Safe Arthritis Supplements

Be sure your supplements are safe and effective

Some people swear by supplements to ease the ache of their arthritic joints. Be sure yours are safe and effective. That’s where the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) comes in. The nonprofit agency sets standards for dietary supplements, food ingredients and medicine, which are enforced by the Food and Drug Administration.

Arthritis Today, the magazine of the Arthritis Foundation, provides other savvy tips, such as:

•    Buy single-ingredient products. Herbal blends or those with labels stating “proprietary blends” are not required to list the amounts of each ingredient. You may be getting a megadose without your knowledge.
•    Be leery of health claims. If the product says it treats a condition, avoid it.
•    Avoid trendy ingredients. If it’s a hot commodity, manufacturers might not know how to formulate it. Or they might use less than is needed or rely on poor-quality ingredients.
•    Look for oversight approval. Only buy products with the USP stamp or other recognized agency.