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Anti-Inflammatory Supplements: Here’s 10 That Really Work


Anti-Inflammatory Supplements 10 That Really Work Inflammation — pain, swelling, redness and heat — is a double-edged sword. This immunity-mediated process is crucial when you have an injury. It helps your body fight infection and clear away damaged tissue.

But inflammation can become a chronic condition if your body fails to shut off this reaction, or activates it when there is no apparent trigger. Luckily, a few anti-inflammatory supplements can help save the day.

Inflammation can last for years. It can target a particular area — like your skin, sinuses, prostate, bladder or gums. (Any diagnosis that ends with “-itis” is an inflammatory condition.) Inflammation can become a body-wide condition. It has been identified as the underlying cause of many diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and neurological degeneration, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Inflammation is a big threat. That’s why it’s so important to get it under control.

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The bottom line is that chronic, uncontrolled inflammation has been linked to a wide range of health problems. These health issues can dramatically affect your quality of your life as you age. But research has shown that anti-inflammatory supplements can provide effective relief with virtually no side effects. Before you start taking a NSAID or other potentially dangerous drugs to deal with inflammation, why not consider some safe natural alternatives?

The Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Supplements and Nutrients

A diet focused on vegetables, fruits, fish, olive oil, nuts and whole grains can reduce inflammation. Nutritional anti-inflammatory supplements also help. Unlike drugs, anti-inflammatory supplements work without causing stomach ulcers. There are plenty of natural inflammation-fighters. Here are our top choices:

1. Fish Oil

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids decrease the body’s production of a long list of pro-inflammatory biochemicals, including the same ones targeted by most NSAIDs — cyclooxygenase (COX 1 and 2). It also helps to reduce levels of inflammatory interleukins, specifically interleukin-1, a marker of chronic inflammation. In studies, people who ate fatty fish were less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, and people with rheumatoid arthritis who took fish oil were able to reduce their dosage of anti-inflammatory drugs. They also reported less pain and stiffness.

Fish oil has a synergistic effect with aspirin. It inhibits synthesis of thromboxane A2 and the highly inflammatory leukotriene B4. Fish oil is reported to help asthma, cystitis, hepatitis, pancreatitis, prostatitis and dermatitis.

To learn a few more of the many reasons to take fish oil, check out our article
7 Reasons You Should Still Take Fish Oil

2. Antioxidants

Immune cells cause oxidative damage. They fight infection, and ongoing oxidative damage drives chronic inflammation. Reducing oxidative damage can help control inflammation. Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium all help to control oxidative damage by neutralizing “free radicals.” These are the molecular renegades that cause oxidative damage and can start a chain reaction that keeps it going.

Generally speaking, antioxidants can get confusing. There are so many and, believe it or not, they’re all pretty different. We break it down for you in our article Antioxidants Listed and Explained — So Which Should You Take?

3. Quercetin

The anti-inflammatory effects of quercetin seem to come from its ability to dampen the production and activity of pro-inflammatory biochemicals such as leukotrienes and prostaglandins. They also block the release of histamine, the biochemical that causes allergy symptoms like runny nose and itchy eyes. In addition to being of help during allergy season, quercetin seems to help symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and chronic, nonbacterial prostatitis.

(Bonus: Quercetin isn’t alone in helping many get through seasonal discomfort, click here to learn about other natural allergy fighters.)

4. Curcumin

Curcumin is a component of the yellow spice turmeric and is found in curry. Studies have shown that curcumin can subside painful inflammation. And it may have special anti-inflammatory properties in the eyes. A layer of yellow pigment helps to protect the retina — and especially, the macula — from the harmful effects of sunlight. The pigment actually acts as a filter. It blocks harmful blue UV light from striking the retina. Curcumin has been proven helpful for chronic anterior uveitis (an inflammation of the front part of the eye) and for macular degeneration.

Here are 8 other reasons everyone to get more curcumin.

5. Bromelain

This protein-dissolving enzyme is obtained from the stem and fruit of the pineapple. Bromelain seems to exert its anti-inflammatory effect by altering leukocyte migration and activation. Leukocytes are white blood cells that help fight infection but can also perpetuate inflammation. Bromelain is good for an acute injury or inflammation caused by ongoing injury, such as osteoarthritis, with its ongoing injury to joint cartilage.

6. Resveratrol

Some evidence suggests that resveratrol is a more potent anti-inflammatory agent than NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or indomethacin. Injections of resveratrol into the joints of animals decreases inflammation. It also reduces cartilage destruction. Like ginger and fish oil, resveratrol inhibits a number of inflammation-producing biochemicals. Such chemicals include COX-1 and COX-2. It also seems to have a regulating effect on certain immune cells. It may reduce T cell proliferation. T cells are involved in some autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. It also affects cells called granulocytes. These cells are associated with the inflammation produced in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, so it may be helpful in reducing the lung damage associated with this smoking-related ailment.

