What Are The Possible Risks
- Shellfish allergy: most glucosamine supplements are made from shellfish, although some made from non-shellfish sources are now available.
- Bleeding: people taking the blood thinning medicine warfarin should talk to their doctor before starting, stopping or changing their dose of glucosamine or chondroitin. These supplements may interact with warfarin and make the blood less likely to clot or increase the risk of bleeding.
- Diabetes: glucosamine is a type of sugar so check with your doctor before taking glucosamine if you have diabetes.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women: there have not been enough long-term studies to clearly say that glucosamine is safe for a developing baby. Pregnant women should talk to their doctor before taking glucosamine.
- Other side effects: upset stomach , headaches, and skin reactions.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether you should be trying these medications, whether they are safe for you and, if you decide to try them, make sure you get the right dose.
High-quality evidence shows little or no benefit from glucosamine or chondroitin for OA. If you want to try these supplements, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether they are safe for you.
What To Know About Glucosamine Supplements: They Arent All The Same
Naturally found in joint fluid, the glucosamine in oral supplements is laboratory made or comes from glucosamine found in shellfish. The study used a specific type of glucosamine a prescription form of glucosamine sulfate salt, which underwent stabilization processing, unlike the over-the-counter forms. This means other types and forms of the supplement may not work the same. The glucosamine sulfate salt studied here used the same dose as studied in previous research, which showed a reduction in factors that were activated in an inflammatory pathway. Other forms of unstable concentrations may or may not affect this pathway, says Angie Botto-van Bemden, PhD, Director of OA Programs for the Arthritis Foundation, who is based in Atlanta.
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What Are Glucosamine And Chondroitin Made Up Of
Glucosamine and chondroitin are cartilage components that the body naturally produces. By supplementing the cartilage tissue, discomfort and swelling in the joints that are most prone to be affected by osteoarthritis can be lessened. Also, this can prevent the breakdown of connective tissues.
Chondroitin is derived from the cartilage of cow tracheas, whereas glucosamine is derived from shellfish shells . Their chemical composition is similar to cartilage molecules, and their manufacturers claim that they help worn cartilage. However, medical experts and researchers are skeptical about their benefits.
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Does Glucosamine Really Help Joint Pain
Lots of people take glucosamine to help them with pains in their joints, but is there hard evidence that it improves things, asks Dr Chris van Tulleken.
Of all the supplements on the shelves purporting to aid one part of our body or another, the most popular by a long way are those that are supposed to help our joints – and most of those contain glucosamine.
In 2014 the world bought over 29,000 tons of the stuff. Pretty impressive considering its benefits in clinical trials remain controversial. So what’s going on? Why do so many people swear by it?
Glucosamine is certainly important in our bodies – it’s one of the building blocks of cartilage, ligaments and tendons – all possible causes of pain in a creaky joint. The theory is, then, that supplying our bodies with more of this building block might give it what it needs to make repairs. Since glucosamine is also one of the building blocks of chitin – the material that makes up the shells of crustaceans and shellfish – they are a convenient source for the supplement industry .
When it comes to the evidence that popping prawn pills can help our joints, though, things get fishy. Usually the problem with supplement pills is lack of studies – there simply isn’t enough funding available for large-scale independent trials. Not so with glucosamine.
Glucosamine Sulphate Trials For Osteoarthritis
A review article of 18 trials investigating the effectiveness of glucosamine sulphate in treating osteoarthritis was published in 2005. A further four trials published since 2007 evaluated the effect of glucosamine sulphate in the treatment of hip and knee osteoarthritis. A second review article compared the clinical effectiveness and safety of glucosamine sulphate with those of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
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Good News: Study Not Funded By Industry
John Erickson, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center in North Carolina, points out that this particular study was not funded by any supplement maker, which is nice because a lot of the studies on supplements are industry-funded and are to subject to bias. This study needs to be followed up with a randomized controlled trial to prove that it works, but this is a promising start. Based on this, its reasonable to have patients try it for two to three months.
Are The Claims Reasonable
Chondroitin and glucosamine are both found naturally in the bodys cartilage and synovial fluid . Chondroitin lubricates joints, supporting the natural elasticity of your cartilage whilst glucosamine helps the body repair and maintain cartilage . The issue is not whether both occur naturally, but whether taking them in supplement form does any good.
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The Good And Bad Of Glucosamine
A recent report by ConsumerLab.com uncovered that many joint supplements on the market contain lead and other contaminants. In fact, only 50% of the joint supplements tested passed ConsumerLab.coms quality criteria. In addition to harmful chemicals found in glucosamine and chondroitin joint supplements for animals, ConsumerLab.com also found that the levels of glucosamine and chondroitin advertised in the ingredients list were much smaller than advertised. In fact, one joint supplement product only contained 4.5% of the amount of chondroitin advertised, another contained no chondroitin , and another contained arsenic. The scary thing is that many of the products tested are name brands ones that you can buy online from popular pet medicine dispensaries and pet stores.
