Can Vitamin Supplements Help Arthritis Symptoms?

Natural vitamin supplements have not been clinically proven to significantly alleviate symptoms of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis but they may be important for your health. Arthritis is a debilitating disease. Whenever we’re too sick or sore to get out of bed, we realize the importance of good health.

Arthritis can take away our physical and emotional health. Natural vitamins can help to restore our bodies. A variety of natural supplements, including GLA and fish oil, however, have proven to relieve symptoms of arthritis diseases.

What’s most important in your life? The answer for most people: health.

Perhaps nothing is more depressing than lying in bed feeling sick and worn out. In such conditions, when your health is compromised, what good are the luxuries and pleasures in our life?

If health is the most important thing in your life, what are you doing to protect your health or to improve it?

My husband and I use what’s sometimes referred to as whole food vitamins, which are natural vitamins made with no synthetics, binders or fillers. We feel better, have more energy, and rarely catch colds or get the flu.

Typical American diet lacking in important vitamins and minerals

American diets are full of highly processed foods that are deficient in important vitamins and minerals. Less than 25% of adults eat the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

According to the USDA, almost 90% of Americans have diets that are poor or need improvement. Busy schedules cause many to rely on fatty junk foods or skip meals altogether. Poor soil quality and modern processing methods also affect the nutrient quality of today’s food.

Consequently most Americans do not get the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) or Daily Value (DV) from their diet (most supplements continue to show the outdated 1968 DV recommendations), which for many nutrients are slightly lower than the RDA.

To help maintain good health, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), recommends that every adult should supplement their diet with a daily multivitamin.

There are no "arthritis vitamins" but multivitmains important for all

Are there vitamins for arthritis symptoms? Not exactly. There have been no conclusive studies linking synthetic vitamin supplements, natural vitamins or whole food vitamins to arthritis prevention or specific arthritis symptom improvement.

This includes vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B-vitamins.

However, vitamins contain essential nutrients that are considered good nutrition for your health. If JAMA recommends every adult should take a multivitamin supplement, it’s even more important for rheumatoid arthritis patients according to some medical practitioners.

“It's a simple premise," says Robert Cathcart, M.D., a physician in private practice in Los Altos, California, who specializes in nutritional therapy. "People who have a chronic disease such as this (rheumatoid arthritis) need extra amounts of certain nutrients to help their bodies fight the disease."

People with rheumatoid arthritis have been found to be low in a number of nutrients. One study by Finnish researchers, for instance, found that people with low blood levels of vitamin E, beta-carotene and selenium (a mineral with anti-inflammatory properties) had more than eight times the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis compared with people with high levels of these nutrients.

Vitamin supplements can serve to replace missing necessary nutrients.

No evidence antioxidant vitamin supplements effective for treatment of arthritis

The Oxford Rheumatology Journal published an online review May 23, 2007 that systematically reviewed the evidence from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) for the effectiveness of the antioxidant vitamin supplements A, C, E or selenium or their combination in the treatment of arthritis.

Search results identified 20 unique RCTs meeting the inclusion criteria, 11 in inflammatory arthritis and 9 in osteoarthritis.

The conclusions noted that clinical trials testing the efficacy of vitamin E in the treatment of osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis have been methodologically weak and have produced contradictory findings.

According to the RCT reviews, there is presently no convincing evidence that selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, or the combination of selenium, A, C, or E is effective in the treatment of any type of arthritis.

There are, however, three non-vitamin natural pain relief products that my husband and I have found very effective for the treatment of our osteoarthritis conditions.

Anti-oxidant vitamin supplements

However, research shows that intake of some antioxidant vitamins strengthens the immune system and helps promote long-term health. It’s also a fact that patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis have a higher cardiovascular risk.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has recently focused on how antioxidant vitamin supplements may reduce cardiovascular disease risk. Though the data are incomplete for that purpose, antioxidant vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A) have potential health-promoting properties.

The AHA estimates that up to 30 percent of Americans are taking some form of antioxidant dietary supplement.

What is a dietary supplement and how do you recognize one?

As defined by Congress in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) which became law in 1994, a dietary supplement is a product (other than tobacco) that is intended to:

  1. supplement the diet
  2. contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins; minerals; herbs or other botanicals; amino acids; and other substances) or their constituents
  3. is intended to be taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid
  4. is labeled on the front panel as being a dietary supplement

At times, it can be confusing to tell the difference between a dietary supplement, a food, or an over-the-counter medicine. An easy way to recognize a dietary supplement is to look for the Supplement Facts Panel on the front label of the product, which should prominently say “Dietary Supplement.” See a label example for a vitamin dietary supplement from the FDA.  

What is a multivitamin?

A multivitamin is a vitamin supplement preparation intended to bolster a human diet with vitamins, dietary minerals and other nutritional elements. Such preparations are available in the form of tablets, capsules, pastilles, powders, liquids and injectable formulations. Other than injectable formulations, which are only available and administered under medical supervision, multivitamins are recognized by the FDA as a category of food.

The first multivitamin-multimineral tablet became available in pharmacies and grocery stores in the early 1940’s.

Legally, the US FDA allows a multivitamin to be called a "high potency" vitamin supplement if at least two-thirds of its nutrients have at least 100 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). In practice, "high potency" usually means substantially increased vitamin C and Bs with some other enhanced vitamin and mineral levels, but some minerals may still be much less than the RDA or DV.

