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Joint Health Benefits of Tart Cherry, Collagen, Boswellia, and Terpenes

Joint Health Benefits of Tart Cherry, Collagen, Boswellia, and Terpenes

What Are The Most Powerful Supplements to Reduce Inflammation? 

Chronic inflammation is slow, long-term inflammation that can linger for several months or even years… silently wreaking havoc on your health.

Because its signs and symptoms are not always apparent or obvious, inflammation can be a “silent” player in numerous diseases, including diabetes, stroke, chronic respiratory diseases, heart disorders, cancer, and obesity.

In fact, chronic inflammatory diseases are the most significant cause of death in the world. Worldwide, three out of five people die from such diseases resulting from chronic inflammation. [1] 

In this blog, we describe how in the short term, inflammation can benefit the body. But, when inflammation sticks around when the body no longer needs it, a dangerous type of inflammation called chronic inflammation can ensue. 

Inflammation can impact your organs and your joints. Athletes are especially familiar with the pain and discomfort associated with joint inflammation – pain that impairs performance and can lead to osteoarthritis. 

Eventually, inflammation in one part of the body can become systemic inflammation, impacting the entire body.

The good news is that in most cases, chronic inflammation is entirely manageable. What you eat, the way you move, and how you manage stress levels can significantly impact chronic inflammation and reduce your risk of disease. [2]

Research shows that tart cherries can help reduce inflammation associated with chronic disease. [3] A tart cherry extract isolates the key antioxidants from this popular fruit, including the anthocyanins that carry powerful anti-inflammatory potential.

As a supplement, tart cherry extract works incredibly well as a standalone nutrient. However, combining a few other nutrients that work with tart cherry extract synergistically can improve those anti-inflammatory benefits to lower inflammation among achieving the other benefits as well.

Here, we’ll first look at the standalone benefits of tart cherry extract and then the boosted therapeutic benefits when combined with other nutrients. 

Tart Cherry Supplement Benefits

Tart cherry extract protects against the oxidative stress and chronic inflammation that contribute to so many diseases. [4] Athletes are especially fond of tart cherry extract for these benefits of fighting oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.

In one study, researchers looked at short-term supplementation of a powdered tart cherry supplement prior to and following stressful endurance exercise. They evaluated muscle damage, inflammation, oxidative stress, and muscle soreness among other conditions.

Researchers randomly assigned 27 endurance-trained runners and triathlete men and women a placebo or powdered tart cherry.

The tart cherry group was the clear winner. Tart cherry extract:

  • Reduced muscle breakdown
  • Lowered immune-related stress
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Supported the body’s antioxidant defense
  • Increased performance

In fact, compared with the placebo group, the tart cherry group averaged 13 percent faster half-marathon race finish times and tended to have smaller deviations from the predicted race pace! [5]

Tart cherry extract may also reduce the pain and discomfort of intense exercise. Endurance athletes often reach for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to prevent or reduce pain during a race, but NSAIDs have side effects.

Other research shows that tart cherry extract can relieve mobility, pain-related symptoms, and quality of life associated with knee osteoarthritis. Tart cherry extract can also support cartilage health. [6]

For pain relief, tart cherry provides an excellent alternative to NSAIDs without the side effects. Before and during strenuous exercise, tart cherry extract has a protective effect to reduce muscle damage and pain.

When it comes to tart cherry extract, quality is everything. NordicCherry® contains over double the amount relative anthocyanin levels compared to our closest competitor. Our tart cherry extract is made with whole fruit Prunus cerasus Stevnsbaer sour cherries grown in Denmark.

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of tart cherry extract are amazing on their own but are even stronger when combined with Boswellia, beta-caryophyllene, and collagen.

Benefits of Boswellia Serrata to Reduce Inflammation

Boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense, is an herbal extract from the Boswellia serrata tree. Gum-resin extracts of Boswellia serrata have been used for centuries in folk medicine to manage chronic inflammatory diseases.

The resinous part of Boswellia serrata contains:

  • Monoterpenes and other terpenes, plant compounds found in many essential oils.
  • Four Boswellic acids, the active compounds in Boswellia serrata gum resin extract.

One of those four Boswellic acids, called acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid, can inhibit an enzyme responsible for inflammation. [7] 

As a result, Boswellic acids show efficacy against various conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, asthma, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s. [8] 

Boswellia and its extract also provide pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and anti-arthritic benefits. That makes supplementing with Boswellia ideal for individuals suffering from joint pain and as an effective, safe treatment option for people with osteoarthritis.[9]

Animal studies show that Boswellia serrata gum resin extract can reduce pain and protect articular cartilage from damage resulting from osteoarthritis. [10] 

Human studies show those benefits, too. One double‐blind, placebo‐controlled human trial looked at a specific Boswellia serrata extract among 48 people with osteoarthritis of the knee. They randomly received either Boswellia serrata extract or a placebo for 120 days. 

