Joint Health: Will Glucosamine & Chondroitin Help Joint Pain?

If you’re looking for a supplement that may ease joint pain, glucosamine andr chondroitin might be the answer for you. These two compounds are often put together into one supplement and are purported to help in the battle against osteoarthritis. But don’t get your hopes up too high. Some studies show they give relief for mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis, but others show they are of little value in reducing osteoarthritis knee pain. Still, it’s worth a try, and they may work for other joint support too.

What are Glucosamine & Chondroitin?

Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural chemical compounds found in your body. The glucosamine in your body helps maintain the health of your cartilage, that rubbery soft tissue that cushions your bones where they meet at your joints. As we age, our levels of glucosamine diminish, and that leads to a breakdown of cartilage, which in turn leads to the pain of bone grinding on bone, or osteoarthritis.

Glucosamine supplements are manufactured from the shellfish, so watch out if you’re allergic. Chondroitin can come from natural sources, such as shark or bovine cartilage, or it can be produced artificially in a lab. Glucosamine and chondroitin are available in tablet, capsule, powder, or liquid form and are often taken in combination with each other or in combination with other dietary supplements.Cartilage can also disappear due to an injury to the joint or repeated stress, and is often found in high performance athletes as well as weekend warriors.

Glucosamine/Chondroitin Risks and Dosage

As a rule, glucosamine is a fairly safe supplement. Side effects, if any, can include upset tummy, headache, sleepiness or heartburn. As mentioned before, if you have a shellfish allergy this is not the supplement for you! If you have heart or kidney disease, high blood pressure, bleeding disorders or diabetes, check with your doctor before taking glucosamine, and note that it’s not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or for children, only because there isn’t enough evidence yet as to whether it’s safe for these groups or not.

For adults over the age of 18, an initial dose of 1500 mg of glucosamine and 1200 of chondroitin daily for one to two months is considered safe. If a positive response is obtained after two months, the dose can be reduced to 1000 mg of glucosamine and 800 of chondroitin or less, and you and your doctor will have to fine tune your dosage together.

Give glucosamine & chondroitin a try – you may be one of the lucky ones that find joint pain relief!