People with Arthritis More Likely to Take Dietary Supplements, Study Finds


A new study finds that 62.5% of U.S. adults with arthritis take at least one dietary supplement, compared to 49% of adults without arthritis who say the same.

Photo © Marchal

Photo © Marchal

A recent report published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine finds that the proportion of people with arthritis who take dietary supplements is greater than the proportion of people without arthritis who take dietary supplements. While 62.5% of arthritis sufferers reported taking at least one dietary supplement over the past 30 days, only 49% of people without arthritis reported the same.

The statistics come from the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). For this study, researchers analyzed the data for 4606 participants, 1170 of whom self-reported as having arthritis. In other studies, NHANES statistics have suggested 52% of all U.S. adults reported taking supplement products in the prior 30 days.

Yet, while supplement use was higher among people with arthritis, researchers could not find an independent association between arthritis and higher odds of supplement use through a multivariate logistic regression model. They did find that, among subjects with arthritis who took supplements, 15.1% of subjects indicated they took at least one supplement “for healthy joints, arthritis,” compared to 7.7% of subjects without arthritis who said the same. Glucosamine and/or chondroitin were found to be the most common types of supplements taken for this health concern among people with arthritis.

Additionally, among people with arthritis, the most prevalent use of supplements was found in adults over 50 years of age, non-Hispanic whites, those with health insurance, and those with greater levels of education.

“Given that roughly three out of five individuals with arthritis regularly use dietary supplements, health practitioners should be prepared to discuss potential benefits and risks of supplementation for the management of pain and function in arthritis,” researchers concluded.


Read more:

Overall U.S. Supplement Usage Consistent, Multivitamin Usage Drops, Study Suggests

NEM Eggshell Membrane May Improve Inflammation, Arthritis Markers, Animal Study Suggests

Pagoda-Tree Extract Defends Against Inflammation in Arthritis Model


Michael Crane
Associate Editor
Nutritional Outlook Magazine


Wilson PB et al., “Dietary supplementation is more prevalent among adults with arthritis in the United States population,” Complementary Therapies in Medicine, vol. 29 (December 2016): 152–157

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