Nutraceuticals and osteoarthritis pain

Angela Wang, Daniel J. Leong, Luis Cardoso, Hui (Herb) Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Arthritis is a chronic disease of joints. It is highly prevalent, particularly in the elderly, and is commonly associated with pain that interferes with quality of life. Because of its chronic nature, pharmacological approaches to pain relief and joint repair must be safe for long term use, a quality many current therapies lack. Nutraceuticals refer to compounds or materials that can function as nutrition and exert a potential therapeutic effect, including the relief of pain, such as pain related to arthritis, of which osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form. Of interest, nutraceuticals have recently been shown to have potential in relieving OA pain in human clinical trials. Emerging evidence indicates nutraceuticals may represent promising alternatives for the relief of OA pain. In this paper, we will overview OA pain and the use of nutraceuticals in OA pain management, focusing on those that have been evaluated by clinical trials. Furthermore, we discuss the biologic and pharmacologic actions underlying the nutraceutical effects on pain relief based on the potential active ingredients identified from traditional nutraceuticals in OA pain management and their potential for drug development. The review concludes by sharing our viewpoints that future studies should prioritize elucidating the mechanisms of action of nutraceuticals in OA and developing nutraceuticals that not only relieve OA pain, but also mitigate OA pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPharmacology and Therapeutics
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Botanical drugs
  • Generally recognized as safe (GRAS)
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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