Nutrition supplements can be an effective addition to any arthritis treatment plan. Because nutritional supplements are not regulated by the FDA their place in medicine has been questioned for some time. Despite this, there is an abundance of published literature about the effectiveness of nutrition supplements. For instance, many scientists believe that there is abundant clinical evidence that supports the efficacy and safety of glucosamine and chondroitin, and therefore deserve a prominent place in the nonsurgical treatment of osteoarthritis (Hungerford and Jones 2003).
Nutrition supplements are also referred to as nutraceuticals. Nutraceutical is a term combining the words nutrition and pharmaceutical and is usually a food product or supplement that proves to have medical and health benefits. You may also hear nutraceuticals referred to as oral joint health supplements, vitamins and minerals or non FDA-approved substances.
The consumer should understand supplement manufacturers can advertise structure and function activity on product labeling, as long as products do not claim to treat, prevent, or cure specific disease. This is a fine line.
Nutrition supplements or nutraceuticals fall under the category of “dietary supplements” and are not regulated by the Food and Drug administration, therefore, their efficacy or safety cannot be guaranteed. There are however, three companies that test and verify ingredients in dietary supplements. Before choosing a brand of supplement be sure to check the manufacturer and web information on that particular supplement. The following companies test and verify the ingredients in over the counter supplements and nutraceuticals:
U.S.Pharmacopia (USP) dietary supplement verification program:
Natural Products Association (NPA):