Stiftung Warentest: Food supplements for joints are useless

Stiftung Warentest: Food supplements for joints are useless

Drugstore shelves are full of nutritional supplements. Some appear to be good for bones and joints. But they are at best just useless, as a study by Stiftung Warentest shows.

Every time you move, your knee hurts or your joints just feel stiff. As you get older, your joints, cartilage and bones are no longer in as good shape as they were when you were young. But it’s not just age-related wear and tear that can limit the freedom of movement of the joints. In Germany, around five million women and men suffer from osteoarthritis symptoms, as reported by the German Arthrose Aid. The disease destroys the cartilage layer of a joint. This causes the joint to become inflamed and painful. In the hope of relief, some people turn to nutritional supplements for bones, cartilage and joints. But according to the report, they are at best useless and at worst they even pose risks.

The product testers took a close look at 18 dietary supplements that, based on their presentation, appear to promote the health of joints, cartilage and bones. Stiftung Warentest examined whether the effectiveness of the products has been proven in studies. They also paid attention to whether the manufacturers’ health claims are acceptable and whether the ingredients in the pills are safe.

Stiftung Warentest: Food supplements for joints are useless

The result: Ten products lack warnings, for example that they should not be taken by certain people. The declared daily doses of seven products exceed the officially recommended maximum amounts for a daily dose of individual vitamins and minerals. And the testers were unable to find any evidence of effectiveness for any of the dietary supplements tested. This means: If you want to support your joints or even want pain relief, you will not achieve this by taking nutritional supplements.

When nutritional supplements are on the shelves of drugstores or pharmacies, many consumers assume that these products have a positive influence on their health. In contrast to medicines, however, dietary supplements do not require approval. No approval studies need to be carried out before they come onto the market. The reason: dietary supplements are considered food.

Movement is key

In order to keep your joints in good condition for a long time, Stiftung Warentest recommends regular exercise. In addition to age, lack of exercise is also a risk factor for osteoarthritis. Anyone who already has knee problems should avoid abrupt movements and use moderate hiking, cycling or climbing stairs as training, advises Stiftung Warentest. Anyone who is already affected by osteoarthritis can improve the symptoms with the help of medication and certain therapies. You should consult your doctor about this.

Source: Stern

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