Arthritis is a common disease in which the end-point results in joint replacement surgery. This article reviews the use of nutraceuticals as alternative treatments for pathological manifestations of arthritic disease. The efficacy of fish oils (e.g. cod liver oil) in the diet has been demonstrated in several clinical trials, animal feeding experiments and in vitro models that mimic cartilage destruction in arthritic disease. In addition, there is some evidence for beneficial effects of other nutraceuticals, such as green tea, herbal extracts, chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine. However, in most cases, there is little scientific evidence at the cellular and molecular levels to explain their mechanisms of action.