Anti-inflammatory supplements are intended to reduce the severity of inflammation-related side effects and provide a leg up in the fight against cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more.
Anti-inflammatory supplements attack inflammation at the source, helping to prevent oxidative stress, keep arteries clear and ensure digestive health.
Numerous compounds provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Therefore, the effectiveness of a particular supplement is usually dependent on the quality of the ingredients and the integrity of the manufacturing process.
After extensive consideration our product review team has concluded that the following are the best anti-inflammatory supplements of 2020.
1. GreenIVe Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine
Turmeric Cucumin is widely considered one of the premier natural anti-inflammatories. It’s ability to fight inflammation and its symptoms has been known to traditional medicine for centuries. And now it’s available in the West in the form of supplements like GreenIVe Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine.
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric have been confirmed by numerous clinical studies. But GreenIVe takes things one step further with their proprietary CurcuWin process which yields capsules that provide nearly 50 times the absorption of other turmeric supplements. The result is you get the anti-inflammatory action you need without having to take a half dozen capsules every day. Just one and you’re done. GreenIVe is produced in a GMP-certified facility in the US and is available only on Amazon.
2. BioSchwartz Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine
Truth be told, when it came to numbers 1 and 2 on our list it was a tossup. The fact that BioSchwartz Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine wound up in second place indicates only that something had to be #1 and something had to be #2. That said, this Turmeric supplement provides an impressive 1500 mg per capsule of turmeric root and turmeric extract, with a smattering of BioPerine tossed in to aid in absorption.
Like all BioSchwartz supplements their Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine is free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and food allergens and is completely free of sugar or other sweeteners. The BioSchwartz facility is registered with the FDA and in is full compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices. BioSchwartz supplements are also subjected to rigorous 3rd party testing.
3. Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil
Fish oil is known to support eye health, bolster liver function, and fend of cognitive decline. But it’s something of an unsung hero when it comes to its anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory action of Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil is derived from its array of fatty acids. More specifically EPA and DHA. These two polyunsaturated fatty acids work to reduce the production of cytokines which are known to trigger inflammation.
Each Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil gelcap contains 360 mg of DHA and EPA, (that’s 720 mg per serving), along with 840 mg of other beneficial fatty acids. The result is a supplement that will help protect your vital organs, enhance your ability to ward off disease and sharpen your mind in the process. Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil is sustainably sourced, free of heavy metals and other contaminants and produced in a GMP facility under FDA supervision.
4. Purely Beneficial Resveratrol
Resveratrol is known for its ability to lower blood pressure, protect the brain and defend the body against the scourge of oxidative stress. It also happens to be an outstanding anti-inflammatory that can reduce arthritis pain and stiffness, help you recover faster after workouts and help you obtain relief from vexing chronic conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Purely Beneficial Resveratrol contains a potent blend of resveratrol, green tea, and grape seed along with the powerful antioxidant, vitamin C.
Purely Beneficial Resveratrol contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. There are no common food allergens and the capsules are produced in California, USA in a GMP-certified facility. The company also stands by their product with one of the most generous money-back guarantees in the business.
5. NutriFlair Ceylon Cinnamon
When they think of anti-inflammatories most people do not think of cinnamon. But they should. Cinnamon has powerful antioxidant qualities, which means it also possesses potent anti-inflammatory abilities. NutriFlair Ceylon Cinnamon helps bolster digestive function, promotes cardiovascular health and can reduce the pain and stiffness of arthritis. It can also help people obtain relief from other chronic inflammatory conditions like IBS.
As the name implies NutriFlair Ceylon Cinnamon is sourced from organic cinnamon grown on the island of Sri Lanks (formerly Ceylon). This cinnamon is extremely pure and chock full of antioxidants that fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. Although the main ingredient is grown overseas, production of NutriFlair Ceylon Cinnamon is conducted in a GMP facility in Washington State, USA. The company also offers a 30-day, no-hassle, money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.
6. Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme Extra Strength
While fish oil has long been touted for its anti-inflammatory properties taking it is simply not an option for vegans and vegetarians. Fortunately, compounds such as turmeric enable those folks to enjoy the same anti-inflammatory benefits as everyone else. Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme Extra Strength is a high-potency, plant-based supplement produced from organically grown curcuma longa.
Each capsule contains 450 mg of turmeric curcumin as well as piper nigrum to enhance bioavailability. All Gaia Herbs supplements are free of gluten, soy, dairy and other common food allergens and are produced in accordance with the company’s stringent quality-control standards. As an added bonus the recommended dose is just one capsule, one or two times per day.
7. Nature Made Burp-Less Fish Oil
Fish oil provides a host of benefits including the ability to lower the risk of heart disease due to its robust anti-inflammatory properties. But some who take fish oil complain about the ‘fish burps’. Nature Made has heard those folks and produced a remarkably effective Burp-Less Fish Oil supplement for everyday use. This fish oil supplement is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids that are at the heart of fish oil’s remarkable effectiveness.
Each two-capsule serving provides 600 mg of DHA and EPA, along with 120 mg of other assorted omega-3 fatty acids. The fish oil is processed in a way that prevents fish burps even if you take the capsules on an empty stomach (although they recommend you take with food). Nature Made Burp-Less Fish Oil is made in the US in a GMP-certified facility.
8. NutraChamps Omega 3 Fish Oil
Each suggested serving of NutraChamps Omega-3 Fish Oil provides 2,170 mg of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids. That’s one of the most generous servings in the business. What you get in return for taking the recommended three capsules at a time is relief from arthritis-driven pain and stiffness, a healthier heart, improved cognitive function and a wealth of other anti-inflammatory benefits. Some folks will not be keen on such large doses. But there is no denying the benefits.
NutraChamps Omega 3 Fish Oil is formulated with a light lemon taste that does a commendable job in heading off the fish burps, which is particularly important when taking such large amounts. The Fish Oil in this anti-inflammatory supplement is sustainably sourced, mercury-free, free of food allergens and produced in a GMP facility.
9. Pure Hawaiian Spirulina
Spirulina is a blue-green algae which, for centuries, served as a significant food source for the ancient Aztecs. Today, it is revered for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers, as well as the fact that it is loaded with vitamins and minerals. The spirulina in Pure Hawaiian Spirulina is, as you might imagine, cultivated in Hawaii on the Big Island near the town of Kona.
Spirulina is an outstanding way for vegans and vegetarians to obtain anti-inflammatory benefits. But it will serve all users equally well. Spirulina is in the discussion when it comes to most effective all-around superfood. And the praise it receives is fully warranted. Few other supplements provide such an array of beneficial nutrients. Hawaiian Spirulina has been producing high-quality, highly pure spirulina since 1984 and cultivates all the spirulina it uses on its own farm.
10. Doctor’s Nutra Anti-Inflammatory Advanced Excel
The last of our best anti-inflammatory supplements comes to us from Doctor’s Nutra. Their Anti-Inflammatory Advanced Excel supplement leverages the proven anti-inflammatory properties of boswellia, curcumin, ginger root, and white willow bark to provide consistent relief from aches and pains and to help fend off inflammation-related maladies.
Advanced Excel is rich in antioxidant flavonoids that stave off oxidative stress, thereby preventing inflammation at the source. If there is a downside here it’s the serving size of 4 capsules. This is not only a lot of capsules to down in one sitting, it also means you’ll be running low pretty quick. However, if you can get past that you are bound to enjoy the numerous benefits this supplement has to offer.
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation (1) is part of the body’s natural immune system response to trauma or infection. Inflammation helps isolate and stabilize an affected area and sets the table for recovery to begin. Inflammation is characterized by swelling, redness, stiffness and, in some cases, a hot sensation in the affected area.