Compared with the placebo, Boswellia serrata extract significantly improved physical function by reducing pain and stiffness. [11]

Boswellia is ideal for other types of arthritis, too. Supplementing provides protective effects while improving the inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress associated with rheumatoid arthritis. [12] 

Beta-Caryophyllene: A Terpene that Lowers Inflammation

Another well-researched nutrient for joint health is beta-caryophyllene, a terpene that can help reduce inflammation levels. Rephyll, a patent-pending form of beta-caryophyllene, uses cutting-edge technology to incorporate terpenes from black pepper.[13]

Using beta-caryophyllene may help reduce the delayed-onset muscle soreness that contributes to;

  • Muscle swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Rigidity
  • Pain
  • Overall reduced ability to perform

The anti-inflammatory benefits of beta-caryophyllene make this nutrient ideal for effective pain management and recovery. 

In one study, beta-caryophyllene (as Rephyll®) significantly reduced the pain visual assessment score, which ranks pain on a scale of zero to 10. Researchers concluded that Rephyll® effectively reduces delayed-onset muscle soreness with improved recovery without any side effects. [14]

The Best Collagen Supplement for Joints

Collagen forms the protein matrix that provides structure and flexibility to your skin, joints, and soft tissues. The ability to synthesize collagen declines with age.

Other conditions may impact collagen, too. Strenuous exercise can create localized pain and stiffness in joints within the knees. About two-thirds of adult articular cartilage is made up of collagen. Over time, loss of articular cartilage can occur and lead to arthritis. [15] 

Research shows that undenatured type-II collagen, called UC-II®, can support joint health.

Among its benefits, this unique form of collagen can reduce the joint discomfort and stiffness that accompany osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. UC-II® also significantly reduces circulating levels of inflammatory cytokines, potentially lowering the occurrence and the severity of arthritis. [16]

One randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study looked at 55 healthy participants who experienced joint discomfort with physical activity. Participants had no prior history of arthritic disease or joint pain at rest. Participants were given either 40 grams of UC-II® or a placebo.

Researchers assessed joint function with a strenuous exertion on a step mill (a treadmill but with steps instead of a revolving belt). The results were impressive:

  • After 120 days of supplementation, the UC-II® group showed a statistically significant improvement in average knee extension compared to the placebo group and to baseline.
  • The UC-II® group demonstrated a statistically significant change in average knee extension at day 90 versus baseline. No significant change in knee extension was observed in the placebo group at any time.
  • The UC-II® group exercised longer before experiencing any initial joint discomfort at day 120. [17]

The Power of Synchronicity: 4 Nutrients, 1 Unique Formula

As numerous studies reveal, all four of these nutrients provide powerful standalone joint health benefits. Combined, however, they provide superior anti-inflammatory benefits that can relieve joint pain and many, many other conditions.

We’ve combined all four of these nutrients in an exclusive formula called Joint Health Plus. Just two capsules daily provide:

  • 500 mg of clinically studied NordicCherry® tart cherry extract
  • 125 mg of Rephyll®
  • 100 mg of Boswellia, standardized to contain 65% Boswellic acids
  • 40 mg of clinically studied UC-II® collagen 

This is a powerhouse formula! Joint Health Plus harnesses the joint-supporting benefits of these four nutrients, in one powerfully effective supplement. With Joint Health Plus, you can feel confident that you’re providing your body the highest quality nutrients to reduce inflammation, promote recovery, and support healthy joint function.


[1] Pahwa R, Goyal A, Bansal P, et al. Chronic Inflammation. [Updated 2020 Nov 20]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from:


[2] Bosma-den Boer MM, van Wetten ML, Pruimboom L. Chronic inflammatory diseases are stimulated by current lifestyle: how diet, stress levels and medication prevent our body from recovering. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012 Apr 17;9(1):32. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-9-32. PMID: 22510431; PMCID: PMC3372428.

[3] Martin KR , Burrell L , Bopp J . Authentic tart cherry juice reduces markers of inflammation in overweight and obese subjects: a randomized, crossover pilot study. Food Funct. 2018 Oct 17;9(10):5290-5300. doi: 10.1039/c8fo01492b. PMID: 30255184.

