in synovial joint fluid, and other parts of the body.
You might be thinking, well, what would we need that for? Well, its role in the body is to keep your tissue lubricated, including bone (21).
This can result in improved joint health and function as it could help to prevent bones from rubbing together. There is some scientific evidence to support this.
A study on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee joints found that taking 200mg/day of hyaluronic acid improved symptoms compared to a placebo group (22).
It seems to have somewhat mild effects but is safe and a potentially beneficial supplement for improving joint health (23).
Who Should Use Joint Supplements
While anyone can take a joint supplement to prevent or alleviate symptoms of less than optimal joint health, aging individuals and those who intentionally stress their joints often may benefit the most.
Aside from age-related joint health degeneration, team sports athletes, bodybuilders, powerlifters, MMA fighters, and many other groups of individuals can benefit from a joint supplement.
These products contain a range of ingredients that are known to help reduce inflammation and swelling and even potentially help to build and regenerate joint material.
We’re convinced that many of the studies we found on the common ingredients show lots of promise but we cannot forget about real-world results.
Every year, millions of people suffer from arthritis, a common cause of joint pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes children too.
If you have it or have had it to where it’s caused you pain and discomfort, then you know how debilitating it can be. For many, performing daily tasks can be near to impossible.
But joint pain can be caused by other conditions as well like bursitis, muscle pain, infections, and other ailments.
It can affect the hips, knees, hands, feet, and spine.
Joint supplements, while not necessarily a replacement for surgery, can be a big help in relieving individuals from their pain and lack of mobility and flexibility. A good quality joint support product can go a long way in improving one’s day-to-day well-being.
Most research has been done on those with some form of joint pain or arthritis which gives a lot of people hope. Of course, a healthy lifestyle is also important for finding relief as well.
How We Chose The Best Joint Supplements
The product selections on our list were based on certain criteria to ensure we recommend only the best quality options currently available on the market.
Here are the main factors we took into consideration…
Ingredients – All joint supplements don’t necessarily need to contain the same exact ingredients but they should have a healthy and effective dose of ingredients that have been scientifically proven to provide some sort of benefit.
Effectiveness – This will depend entirely on the ingredients contained in the product and sometimes, how your body reacts to specific substances.
Manufacturing Standards – Ideally, products are produced and stored in a cGMP facility which ensures quality.
Additionally, it’s good to choose products that are third-party tested for purity and potency.
Side Effects – Side effects are sometimes inevitable when it comes to supplementation which doesn’t always mean there’s something wrong with the product as one person may experience side effects and someone else may not.
However, products should only contain ingredients that are considered safe to use. User feedback is also sometimes a good way to determine the overall quality of a product.
Also, be sure to adhere to allergen warnings to prevent any potential adverse reactions.
Potential For Side Effects
One of the most common concerns when taking any supplement is will it cause side effects?
The answer is, well, it depends on the individual, quality of the supplement, and ingredients.
However, this is usually not the case according to most research. And quite honestly, these are common side effects and many people who are side effect prone may experience this with most multi-ingredient supplements.
We should also mention that while most glucosamine is derived from shrimp, one study showed that the levels of shrimp allergen used by specific manufacturers isn’t enough to be cause for concern (26).
The subjects who participated in the study had a history of shrimp allergy and were given 1,500mg of glucosamine-chondroitin daily.
You could always go with one that does not contain shellfish if you want to be extra cautious. We’ve made sure to include a few good options.
Some of these products do use fillers, colors, and others ingredients that make the manufacturing process a little easier. However, they are typically added in small amounts and usually not much to be concerned with.
With that being said, there are options that don’t contain as many “other” ingredients. It really comes down to personal preference.
You should be consulting with a physician anyhow, especially if you have a medical history. We cannot promise you won’t have any side effects, but most healthy adults should be fine taking these products.
Just make sure to use them according to the dosing instructions on the product label and read the label to look out for ingredients that you may want to avoid.
Do Your Joints a Favor!
Whether you’ve had joint discomfort, are currently suffering with it, or believe your lifestyle will bring you issues down the line, consider one of these quality joint supplements.
They contain a range of studied and widely-used ingredients including glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, turmeric, hyaluronic acid, collagen, and more.
But at the end of the day, while one product may work well for one person, it may not have the same effect on someone else. Also keep in mind that your daily habits are just as, if not more important than any ‘supplement’ you can take.
But a good joint supplement is definitely worth it!