Some components are typically much lower than RDA/DV amounts, often for cost reasons, e.g. biotin, usually the most expensive vitamin supplement component, at over $4000 per active pound, is typically added in at only 5%-30% of RDA in many one per day formulations (but not in those of higher quality).

What nutrients are included in a typical multivitamin?

A multivitamin (“multi”) contains a full vitamin range. Most also include multiminerals for which the FDA has established an RDA, such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum and sodium. Some also include trace minerals for which the FDA has not established an RDA, such as nickel, tin, boron, silicon, etc.

Good quality multivitamin preparations may target adults 50 and over, and may exclude iron (we need less as we age) and vitamin K (a natural blood thinner). The vitamin nutrients in an essential multivitamin include but are not limited to:

  • Folic acid and other B vitamins (i.e., Thiamine, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Pyridoxine, Cyanocobalamin) which are important nutrients for the bone marrow and nervous system.
  • Vitamin D which is necessary for proper bone formation and strength.
  • Vitamin A which is helpful with vision.

Only one dietary supplement company has a 20-year landmark study

20-Year Landmark Study

When investing in dietary supplements, consider it first as an investment in your health. This way, you won’t want to waste your money on poorly formulated or synthetic supplements containing artificial colors, sweeteners, binders, fillers, etc. that will not be readily absorbed into your bloodstream.

Instead, you’ll want a high quality dietary supplement with ingredient purity, potency, and guaranteed efficacy that your body’s cells will happily absorb.

To help me find a top-tier manufacturer, I devised a list of 30 questions concerning standards of excellence that led my husband and I to the company referenced in the Landmark Study below. It’s the only one that we trust for nutritional supplementation.

The Shaklee Corporation is the only dietary supplement maker that can claim a 20-year clinical landmark study on its consumers that verifies from blood samples that its supplement users retained normal levels of blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, C-reactive protein and homocysteine.

The 2006 study was conducted in collaboration with researchers from the U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health comparing one company's supplement users to people who took either no supplements or other brands of multivitamins from different companies. For details, go to:

Featured multivitamin for adults 50+

When it comes to vitamin supplements, we’ve been there, done that. After years of experimenting and “trying them all”, we settled on the multivitamin my husband and I have both been taking for the past 20 years. Why? It’s the only one we took that we could feel the difference! Later, we found that it has great science behind it.  It has been clinically proven (Effect of Long-Term Vitamin Supplements on Immune Response in Older Healthy Adults. Spiller, Whittam, Bruce, Morse, Chernoff, Jensen. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1998; 17:511). It is produced by the #1 natural nutrition company in the U.S.

It has is a high-potency formulation, based on 7 clinical studies, specially designed to support the unique needs of men, women, and adults. Each serving delivers 100% or more of the Daily Value of all vitamins, including twice the Daily Value of vitamins C, D, and E—plus beta-carotene for safely increasing antioxidant protection.*  It also:

  • Utilizes a patented microcoating delivery system designed to enhance absorption of folic acid
  • Formulated without artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives and no synthetic processing aids

Featured Multivitamin.   The featured product is the best multivitamin that can be found anywhere. It’s not a secret. It has been used by millions of people for decades. It’s a balanced multivitamin/multimineral that provides 23 essential nutrients at clinically proven levels and addresses the four key health concerns for people over 50 — longevity, bone health, vision and energy.

It’s the only multi vitamin supplement for people 50+ that gives a choice of formulas: with vitamin K for its bone-building benefits and without vitamin K for those taking a blood-thinning medication (anticoagulant).

It also has 100% of the RDA in biotin, a catalyst for energy production and the most expensive vitamin component of the B-complex. It’s scientifically balanced to support long-term colon, heart, eye and overall health and has a patented bio-absorption delivery.

It’s the best multivitamin because it’s a comprehensive natural vitamin supplement and has 349 controlled tests for quality to guarantee purity and potency.

Recommended vitamin supplements to improve health of arthritis patients

Arthritis-Relief-Naturally was created to help people with arthritis pain and related disorders to learn about natural remedies to help them lead a healthier life. A high-quality multi vitamin supplement can help your immune system and is beneficial to overall health.

Recommended Advanced Multivitamin Plus:  Recently, the Shaklee Corporation created a complete daily 6-tablet system (based on 12 clinical studies and a delivery system protected by 12 U.S. patents) born from the results of the Landmark Study that provides the best spectrum of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-aging phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics for a longer, healthier life, I also recommend this remarkable advanced nutrition supplement.

It provides advanced nutrition with a full spectrum of clinically supported vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics and more in one convenient Vita-Strip®. With a patented delivery system specially designed to enhance absorption of key nutrients in the body.. In addition, it comes with a "feel better in 30 days or get your money back" guarantee.

Disclaimer: Health statements on this vitamin supplements page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Herbal Pain Relief. In the last twenty years in the United States, the public has become increasingly dissatisfied with the cost and side effect risks of prescription medications. This, combined with an interest in returning to natural or organic remedies, has... Click here for background on herbal medicine

Osteoarthritis Relief. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It affects joints of the knees, hips, fingers, lower spine and neck. Click here for knee arthritis information.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief. Many of the natural or herbal supplements for osteoarthritis are also recommended for rheumatoid arthritis. Click here for What is Rheumatoid Arthritis information

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