The 7 Best Supplements For Inflammation, According To Experts

Boost your wellness game.

The best supplements for inflammation, according to experts.
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Inflammation is kind of a big deal. It’s one of the main drivers of disease and it also plays a role in how you feel day to day. That’s why so many dietitians recommend that people take supplements for inflammation.

The thing is, inflammation isn’t all bad. In fact, it’s one of those things that’s good for you in small doses. “Inflammation is the body’s normal defense against infection or injury,” says registered dietician Mia Syn, MS, RDN. “The right kind of inflammation is essential for healing, repairing, and keeping the body healthy.” It’s only when inflammation becomes chronic or ongoing that it becomes detrimental.

Inflammation starts to add up if you smoke, drink a lot, exercise too much, exercise too little, or if you’re in a constant state of stress, says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, a nutrition expert and author of Smoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Kitchen. That’s when you might start to notice signs of inflammation like fatigue, depression, swelling, or ongoing aches and pains.

According to Syn, inflammation can start to wear your body down and make you more susceptible to issues like heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, and inflammatory bowel disease, among other things. The best way to combat inflammation is by taking good care of yourself — as in eating lots of nutrient-dense foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly (not too much or too little). Beyond that, a supplement can help fill in nutrition gaps, provide support, and give you an extra boost.

Here, experts share the best supplements for inflammation that can help boost your wellness game.



What It Is: Curcumin is an active ingredient found in the spice turmeric.

What It Does: “Curcumin works to reduce inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory mediators and regulating inflammatory signals in the body,” Largeman-Roth says. “It acts as an antioxidant and works against inflammation, helping with arthritis, digestive disorders, respiratory infections, and allergies.”

What To Know: “It is well-documented that the addition of black pepper to curcumin helps make the latter more bioavailable, enhancing its benefits,” Largeman-Roth says. Look for supplements that include this for better absorption and be sure to take the recommended dose with a meal. As with any supplement, always check with your doctor before adding it to your routine.



What It Is: Ginger is root known for its many health benefits.

What It Does: According to Madeline Alfiero, RD, a licensed registered dietitian and owner of the private practice Osea Nutrition PLLC, ginger works as an excellent anti-inflammatory. “Ginger contains gingerol and zingerone, which can help to reduce inflammation related to many chronic diseases,” she says.

What To Know: You can always add more ginger to your food, but if you take it in supplement form, aim for no more than 2 grams per day, Alfiero says. “If you take blood-thinner medications, speak with your provider before adding ginger to your diet,” she adds.



What It Is: Omega-3s are fatty acids that help the body function optimally by fighting inflammation and boosting brain health. The two main ones are DHA and EPA, both of which are found in certain fish.

What It Does: “Some studies have shown that DHA reduces levels of inflammatory markers more so than placebos,” says Sarah Whipkey, RDN, LD, a registered licensed dietician and owner of The Plant Potential. It might work by inhibiting an enzyme in the body that sparks inflammation. Research has also found EPA to have similar anti-inflammatory effects.

What To Know: Whipkey recommends looking for an algae-derived omega-3 supplement since fish contain high levels of the nutrient in their diet. “Algae is also at the bottom of the food chain, which means no worries about pollutant contamination, which is a concern with some fish oil supplements,” she says. The recommended dose is 250 mg a day, she says. Potential side effects include fishy-tasting burps and nausea.



What It Is: Bovine colostrum is the nutrient-dense “first milk” produced by cows after giving birth.

What It Does: According to Syn, bovine colostrum, a supplement found in capsules, powder, and chewable form, has an anti-inflammatory function and can be particularly helpful for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and sometimes inflammatory bowel disease.

What To Know: Research suggests taking 400 mg to 3 grams of cow-derived colostrum to reach a level that’ll support immune and digestive health, Syn says. “Because it is a dairy product, it should be avoided by those with dairy or allergies or sensitives.”



What It Is: Lutein is a type of organic pigment called a carotenoid, similar to vitamin A or beta-carotene.

What It Does: “Lutein is a lesser-known antioxidant that is commonly found in egg yolks and leafy green vegetables,” says Kayley Myers, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian. “It is suspected that lutein functions by binding to free radicals and protecting against DNA damage.” Studies have also found it to have anti-inflammatory effects thanks to its antioxidant function. On top of that, it supports eye health, Myers adds.

