Glucosamine and Chondroitin

 

Some people say that they have tried glucosamine and stopped, because they felt no help and some patients tell me that they have been taking it for years and won’t miss a dose.  Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally found in healthy cartilage and are among the most popular dietary supplements in America, but all formulations are not the same and products can have very different instructions.  Good randomized controlled trials found some valuable benefits of taking glucosamine and chondroitin.

Benefits

  1. Reduce Pain – People taking glucosamine and chondroitin felt pain relieved as effectively as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Celebrex and ibuprofen.[1]
  2. Maintain Joint Health – Supplementing with glucosamine and chondroitin helped to maintain joint cartilage and even helped to reduce joint narrowing (thickened cartilage).[2]
  3. Improved joint function while supplementing.[2]
  4. Slow Disease Progression – Joint degeneration from osteoarthritis was slowed by taking glucosamine and chondroitin.[3] Trial patients delayed knee replacement at least 5 years when they treated with glucosamine and chondroitin for one year.[4]
  5. Less Medication – Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements brought pain relief without upsetting the stomach or cardiovascular side effects.[3]  Those who supplemented reduced their need for NSAIDs.[5]

If you choose to supplement with glucosamine and chondroitin I have a few tips to offer.  *Take caution if you are allergic to shellfish or seafood, as glucosamine sulfate is typically harvested from shells and chondroitin can come from shark or bovine cartilage.

DOSING

Supplement with 1,500mg glucosamine sulfate and 1,200mg chondroitin sulfate daily.  Take the full amount once daily, either in the morning or evening and be consistent.[3]

FORMULATION

For best results seek a supplement with “crystalline glucosamine sulfate.”  Trials that used this preparation had better, more reproducible results. [4],[3]

DURATION

If you choose to take glucosamine and chondroitin, initially take them for at least 3 months.  These supplements build up in the body and benefits have been shown more effective with longer treatment.[5]

The information on this website is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health condition.  Especially those with diabetes, other blood sugar problems, people taking blood thinners, or with bleeding disorders should consult their doctor prior to taking glucosamine, chondroitin, or any supplements.
References
  1. Sexton S.  2016. Chondroitin/Glucosamine Equal to Celecoxib for Knee.  American Family Physician.  93(12):1032. []
  2. Zeng C, Wei J, Li H, Wang YL, Xie DX, Yang T, Gao SG, Li YS, Luo W, Lei GH.  2105.  Effectiveness and safety of Glucosamine, chondroitin, the two in combination, or celecoxib in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.  Scientific Reports.  5:16827. [] []
  3. Kucharz EJ, Kovalenko V, Szanto S, Bruyere O, Cooper C, Reginster JY. 2016.  A review of glucosamine for knee osteoarthritis: why patented crystalline glucosamine sulfate should be differentiated from other glucosamines to maximize clinical outcomes.  Current Medical Research and Opinion.  32(6):997-1004. [] [] [] []
  4. Bruyere O, Altman RD, Reginster JY.  2016.  Efficacy and safety of glucosamine sulfate in the management of osteoarthritis: Evidence from real-life setting trials and surveys.  Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism.  45(4 Suppl):S12-7. [] []
  5. Rodionova SS, Eskin NA.  2016.  [The combination of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine (arta) for pain relief and to reduce the consumption of NSAIDs in patients with I-II stages of osteoartritis of the knee.]  Khirurgiia.  (1):67-72. [] []
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