Interested in learning more fun facts about how impressive resveratrol is? Visit this article: Cutting Through the Hype: The REAL Reason Resveratrol Is aMust Take Supplement

7. Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is thought to be one of the most powerful antioxidants on earth and possesses an extraordinary natural anti-inflammatory properties. It’s been hown to reduce oxidative stress and also reduce C-reactive protein, one of the primary markers of inflammation. For more on the many perks of astaxanthin check out this article: 5 Reasons You Should Boost Your Astaxanthin Intake

8. Ginger

Certain constituents of ginger, called gingerols, have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. They inhibit a number of  biochemicals that promote inflammation. These biochemicals include COX and lipoxygenase pathways. Ginger has been shown to reduce pain from both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, you will need to be patient. It can take up to three months of treatment to get relief.

Here are 9 other delicious herbs and spices with powerful health benefits.

9. Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha Lipoic Acid: It’s the “Universal Antioxidant” for good reason.

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a coenzyme that has lots of talents. ALA boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection. The acid is both fat and water soluble. It can regenerate other important antioxidants like vitamins E, C and glutathione. Alpha lipoic acid provides anti-inflammatory protection in blood vessels and in the fatty tissues of the brain and nerves. It’s a must for anyone with diabetes, neuritis or neuropathy, since it also improves glucose metabolism and blood flow in nerves.

To learn even more about ALA, click here.

10. Zinc

Many people take zinc to boost their immunity, but recent research shows that zinc may also be a natural inflammation fighter. Popping zinc regularly can help reduce inflammation. It also has been shown to offer immune support. Researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit, tested whether zinc supplementation decreases oxidative stress. They found that consuming 25 mg three times a day for three months decreased TNF-alpha, a cytokine that amplifies inflammation.


Sure, it may not be as therapeutically effective as the anti-inflammatory supplements listed above, but research has found that a little bit of dark chocolate reduces systemic inflammation and boosts your heart health.

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29 responses to “Anti-Inflammatory Supplements: Here’s 10 That Really Work”

  1. […] to prevent cancer and as a treatment are already underway, but nature has an abundance of anti-inflammatory supplements and nutrients to offer us which can both lower cytokine levels and control the inflammatory […]

  2. […] to prevent cancer and as a treatment are already underway, but nature has an abundance of anti-inflammatory supplements and nutrients to offer us which can both lower cytokine levels and control the inflammatory […]

  3. Mamacrabb05 says:

    so how much of these thing do you need to take an where do i find them?

  4. […] ginger root extract are beneficial in reducing pain and swelling caused by muscle inflammation.see for more infoThere are anti inflammatory supplements that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and can […]

  5. […] foods are hyped as anti-inflammatory and certain dietary supplements are marketed with claims that they are anti-inflammatory.  Integrative medicine guru Andrew Weil […]

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  12. Anon says:

    Inflammation is directly connected to aging and disease, so, whatever a person can do to fight inflammation, will help them combat both the process of aging, and protect them from disease.

  13. George Strassle says:

    need a natural anti inflammatory for post knee replacement. On xeralto because of a blood clot and rom wont come back.

    • Segen Tekle says:

      I would suggest a natural antioxidant supplement which can help support a healthy inflammatory response. It may also be a good idea to include a fish oil supplement in your regimen as the properties in fish oil can reduce any pain and/or stiffness you may be experiencing. Please make sure to consult with a physician prior to taking any additional supplements to avoid any complications.

      I hope this helps, best wishes!

  14. Resveratrol an effective and potent anti-inflammatory ingredient which can be found in grape skins and seeds. So this naturally means that resveratrol can be found in red wine! Learned about Bromelain from this article, I wasn’t aware the anti-inflammatory effects from it. Thanks for the informative article on these anti-inflammatory supplements.

    • Segen Tekle says:

      Hi there,
      We’re so glad you find this information useful!
      It’s extremely important to know which supplements and foods naturally support a healthy inflammatory response.

  15. […] can also take antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C, glutathione, fish oil and others that will protect us from anything that oxidizes LDL cholesterol or produces free radicals. Common […]

  16. […] chronic pain is a recursive problem. The problem may disappear if you follow a proper diet and take natural anti inflammatory supplements. But, after a while, if you again go back to an unhealthy lifestyle or stop taking the supplements, […]

  17. […] as not consuming the five types of food mentioned above is important, so is the regular intake of natural anti-inflammatory supplements. Those supplements are obtained from various food […]

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  21. Leif Smith says:

    Best anti-inflammatory probably anatabine citrate. Now, for no reason that makes sense to me, forced off the market by FDA.

    For research on anatabine citrate for TBI and GWI see the Roskamp Institute, Sarasota, Florida.

    • greg booth says:

      Was doing research on lung disease and inflammation and was glad to come across your mention of anatabine citrate. My doc told me about this and recommended it in his office to a number of patients and also more informally to about a dozen friends for various inflammation-related conditions. When the nutraceutical version was taken off the market, quite a number of these people bought online until the supply was gone. Looking forward to it becoming available again.

  22. I had just read this article prefacing an ad for an arthritis remedy which I was about to order for my husband but decided against doing so because you were only given 14 days from the DATE OF THE ORDER before another shipment would be sent automatically. This would only allow 8-10 days to try it and see if it worked for him. This would not be sufficient time for any natural remedy to start to take effect and I’m sure the sponsers are aware of it but are using it to trick people into ordering Autoship. One would not even have time to get the shipment and respond before another shipment would be sent out, let alone seeing any results from taking the supplement. This is sad because it sounded like it would be a good supplement for arthritis.

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