Even though there is a widely held belief that natural joint supplements are generally safe, you can see why this is not always the case. In a recent report published in The Canadian Veterinary Journal, toxicity levels of the joint supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin were reported when a studying dogs who overdosed. When taking large amounts of joint supplements, many dogs exhibit symptoms of hepatotoxicity. Drs. Irma J. Nobles and Safdar Khan suggest that many of the cases of joint supplement toxicity is because the FDA is not required to regulate herbal supplements for safety.
Use Of Glucosamine For Joint Health
Globally, glucosamine has its popularity as the most effective supplement for osteoarthritis .
In the case of RA , our bodys immune system starts attacking itself, leading to connective tissue and cartilage destruction. Unlike OA, this destruction doesnt depend on the wear and tear of daily life. There are reliable sources that recommend the use of glucosamine supplements for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine plays its beneficial role in joint health by :
- Reducing the concentration of pro-inflammatory factors in the body as interleukin-6, interleukin-1, and tumor necrosis factor
- Improving the synthesis of specialized proteoglycans which can inhibit the degradation of cartilage and improve the joint mobility and functioning
Furthermore, glucosamine also helps in refining the cellular redox state, which in turn:
- Reduces the oxidative damage
- Upregulates or enhances enzyme levels and anti-oxidant proteins
- Inhibits the reactive oxygen species production
- Delays the osteoarthritis progression
The most characteristic features of arthritis are pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. Lack of ROM and mobility are the secondary symptoms of arthritis. In conclusion, glucosamine can significantly improve these symptoms and the range of motion of the joint.
Rheumatoid Arthritis causes joint deformity.
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Turmeripure Hip & Joint Treats
Turmeripure is a US company sourcing their pesticide free ingredients in the US, maximizing the potency with high concentrations of glucosamine and supporting ingredients like curcumin, MSM, green lipped mussels and hemp oil. This is the highest quality formula weve found. These are sold in treat form and are manufactured in the USA in a certified GMP plant, which means the product has FDA oversight and everything in the product has been tested to contain exactly what it claims in include and nothing else. Turmeripure isnt in the major stores yet but can be ordered on their website:
What Do Glucosamine And Chondroitin Sulfate Do
A number of well designed clinical studies have been done mostly in Europe to determine the effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin, and the results are mixed. Several studies have demonstrated some degree of pain relief and improved joint function in people with mild to moderate OA who took these supplements. Other studies have shown no benefit at all.
In studies where the supplements were reported to work, results showed they provided pain relief at a level similar to that of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium . However, more recent studies performed in North America and the United Kingdom havent confirmed these benefits.
Two studies performed by a manufacturer of glucosamine sulfate supplements suggest that glucosamine sulfate may be helpful for not only relieving pain but also for slowing cartilage loss in people with knee OA. Two studies performed by another manufacturer have suggested that chondroitin sulfate may slow cartilage loss in people with knee OA.
The National Institutes of Health recently completed the Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial , a long-term clinical study of glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate in people with OA of the knee. The study looked at two specific issues: whether glucosamine and/or chondroitin could treat the pain of OA in the knee, and whether the dietary supplements could help reduce damage and slow the breakdown of cartilage surrounding the knee.
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Supplement Formulations And Doses Of Glucosamine
Glucosamine is in several forms or formulations as:
- N-acetyl glucosamine
- Glucosamine sulfate
- Glucosamine hydrochloride
A combination of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine can work the best in several clinical trials. In addition, glucosamine sulfate has several benefits over other formulations for arthritis conditions.
Glucosamine is available in the form of intramuscular and oral formulations
In terms of the oral formulations, the recommended dosage of glucosamine is:
- 250 mg tablets or capsule three times a day with meals
- The treatment duration should at least be six weeks or longer according to your needs
In the case of intramuscular glucosamine administration, the recommended dosage is
- 400-800 mg glucosamine three times a week for at least four to six weeks or even longer
Furthermore, glucosamine therapy is beneficial if you repeat it at an interval of two months or at a time when your symptoms recur .
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Effectiveness Of Glucosamine And Chondroitin Sulfate For Osteoarthritis
Conventional medicine does not yet have a proven treatment to stop or slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
The nutritional supplements glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have emerged as a treatment alternative for some patients suffering from osteoarthritis pain.
Perhaps the most important aspect of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements is that they are thought to help slow or prevent the degeneration of joint cartilage, the underlying cause of osteoarthritis pain. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate dietary supplements may also help alleviate existing joint pain. Presently, it is thought that unlike many medications available to treat arthritis pain and inflammation, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements have very few side effects.
However, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate nutritional supplements do not offer the desired pain relief for all osteoarthritis patients. At the time of this article, the benefits and risks of taking glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have not been definitively proven, and long term studies are needed to better understand their effects.
How Glucosamine Helps Osteoarthritis
Glucosamine sulfate functions as the primary building block for proteoglycans, large molecules in cartilage that give it viscoelastic properties. This molecule stimulates the formation and repair of articular cartilage. When taken orally, glucosamine sulfate is absorbed readily into the system and can be traced to cartilage as soon as four hours after consumption.
Similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , glucosamine sulfate has been shown to have unique anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, in some laboratory tests, the glucosamine supplement demonstrated a protective effect on the cartilage. These studies suggest that glucosamine sulfate may inhibit the breakdown of cartilage associated with osteoarthritis and may have the potential to help build-up cartilage.1
Glucosamine hydrochloride, another form of glucosamine, is also available as a nutritional supplement, but is considered less effective for the treatment of osteoarthritis. This is because the sulfate moiety, not present in this formulation, is believed to play an important role in strengthening the cartilage and aiding in proteoglycan synthesis. This hypothesis has not yet been confirmed.
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Are There Safe Joint Supplements On The Market
You can safely buy quality glucosamine chondroitin supplements for your dogs health. You just have to be vigilant. There is no question that joint supplements can help dogs suffering from arthritis. However, you need to buy the right supplements. What are the right supplements to buy? As previously mentioned, some products are legally labelled as Made in USA when the products are actually sourced from China. When choosing which supplements to purchase, it is necessary to inquire about the products source before using.
The solution to keeping your pets safe from toxic chemicals and bacteria, while proactively decreasing the pain associated with arthritis? Only purchase lab grade glucosamine chondroitin made with ingredients sourced in the USA or in other countries with strict regulatory oversight and testing. With the right joint supplements for decreased pain, increased mobility, and decreased joint inflammation, your dogs will be showing more pep in their steps in no time.
How Do Glucosamine And Chondroitin Work
Chondroitin and glucosamine are thought to be chondroprotective . In addition to glucosamine, chondroitin helps pull water and nutrients into the cartilage, maintaining its elasticity.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin have been shown to inhibit cartilage breakdown, reducing joint discomfort and promoting healthy joints in studies.
- They also help maintain cartilage structure, since glucosamine and chondroitin contain anti-inflammatory qualities that can help minimize cartilage degeneration and pain in the joints.
To summarize, when these supplements are taken together, they do the following:
- Maintain and promote joint health
- Assist in the relief of mild to moderatejoint pain
- Assist in the growth and production of healthy joint cartilage
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What Is The Recommended Dose
- Glucosamine sulfate: 1500mg per day
- Glucosamine hydrochloride: 1500mg per day
- Chondroitin sulfate: 800 1000mg per day
Different brands contain different amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin. Read the label carefully to see how many tablets you need to take to get the right dose, or ask your pharmacist for advice.
More Study Needed But A Positive Beginning
I think this is an interesting study, which will hopefully lead to a new interventional option for patients who havent had satisfactory results from conventional therapy alone. We know placebo effect is high with glucosamine, yet we can account for this with novel questionnaires to address individual patient beliefs. I will be interested to see additional longer-term studies showing sustained benefit and safety while accounting for the placebo effect. This study shows it is safe, effective, and may be a good option for patients in addition to therapy. Or maybe we can eventually try glucosamine sulfate prior to NSAIDs or acetaminophen, which have reported side effects, says Dr. Botto-van Bemden.
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A Landmark Study Of Glucosamine And Chondroitin
A 2016 study of glucosamine and chondroitin enrolled 164 patients with knee pain due to osteoarthritis and gave half of them a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin the other half received an identical placebo pill. The study was stopped early for an unusual reason: those taking the supplement actually reported worse symptoms than those taking a placebo. This raises the possibility that taking glucosamine and chondroitin might make your joints feel worse than doing nothing.
Did this study or subsequent research spell the end of people taking glucosamine, chondroitin, or both? Not at all! While the evidence of benefit is certainly not compelling, some studies have found that these supplements provide modest benefit, and people who feel it is helping them may not care so much about individual studies anyway. Even if a treatment is not effective on average, there may be folks who, for whatever reason, get real relief from it. Finally, people are taking glucosamine and/or chondroitin for a number of reasons and conditions other than osteoarthritis of the hip or knee, so these studies may not apply to them.
Are There Side Effects From Glucosamine And Chondroitin Sulfate
The most common side effects of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are indigestion and nausea. Diarrhea, constipation, vomiting or heartburn may also occur. Significant adverse events have not been associated with long-term use of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you notice any unusual or new symptoms while taking glucosamine and/or chondroitin sulfate.
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