How a Vitamin B Complex Can Help Your Joints
Since OA is a progressive, potentially debilitating condition, research continues to focus on natural ways to alleviate the discomfort and slow the damage that are safe for long-term use.
For decades, the spotlight has been on antioxidant and non-antioxidant vitamins, given their nourishing qualities and cell-building power.
In recent years, the B vitamins have gained a lot of press, and ongoing studies suggest that these eight compounds could play a big role in the fight against inflammation and joint impairment.
However, there are still some questions and concerns surrounding vitamin B for osteoarthritis, so take the time to investigate a little deeper before visiting the pharmacy.
What the Studies Show
Over the last few decades, studies have focused mainly on vitamins B3, B6, B9, and B12. Researchers have tested some B vitamins in an isolated capacity – that is, how they fare without other B vitamins – but in many cases, a combination of different B vitamins have led to the most noticeable results:
Improved Pain-Reliever Performance
In a double-blind trial of 50 OA patients conducted in 2013, the anti-inflammatory Diclofenac was either given alone, or combined with a dose of vitamins B1, B6 and B12.
The participants who received both the anti-inflammatory and the B vitamins reported less pain than the group who only took the Diclofenac.
Better Joint Protection
Researchers have found that combining vitamin B1 with glucosamine and chondroitin – two compounds used to restore joint cartilage – may enhance the protective effects of the cartilage-building supplements.
However, the findings that were published in Inflammation Research were based on tests in animals, not in humans.
Higher Joint Function
In a trial involving patients with hand osteoarthritis, vitamin B9 taken together with vitamin B12 led to significantly better hand grip values compared to those who only took vitamin B9 or the placebo.
In a separate trial published in the Journal of Inflammation Research involving 72 osteoarthritis patients, joint mobility increased with regular vitamin B3 supplements, and overall symptoms improved by 29%.
While results have generally been quite positive, experts agree that more research must be conducted before the B vitamins can be universally recommended for OA patients. It’s important to discuss with your doctor how you should incorporate them into your current treatment – there is little evidence to suggest that simply increasing your B vitamin intake can replace all other pain relief and anti-inflammatory measures.
Next page: how B vitamins work for joint health, plus some guidelines and precautions for taking vitamin B supplements.