[4] Alba C MA, Daya M, Franck C. Tart Cherries and health: Current knowledge and need for a better understanding of the fate of phytochemicals in the human gastrointestinal tract. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(4):626-638. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2017.1384918. Epub 2017 Oct 30. PMID: 28956621.

[5] Levers K, Dalton R, Galvan E, O'Connor A, Goodenough C, Simbo S, Mertens-Talcott SU, Rasmussen C, Greenwood M, Riechman S, Crouse S, Kreider RB. Effects of powdered Montmorency tart cherry supplementation on acute endurance exercise performance in aerobically trained individuals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016 May 26;13:22. doi: 10.1186/s12970-016-0133-z. PMID: 27231439; PMCID: PMC4880859.

[6] Du C, Chapman SC, Kwon YH, Vijayagopal P, Juma S. Impact of Tart Cherry Juice on Joint Flexibility and Pain in Individuals with Self-Reported Knee Osteoarthritis (P01-030-19). Curr Dev Nutr. 2019 Jun 13;3(Suppl 1):nzz028.P01-030-19. doi: 10.1093/cdn/nzz028.P01-030-19. PMCID: PMC6574019.

[7] Siddiqui MZ. Boswellia serrata, a potential antiinflammatory agent: an overview. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2011 May;73(3):255-61. doi: 10.4103/0250-474X.93507. PMID: 22457547; PMCID: PMC3309643.

[8] Roy NK, Parama D, Banik K, Bordoloi D, Devi AK, Thakur KK, Padmavathi G, Shakibaei M, Fan L, Sethi G, Kunnumakkara AB. An Update on Pharmacological Potential of Boswellic Acids against Chronic Diseases. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Aug 22;20(17):4101. doi: 10.3390/ijms20174101. PMID: 31443458; PMCID: PMC6747466.

[9] Yu G, Xiang W, Zhang T, Zeng L, Yang K, Li J. Effectiveness of Boswellia and Boswellia extract for osteoarthritis patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complement Med Ther. 2020 Jul 17;20(1):225. doi: 10.1186/s12906-020-02985-6. PMID: 32680575; PMCID: PMC7368679.

[10] Alluri VK, Kundimi S, Sengupta K, Golakoti T, Kilari EK. An Anti-Inflammatory Composition of Boswellia serrata Resin Extracts Alleviates Pain and Protects Cartilage in Monoiodoacetate-Induced Osteoarthritis in Rats. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2020 May 21;2020:7381625. doi: 10.1155/2020/7381625. PMID: 32565872; PMCID: PMC7261341.

[11] Majeed M, Majeed S, Narayanan NK, Nagabhushanam K. A pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a novel Boswellia serrata extract in the management of osteoarthritis of the knee. Phytother Res. 2019 May;33(5):1457-1468. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6338. Epub 2019 Mar 6. PMID: 30838706; PMCID: PMC6681146.

[12] Umar S, Umar K, Sarwar AH, Khan A, Ahmad N, Ahmad S, Katiyar CK, Husain SA, Khan HA. Boswellia serrata extract attenuates inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress in collagen induced arthritis. Phytomedicine. 2014 May 15;21(6):847-56. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2014.02.001. Epub 2014 Mar 22. PMID: 24667331.


[14] Amalraj A, Jacob J, Varma K, Gopi S. Preparation and Characterization of Liposomal β-Caryophyllene (Rephyll) by Nanofiber Weaving Technology and Its Effects on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) in Humans: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Crossover-Designed, and Placebo-Controlled Study. ACS Omega. 2020 Sep 8;5(37):24045-24056. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.0c03456. PMID: 32984726; PMCID: PMC7513359.

[15] Eyre D. Collagen of articular cartilage. Arthritis Res. 2002;4(1):30-5. doi: 10.1186/ar380. Epub 2001 Oct 5. PMID: 11879535; PMCID: PMC128915.

[16] Lugo JP, Saiyed ZM, Lau FC, Molina JP, Pakdaman MN, Shamie AN, Udani JK. Undenatured type II collagen (UC-II®) for joint support: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in healthy volunteers. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Oct 24;10(1):48. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-10-48. PMID: 24153020; PMCID: PMC4015808.

[17] Lugo JP, Saiyed ZM, Lau FC, Molina JP, Pakdaman MN, Shamie AN, Udani JK. Undenatured type II collagen (UC-II®) for joint support: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in healthy volunteers. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Oct 24;10(1):48. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-10-48. PMID: 24153020; PMCID: PMC4015808.

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