Fish oil supplements which may help reduce inflammation in the body

8 supplements to reduce inflammation in the body

Medically reviewed on August 1, 2022 by Jillian Foglesong Stabile, MD, FAAFP. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.


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Sometimes, inflammation is the result of a valid immune system response to something your body thinks is dangerous, like an allergen or injury [1]. In those cases, it’s important to take steps to avoid similar triggers in the future. But when you have chronic inflammation caused by an underlying health issue, you might seek other ways to alleviate inflammation.

For many people, taking supplements to reduce inflammation in the body and help prevent inflammation from occurring is a common choice.

Interested in learning which supplements are best at blocking inflammation? Keep reading for our list of the eight superb supplements that may help you fight off inflammation—along with offering plenty of other enviable health benefits.

1. Curcumin

Curcumin is a bright orange powder derived from the Curcuma longa plant, but you probably know it by another name: turmeric [2]. It's a popular spice used to boost the flavor in dishes from cultures around the world, but it’s probably most famous as a cornerstone ingredient in most curry recipes.

But should curcumin also be a component of your inflammation-fighting dietary supplement routine?

There’s ample evidence to support the idea that curcumin or turmeric may be helpful in reducing bodily inflammation. Key to this idea is the fact that curcumin has enzyme-inhibiting properties that act on cyclooxygenase enzymes, which have been linked to inflammation.

Additionally, studies suggest that curcumin supplements to reduce inflammation in the body may be useful, especially for people with medical conditions like:

  • Cancer [3]
  • Colitis [4]
  • Diabetes [5]

According to other studies, curcumin may also help reduce inflammatory symptoms stemming from arthritis and osteoporosis [6].[7]

How to take curcumin

In its natural form, it’s easy to integrate curcumin, or turmeric, into your everyday diet. Aside from curries that contain this ingredient, you can use curcumin to season a range of dishes like [8]:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Soups
  • Vegetables

But if you aren’t getting enough curcumin from your diet, it’s also available as an oral anti inflammatory supplement. Be sure to follow the World Health Organization’s recommended daily intake amount of up to 3 mg per kilogram body weight or about 1.4 mg per pound [9].

2. Fish Oil

Fish oil comes from the tissue of fish, and it’s a vital part of a healthy diet. It’s full of essential nutrients that help the human body function properly [10].Consumption of fish oil has been linked to:

  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Reduced risk of heart disease

But what does that say about the effectiveness of fish oil dietary supplements in reducing inflammation in the body?

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Some studies suggest that omega-3s may be useful in alleviating inflammatory episodes caused by conditions like diabetes and heart disease [11]. This is because among those omega-3 fatty acids that are so prevalent in fish oil, there is one called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—which is especially successful at fighting inflammation [12].

How to take fish oil

The best way to up your fish oil intake is to eat more of the foods that contain them—primarily, fish. Start introducing salmon, herring, tuna, and other swimmers into your meal rotation, or consider a daily supplement [13]. The recommended daily intake for fish oil is 1,100 mg for women and 1,600 mg for men [14].

3. Ginger

Ginger is the root of the Zingiber officinale plant. It’s gnarled and knotty in appearance, but thanks to its sweet, spicy flavor, it's used in various beverages, baked goods, and other dishes.

Among its potential health benefits, ginger may be useful for [15]:

  • Relieving nausea
  • Relieving intestinal bloating and gas
  • Promoting cell health

But can you take ginger supplements to reduce inflammation in the body? The answer is maybe.

According to some studies, ginger may be useful in reducing inflammation, especially in people with type 2 diabetes [16]. This may be thanks to special compounds in ginger, namely gingerol and zingerone, which are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties [15].

How to take ginger

While you can take ginger capsules if you prefer, ginger tea is a delicious way to add ginger to your diet. You can also use it in its fresh root or powder form to spice up many dishes [15].

4. Resveratrol

Although it sounds like a prescription drug, resveratrol is actually one of nature’s most potent natural antioxidants. In the wild, you can find it in legumes and fruits, like peanuts, blueberries, cranberries, and grapes [17].

Like many antioxidants, resveratrol has the potential for widespread medical application. Antioxidants are generally linked to properties that fight aging, promote brain health, and help prevent cancer [17]. But according to studies, resveratrol, in particular, may be useful in reducing inflammation for people with a range of health conditions, including:

  • Liver disease [18]
  • Colitis [19]
  • Obesity [20]

Other studies are optimistic about the potential for resveratrol to lower blood sugar, reduce your triglyceride levels, and alleviate inflammatory markers [21].

How to take resveratol

Resveratol may be one of the most enjoyable supplements to reduce inflammation in the body. Why? Because a great source of it is red wine [17]. However, you can also seek out those fruits we mentioned earlier or purchase an oral supplement.

5. Spirulina

Spirulina comes from an algae plant that grows in salt water. For centuries, it’s been prized as a source of vital nutrients like [22]:

  • B vitamins
  • Beta-carotene
  • Iron
  • Non-animal proteins

Now, recent studies show spirulina may be linked to reducing symptoms of chronic inflammation. It may also be beneficial in fighting certain diseases [24].

