Supplements for inflammation
Getting additional support from supplements may help. An increasing amount of data is showing that some supplements, such as fish oils and turmeric, can have an anti-inflammatory effect.
"Turmeric contains a yellow pigment, called curcumin. This powerful antioxidant has multiple anti-inflammatory effects and is at least as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) in reducing knee pain," Says Dr Sarah Brewer. In particular, turmeric may help with inflammatory joint conditions such as arthritis. Clinical trials have found it to be more effective than a placebo for relieving pain and swelling in people with osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. However, it’s important to read the label of any turmeric supplement – 500-1000mg of curcuminoids is the recommended amount to garner an anti-inflammatory effect. Curcumin is also more effective when combined with piperine, found in black pepper, which boosts its absorption rate.
A good-quality fish oil supplement is also worth trying. Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids, and the more omega-3 fat you consume, the less pro-inflammatory omega-6 fat there will be available to your body’s tissues. "Omega-3 fatty acids help to suppress inflammation, especially the long-chain omega-3s, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). It’s therefore important to get these from your diet," says Dr Sarah Brewer. Aside from taking a fish oil supplement, you can also get EPA and DHA from fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and anchovies, while ALA is found in vegetable oils, nuts, linseeds and linseed oil.