Methionine is a sulfur-containing amino acid. Sulfur is a key building element of human cartilage. Studies have found that individuals with healthy joints have cartilage that has three times the sulfur content of joints in adults suffering from osteoarthritis 1.

The low sulfur levels can be attributed to insufficient sulfur in the diet, or inefficient sulfur metabolic processes. Metabolism disorders are often caused by deficiencies in vitamins and trace elements.

Another contributing factor is that many medications to treat osteoarthritis additionally bind sulfur. Sulfur deficiency is thus an inevitable condition of osteoarthritis.

But does this mean that taking additional sulfur in the form of the amino acid methionine can alleviate osteoarthritis?

Yes, methionine can help reduce osteoarthritis pain like pain killers, according to an American study 2. In this study, two groups of 30 patients each were either given traditional osteoarthritis pain medication or methionine. The study lasted eight weeks.

After just four weeks of therapy, both patient groups reported symptom improvements. After eight weeks of therapy, these improvements were even greater in both groups. There was no difference in levels of improvement between the group who received pain killers and those who received methionine!

The great advantage of methionine is that in the numerous studies in which it has been used to date, no side effects have been documented 3. On the other hand, pain killers are suspected of significantly increasing the risk of heart infarcts with long-term use.

Discover here which amino acids, amino sugars, and vitamins in addition to methionine are important for healthy cartilage metabolism.


  1. Soeken KL. Safety and efficacy of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) for osteoarthritis. Journal of Family Practice. 2002. 51(5):425-430
  2. Maccagno A. Padova CD. S-Adenosylmethionine in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Review of the clinical studies. American Journal of Medicine. 1987. 83(5):72-77
  3. Ursini F et al. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. 2009. 15(4):173-177
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