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.
Best Glucosamine Chondroitin Supplement On The Market
There are new varieties of Glucosamine products that are coming out all the time. So, which is the Best Glucosamine Chondroitin Supplement on the Market? I have personally tried Zyflamend and Move Free and they are pretty good. The Best Joint Supplement is far superior! It has all the natural ingredients to relieve your pain as everything that rebuilds new cartilage, dissolves old scar tissues, resurface joint cartilage, and provide a natural cushioning that lets you focus on life instead of on arthritis pain. It also helps remove bone spurs by including powerful enzymes like bromelain.
It is a holistic arthritis supplement that addresses the main causes of chronic arthritis inflammation and provides joint pain relief without the dangerous side effects of prescription medications. Although it is a powerful arthritis remedy, it is gentle enough for kids to take because it’s made with all natural ingredients that promote long term health as well as protecting your joints from damage. It is superior to prescription medications for lasting pain relief and does what they do not do lubricate, rebuild and cushion your joints and stop them from attacking themselves!
Continue Learning About Glucosamine
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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Upping Your Vitamin D Intake Has Been Shown To Help With Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for building strong bones. Too little of this vital nutrient can lead to having thin, soft and brittle bones, known as osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children.
Studies also have found that a lack of vitamin D is linked to rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease characterized by swollen, aching joints and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, scientists found that vitamin D deficiency not only is highly prevalent in rheumatoid arthritis patients, but its also related to chronic pain and lower mental and physical quality of life scores. Another study revealed that a higher intake of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids may be associated with better treatment results in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis.
Ask About Steroid Injections
Physicians often use steroids like cortisone to help with the acute inflammatory process and get patients stabilized. Cortisone acts as powerful anti-inflammatory when injected into a joint it can help reduce swelling and inflammation and decrease discomfort. When cortisone is injected, its anti-inflammatory effects begin immediately, but the length of time it takes to experience pain relief can vary from days to weeks. There are a lot of misconceptions about cortisone injections because there are different types of cortisone. Generally, Dr. Sutera says, you can have three cortisone shots in as many months before taking a long break before getting another round.
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Osteoarthritis Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis In Hands
Osteoarthritis in hands is the most common form of the condition, caused when cartilage in the joints starts to break down and cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation. It primarily affects older people, while RA is most common in people ages 30 to 50. RA in the hands also causes pain, stiffness, and swelling but will come with other symptoms as well, since the disease affects your entire body.
Its Not Surprising That You Can Feel Arthritis In Your Feet: The Disease Predominantly Affects Your Joints And Your Foot Contains More Than 30 Of Them
If you live with arthritis, chances are you feel the painful effects in your feet. Feet are tremendously affected by arthritis, says Vinicius Domingues, MD, a rheumatologist in Daytona Beach, Florida, and medical advisor for CreakyJoints.
Indeed, osteoarthritis , the most common type of arthritis, affects the feet of one in six people over the age of 50. With rheumatoid arthritis , the most common type of inflammatory autoimmune arthritis, more than 90 percent of patients develop symptoms in the foot and ankle over the course of the disease. In about 20 percent of RA cases, foot and ankle symptoms are even among the first signs of the disease.
Its not surprising that you can feel arthritis in your feet: The disease predominantly affects your joints, and your foot contains more than 30 joints.
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Cheap Supplements Sourced From China
You may have been hearing about an increase in the number of reports of pet deaths and illnesses from pet products sourced from China. In fact, the FDA is currently investigating nearly 600 deaths and over 3,600 pet illnesses from pets ingesting products sourced from China. Why are people purchasing products from overseas and why are our pets getting sick? Because supplements and other pet products are not regulated by the FDA, companies are not legally obligated to report where the products are sourced. In fact, supplements can say Made in the USA on them, even if the ingredients are sourced from China.
What attracts people to buy supplements such as these? The number one reason is because they are cheaper. Pet owners are attracted to the good price tag, even though what they are giving to their pets to ingest can be much costlier in the long run. The levels of glucosamine and chondroitin in these products are lacking. And much more troublesome is the addition of toxic chemicals and bacteria as fillers .
Supplements To Avoid With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Certain dietary supplements can interact with your RA medication and lead to bad reactions.
While some dietary supplements can be a great add-on to your treatment plan, others can interact with your RA medications and lead to bad reactions.
The idea of taking a dietary supplement for rheumatoid arthritis has its appeal. Natural relief from inflammation and joint pain? Check. Fewer daily medications to swallow? Check.
