The superstar antioxidant that stops osteoarthritis in its tracks

Osteoarthritis is a pain in the butt… or more accurately, the knee, hip, hand, neck or back. The loss of cartilage in these areas leads to annoying or even excruciating bone rubbing that can prevent you from doing all sorts of everyday activities. Depending on which joints are affected, you may struggle to bend, squat, lift, reach or even walk comfortably.

So, what can you do to find relief?

The bad news is that modern medicine has no quick fix for osteoarthritis. It’s considered a relatively normal part of aging, and most people are told to pop some painkillers and deal with it. In severe cases, your doctor may recommend cortisone shots or surgery, but both of those come with big risks. Other than that, there’s not much your doctor can do for you.

That’s why it’s incredibly common for people with osteoarthritis to try natural treatments that not only relieve arthritis pain but stop arthritis from progressing. And one of the most promising natural arthritis treatments around is a superstar antioxidant you’ve probably already heard of — resveratrol.

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Resveratrol switches on a critical gene for osteoarthritis prevention

A 2019 research review from Central South University in China found that resveratrol can switch on a gene that may stop the progression of osteoarthritis.

The gene they studied is called sirtuin 1 (SIRT 1). It’s considered a longevity gene and it’s linked to a variety of age-related diseases, including osteoarthritis. SIRT 1 is present in cartilage cells. But factors that drive the development of osteoarthritis, like oxidative stress, nutritional stress and mechanical stress, inhibit SIRT 1’s expression.

In people with osteoarthritis, the level of SIRT 1 is directly connected to the severity of their disease. People with severely degenerated cartilage have less expression of this gene. And having less SIRT 1 leads to even more degeneration. It’s a vicious cycle. But resveratrol may be able to get that SIRT 1 flowing again…

Resveratrol is a proven SIRT 1 activator, which means it can increase the amount of SIRT 1 in cartilage cells. In fact, the more resveratrol you take (up to concentrations of 25 and/or 50 µM), the more SIRT 1 expresses in these cells.

Studies show that in mice with osteoarthritis, resveratrol is successfully able to slow the progression of the disease. And studies in people with osteoarthritis show resveratrol reduces pain, lowers inflammation biomarkers, improves function and decreases symptoms overall.

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How to supplement resveratrol

Now that you know resveratrol offers serious osteoarthritis support, you may be wondering how much you couldd take. In one of the studies included in the research review, people with mild-to-moderate knee arthritis took 500 mg of resveratrol per day, and it helped them quite a bit without triggering any side effects.

If you have more severe arthritis, you may need a higher dose. Research shows resveratrol is relatively safe and well-tolerated in doses up to 5 g per day. Although, if you have other health issues (particularly liver issues), you may better tolerate less. Your best bet is to partner with a trusted natural health practitioner who can help you figure out the right dosage for your specific health situation.

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  1. The role of sirtuin 1 and its activator, resveratrol in osteoarthritis — Bioscience Reports.
  2. Osteoarthritis — Mayo Clinic.
  3. Sirt1 regulates apoptosis and extracellular matrix degradation in resveratrol‑treated osteoarthritis chondrocytes via the Wnt/β‑catenin signaling pathways — Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine.
  4. Resveratrol: A Double-Edged Sword in Health Benefits — Biomedicines.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and