What To Know: Research suggests that lutein is safe in doses up to 20 mg, Myers says. She notes that minimal side effects have been reported.



What It Is: Pycnogenol is a natural plant extract that comes from maritime pine bark.

What It Does: According to Dr. Fred Pescatore, a natural health physician, pycnogenol contains a blend of active compounds that act as natural anti-inflammatories. “Pycnogenol proves effective for reducing inflammation and soothing pain associated with various health problems,” he tells Bustle. “Studies found that the supplement inhibits the generation of COX-2 and 5-LOX, two naturally occurring enzymes associated with a host of inflammatory conditions.” It can also reduce your need for NSAID pain relievers, he knows, by improving inflammation and joint pain.

What To Know: The recommended dose of pycnogenol is anywhere from 50 to 450 mg a day. If you’re taking any other medications, ask your doctor before introducing the supplement into your diet.


Green Tea Extract

What It Is: Green tea extract comes from green tea (just like the kind you drink) and contains flavonoids and polyphenols, aka antioxidants.

What It Does: According to Kiran Campbell, RD, a registered dietitian, green tea has lots of therapeutic and health-promoting effects. She notes that studies show an intake of green tea and its main antioxidant EGCG is beneficial to reducing inflammation in the body.

What To Know: A safe dose of green tea extract and EGCG in beverage form is 704 mg a day. In pill form, Campbell recommends sticking to no more than 338 mg per day.

Studies referenced:

Ahn, Y. J., & Kim, H. (2021). Lutein as a Modulator of Oxidative Stress-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases. Antioxidants, 10(9). https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10091448

Baird, A. (2016). Injury, inflammation and the emergence of human‐specific genes. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 24(3), 602-606. https://doi.org/10.1111/wrr.12422

Calcaterra, V. (2022). Use of Physical Activity and Exercise to Reduce Inflammation in Children and Adolescents with Obesity. Int J Environ Res Public Health. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19116908.

Calder, P. C. (2010). Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Processes. Nutrients, 2(3), 355-374. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu2030355

Canali, R. (2009). The anti-inflammatory pharmacology of Pycnogenol in humans involves COX-2 and 5-LOX mRNA expression in leukocytes. Int Immunopharmacol. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19508901/

Chandwe, K. (2021). Colostrum Therapy for Human Gastrointestinal Health and Disease. Nutrients. doi: 10.3390/nu13061956.

Feragalli, B. (2019). Pycnogenol®: supplementary management of symptomatic osteoarthritis with a patch. An observational registry study. Minerva Endocrinol. doi: 10.23736/S0391-1977.18.02820-1.

Hewlings, SJ. (2017). Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods. doi: 10.3390/foods6100092.

Ohishi, T. (2016). Anti-inflammatory Action of Green Tea. Antiinflamm Antiallergy Agents Med Chem. doi: 10.2174/1871523015666160915154443.

Mashhadi, NS. (2013). Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: review of current evidence. Int J Prev Med. PMID: 23717767; PMCID: PMC3665023.

Mathy-Hartert, M. (2009). Curcumin inhibits pro-inflammatory mediators and metalloproteinase-3 production by chondrocytes. Inflamm Res. doi: 10.1007/s00011-009-0063-1.

Pohl, D. (2013). Systemic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Handb Clin Neurol. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-52910-7.00047-7.

Ranard, KM. (2017). Dietary guidance for lutein: consideration for intake recommendations is scientifically supported. Eur J Nutr. doi: 10.1007/s00394-017-1580-2.

Roifman, I. (2011). Chronic inflammatory diseases and cardiovascular risk: a systematic review. Can J Cardiol. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2010.12.040.

Santocono, M. (2007). Lutein, zeaxanthin and astaxanthin protect against DNA damage in SK-N-SH human neuroblastoma cells induced by reactive nitrogen species. J Photochem Photobiol B. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2007.04.007.

Sienkiewicz. M. (2021). Supplementation of Bovine Colostrum in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Benefits and Contraindications. Adv Nutr. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmaa120.


Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert, author of Smoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Kitchen

Mia Syn, MS, RDN, registered dietician

Madeline Alfiero, RD, licensed registered dietitian, owner of the private practice Osea Nutrition PLLC

Sarah Whipkey, RDN, LD, registered licensed dietician, owner of The Plant Potential

Kayley Myers, MS, RDN, registered dietitian

Dr. Fred Pescatore, natural health physician

Kiran Campbell, RD, registered dietician