While inflammation is a normal part of the healing and recovery process, it also has a tendency to go rogue, with the body initiating a chronic inflammatory response for no legitimate reason. Rheumatoid arthritis is one example of this phenomenon. But there are many others. Anti-inflammatory supplements can address this problem, and in the process provide an array of short and long-term benefits that we’ll get into now.
What are the Benefits of Anti-Inflammatory Supplements?
Anti-inflammatory supplements relieve arthritis pain and stiffness. – Arthritis (2) is a classic case of inflammation gone awry. There are two main kinds of arthritis – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – and both are characterized by chronic inflammation that produces pain, stiffness and decreased mobility in the joints. Anti-inflammatory supplements can reduce arthritis-related inflammation and relieve some of the pain and stiffness.
Anti-inflammatory supplements are good for your heart. – Chronic inflammation is a well-known risk factor for heart attacks and stroke (3). So it should be no surprise that anti-inflammatories are beneficial for the heart. While OTC anti-inflammatory supplements are not as potent as some prescription drugs they can nonetheless provide important cardiovascular benefits for the average person.
Anti-inflammatory supplements are good for your brain. – In some cases, inflammation can spread to the brain and cause meningitis (4) or encephalitis (5). These types of brain inflammation can be life-threatening and often occur with few symptoms at the outset. The best strategy for dealing with inflammation of the brain is to prevent it from happening. Anti-inflammatory supplements can help you do that.
Anti-inflammatory supplements help you recover after workouts. – Anyone with experience working out knows the soreness that kicks in the day after intense exercise. That soreness is due, at least in part, to inflammation caused by microscopic tears in muscle tissue. (Not to worry, those tears are necessary to build bigger, stronger muscles.) Anti-inflammatory supplements can alleviate the soreness and help speed recovery.
Anti-inflammatory supplements can help treat IBS. – Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS (6) is a chronic condition that affects millions of people. It’s characterized by excess gas, cramping, irregular bowel movements and weight loss. Anti-inflammatory supplements can help relieve the discomfort and dysfunction associated with IBS and help you have a more normal life.
Anti-inflammatory supplements may reduce the risk of diabetes. – Most people are not aware of it but there’s a direct link between inflammation and diabetes (7). The relationship is extremely complex but very real and has lately become the subject of intense research. Anti-inflammatory supplements can help reduce chronic inflammation, and in some cases, may help prevent the onset of type II diabetes.
Anti-inflammatory supplements may reduce the odds of developing cancer. – For more than 150 years medical researchers have hypothesized that there is a link between areas of chronic inflammation and the development of cancer (8). In recent years multiple studies have reinforced this hypothesis. It is not a logical stretch, then, to suggest that anti-inflammatory supplements may reduce one’s odds of developing cancer.
Anti-inflammatory supplements are good for your skin. – Inflammation is the underlying cause of numerous chronic conditions, including psoriasis (9). Psoriasis is caused by immune system dysfunction that over stimulates the production of skin cells. The excess skin cells collect on the surface causing irritation and scaling. Anti-inflammatory supplements can help fend off the development of psoriasis.
Anti-inflammatory supplements may be helpful for those with asthma. – Asthma (10) suffers are another group that may benefit from taking anti-inflammatory supplements on a regular basis. Asthma is an inflammatory condition characterized by restriction of the airways. Taking an anti-inflammatory supplement may help fend off asthma attacks or reduce their severity.
Anti-inflammatory supplements do not require a prescription. – In most cases, prescription medications are needed to produce significant health benefits. But that is not the case with anti-inflammatory supplements. These highly beneficial products can be easily obtained from any number of online or brick and mortar retailers without a prescription. They truly are an outstanding healthcare value.
Do Anti-Inflammatory Supplements Produce Side Effects?
The following are some of the most common ingredients found in anti-inflammatory supplements and their known side effects.