How to take spirulina

As a supplement, you can find spirulina in tablet form. But it’s just as easy to mix a bit of spirulina powder in with a healthy smoothie or a dip like hummus or guacamole [22].

6. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of 13 vitamins that are essential to your health [25]. Vitamin D plays an integral role in many bodily processes, including:

  • Bone growth and maintenance
  • Muscle function
  • Brain activity

Research also suggests that taking vitamin D supplements could also help to reduce inflammation in the body.

According to studies, there’s a strong correlation between vitamin D deficiency and increased inflammation [26]. As a well-known antioxidant, vitamin D neutralizes free radicals before they have a chance to cause cell damage that can provoke an inflammatory response from your body [27].

How to take vitamin D

Unlike some of the other supplements on this list, it’s pretty difficult to get a sufficient amount of vitamin D from most common foods. For that reason, augmenting your intake with a supplement is often the best choice for most people.

For adults, the recommended intake of vitamin D is 15 mcg per day [28].

7. Vitamin C

Another of the 13 nutrients essential to human life, vitamin C also has antioxidant properties that fight against harmful free radicals [29]. This in itself is cause for optimism when it comes to whether vitamin C supplements can reduce inflammation in the body.

But vitamin C also has a range of other health benefits that may be useful in preventing or reducing inflammation. For example, studies suggest that vitamin C has the potential to [29]:

  • Boost the immune system
  • Help fight infections
  • Kill bacteri

How to take vitamin C

Vitamin C is not difficult to come by. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and kiwis are excellent sources, as are vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli [30].

If you want to boost your vitamin C intake through supplementation, however, the National Institutes of Health recommends a dose of 75 mg daily for women and 90 mg daily for men [330].

8. Green tea extract

Green tea extract is a super concentrated form of green tea. It’s made from dried green tea leaves that are crushed into a powder. In recent years, it’s become a popular ingredient in instant-action energy drinks because it contains caffeine.

But green tea extract may be able to do more than potentially boost your energy levels. Aside from caffeine, it also contains an antioxidant known as Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Studies suggest that EGCG may help fight inflammation by lowering oxidative cell stress [31].

In addition, some studies suggest green tea extract supplements may be even more effective at reducing inflammation when paired with exercise [32].

How to take green tea extract

While you can consume some levels of EGCG through green teas and other drinks and foods containing green tea, these aren’t often required to list the amount on their nutritional labels. For that reason, if you’d like to add this supplement to your diet, it may be beneficial to seek out a supplement form, so you know exactly how much you’re taking.

Monitor your inflammatory markers with Everlywell

Although further research is still needed before we can know for sure, a lot of strong evidence supports the idea that certain supplements may help to reduce inflammation in the body. But when staving off inflammation is crucial to your wellness, it also helps to gain as many possible insights as you can about how inflammation affects your body.

You can keep track of inflammation levels by testing for them. Want to know how to test for inflammation?

Fortunately, you can shed light on inflammation with Everlywell.

The at-home Vitamin D and Inflammation Test is the easiest way to get a picture of your vitamin D levels and monitor your inflammatory markers. Then, you can shop our line of high-quality nutritional supplements for all the vitamin D and fish oil you need to keep inflammation in check.

Everlywell stands at the vanguard of at-home healthcare, making it easier than ever to take control of your general, nutritional, and sexual health without ever leaving the house. Start taking steps toward wellness today.

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References

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  2. Definition of Curcumin. Cancer.gov. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
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  4. Curcumin maintenance therapy for ulcerative colitis: randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. PubMed. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  5. Curcumin and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Prevention and Treatment. PubMed. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  6. Curcumin alleviates rheumatoid arthritis-induced inflammation and synovial hyperplasia by targeting mTOR pathway in rats. PubMed. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
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  10. Fish Oil. Mayo Clinic. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
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  13. 12 Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Cleveland Clinic. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  14. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. PubMed. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  15. Ginger Benefits. Johns Hopkins Medicine. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  16. Anti-inflammatory effects of zingiber officinale in type 2 diabetic patients. PubMed. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  17. Health Benefits of Resveratol—And Should You Take It? Cleveland Clinic. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  18. Effect of resveratrol on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. PubMed. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  19. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Resveratrol in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-controlled Pilot Study. PubMed. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  20. Resveratrol and Its Human Metabolites—Effects on Metabolic Health and Obesity. PubMed. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  21. Calorie restriction-like effects of 30 days of resveratrol supplementation on energy metabolism and metabolic profile in obese humans. PubMed. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  22. Is Spirulina Good For You? Cleveland Clinic. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  23. Antioxidant Effect of Spirulina (Arthrospira) maxima on Chronic Inflammation Induced by Freund's Complete Adjuvant in Rats. PubMed. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  24. Spirulina consumption effectively reduces anti-inflammatory and pain related infectious diseases. Journal of Infection and Public Health. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
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  30. Vitamin C. National Institutes of Health. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
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  33. Vitamin D Supplementation for Premenstrual Syndrome-Related inflammation and antioxidant markers in students with vitamin D deficient: a randomized clinical trial. PubMed. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
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