Turmeric (curcumin) – Turmeric (sometimes referred to as curcumin) is probably the most common ingredient in anti-inflammatory supplements. And for a good reason. It is one of the most effective natural anti-inflammatories known to science and most people tolerate it well. That said, turmeric has been known to produce some side effects in a small percentage of people. Those side effects include nausea and stomach upset. Extremely high doses may contribute to gastric ulcers.
Fish Oil – Fish oil is a supplement with numerous benefits, including the ability to fight inflammation. Like turmeric, fish oil is well-tolerated by most people. However, some people who take fish oil supplements complain of excessive belching, particularly if they take the supplement on an empty stomach. A small number of people who take fish oil also complain of steatorrhea (11). Steatorrhea is the inability of the body to process fat and is characterized by oily, foul-smelling stools.
Resveratrol – There is not a lot of clinical data on resveratrol and its potential side effects. What there is indicates that this particular anti-inflammatory can produce an anti-platelet effect (12). As a result, resveratrol may be contraindicated for those with heart disease who are taking blood thinning medications.
Green tea extract – The anti-inflammatory ingredient green tea extract contains caffeine. Some people may find the caffeine-related stimulation they get from green tea undesirable. Those with sensitive stomachs may also experience stomach upset as a result of the caffeine in green tea.
Boswellia – Boswellia, also commonly referred to as Indian frankincense, has been used in traditional medicine for many centuries to treat arthritis pain, asthma, skin conditions and more. Boswellia is well-tolerated by most people although a small number complain of side effects such as nausea, diarrhea and acid reflux. The environmentally conscious may want to avoid Boswellia, however, since the trees it is gleaned from are threatened by overexploitation.
Ginger – Ginger is another traditional anti-inflammatory that is typically well-tolerated by most people. Taking significantly more than the recommended dose, however, may cause thinning of the blood and increased bleeding should a person cut themselves.
Does Obesity Cause Inflammation ?
The dangers of obesity are many (13). (Not the least of which is that being obese significantly increases the risks associated with the coronavirus (14).) Until recently, the exact mechanism producing the adverse effects associated with obesity was not fully understood. New research, however, indicates that obesity-induced inflammation may be the culprit.
Overeating produces a state called hyperplasia (15) which is characterized by the excess production of fat cells. These excess fat cells can become oxygen-starved which, in turn, can lead to necrosis (cell death). When cells die they release inflammation-causing substances including ‘free radicals’.
Obesity can also cause levels of the C-reactive protein (16) to increase as well. This inflammatory compound has been linked to high blood pressure, myocardial infarction, stroke and other cardiovascular conditions.
Obesity is now understood to promote the production of inflammation-causing substances. This, in turn, is considered by many to be the definitive link between obesity and its multiple health risks.
Does Diet Affect Inflammation?
Our diet plays an important role in the maintenance of our immune system. Proper nourishment will provide the immune system with the tools it needs to do its job efficiently and effectively. Conversely, when we make poor food choices, or routinely overeat, our immune system is constantly on the defensive, trying desperately to glean the nutrients it needs from nutrient-poor fast food or trying to fend off overstimulation from all the excess food.
Eating too many carbohydrates such as those found in pasta, bread and sugar can increase inflammation (17). So too can foods like french fries, cookies and donuts that are rich in trans fats. Avoiding these foods can help reduce inflammation and bolster the immune system.
The Bottom Line
Anti-inflammatory supplements can be the difference between leading a long healthy life and being beset by numerous health problems including diabetes, IBS, asthma, and even cancer. You can help anti-inflammatories do their job more effectively by watching what you eat and, if you are overweight or obese, by losing weight.
Anti-inflammatory supplements can also help reduce the risk of developing heart disease, reduce the pain and stiffness of arthritis, reduce symptoms of skin conditions such as psoriasis, and help you recover quicker from intense workouts.
All of the anti-inflammatory supplements on our list have proven their effectiveness and demonstrated their safety both to the FDA and to the millions of people who use them on a regular basis. Use the information in this guide to determine which anti-inflammatory supplement is right for you.