In some cases, supplements can be a great addition to your RA management plan. For example, curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice known as turmeric, has been proven to lessen markers of RA inflammation, according to a review published in August 2018 in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
But the reality is that a number of dietary supplements touted for RA relief may actually do more harm than good.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, some supplements can interfere with the way your body processes other medications you might be taking.
Plus, you cant always trust the labels on supplements. The bottle may claim each dose contains a certain amount of active ingredient, but theres no way to know this for sure, as supplements are not regulated the same way conventional food and drugs are by the Food and Drug Administration .
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The First Line Of Relief For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Now lets move on to rheumatoid arthritis . As I mentioned earlier, some of the following recommendations are the same as those for osteoarthritis, but there are a couple of distinct differences.
First, attention to diet is very important to rheumatoid arthritis control even more so than in cases of osteoarthritis. Ive observed improvement in every case of rheumatoid arthritis with elimination and desensitization of food allergy, and not just elimination of nightshade vegetables. Milk and dairy are almost always major allergens in people with this form of arthritis and have even been the subject of mainstream medical research into RA . But even though dairy is usually a primary culprit, there are always multiple allergens aggravating rheumatoid arthritis. Find and work with a doctor skilled and knowledgeable in food allergy as well as nutritional medicine a good place to start is with a member of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine .
But while food allergy elimination and desensitization improve rheumatoid arthritis, sometimes dramatically and always noticeably, it doesnt cure the problem.
The Arthritis Triggers That Could Be Growing In Your Garden
The first thing I recommend for osteoarthritis is changing certain aspects of your diet. In the 1950s, Norman Childers, Ph.D., found that eliminating certain vegetables from the diet could completely eliminate arthritis symptoms in many cases. Nightshade vegetables include tomatoes, potatoes, peppers , eggplants, and tobacco. According to Dr. Childers, nightshade sensitivity isnt an allergy but actually a progressive loss of the ability to metabolize substances known as solanine alkaloids, which are found in all nightshade vegetables. Unfortunately, theres no test that can tell you if your arthritis will respond to a nightshade-free diet. Its strictly a try it and see situation.
Sometimes, osteoarthritis is aggravated by regular food allergies. If you have a personal or family history of allergies, its worth having this possibility checked out. For a list of physicians in your area who can help you with allergy screening, contact the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. There are various ways to determine specific food allergies, but skin testing is not usually an accurate tool in this case.
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How Should Glucosamine And Chondroitin Sulfate Be Taken
Its recommended that you take the amount that has been used in most clinical studies, which is 1,500 milligrams of glucosamine and 1,200 mg of chondroitin sulfate daily. As a general rule, take the dose recommended on the bottle because tablet concentrations of the supplements may vary from brand to brand.
Some physicians may recommend that glucosamine be taken as a single 1,500 mg dose at one time, rather than dividing the dose during the day. If that relieves your symptoms, you may be able to gradually decrease the amount you take after a few months. Your doctor may also suggest that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate be taken together for maximum benefit.
The length of time necessary to evaluate the supplements effect is generally a minimum of six to eight weeks, however a full trial of 12 weeks may be necessary. During this time, you should take the supplements with your current medications. If theres improvement in your pain, talk to your doctor about decreasing or stopping your other medicines for a while to see if there is a change in pain and stiffness levels.
Dosage And Side Effects
Generally, glucosamine should be taken with meals three times per day.
Doses usually range from 300500 mg with each meal, adding up to a total daily dose of 9001,500 mg. Most studies used 1,500 mg per day.
Salts of glucosamine sulfate or the Rotta formulation only need to be taken once per day. Make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging.
These supplements are considered safe and no serious side effects have been reported. Flatulence is the most common complaint.
Studies also indicate that glucosamine injections may worsen insulin sensitivity, but supplements do not seem to have the same effect (
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The Alternative Treatment So Effective Its Becoming Mainstream
Once youve determined whether or not allergies or sensitivities play a role in your arthritis, you can move on to other natural therapies, starting with glucosamine. By now, even mainstream medical doctors have heard of glucosamine. Research shows that it works by helping to stimulate the growth of new joint cartilage. This is probably why theres usually a three to four week delay after starting treatment for pain relief to begin. I recommend 500 milligrams of glucosamine sulfate three times a day.
There have been some warnings in mainstream medical publications that glucosamine might affect blood sugar control. If you have significant osteoarthritis and dont have diabetes, this theoretical possibility shouldnt be a problem. If you do have diabetes, checking your blood sugar will tell you whether the glucosamine has enough of an effect to warrant not taking it. In most cases, the improvement youll likely feel will far outweigh the possibility of any slight effect on blood sugar.
Glucosamine is often combined with chondroitin in natural arthritis formulas. But theres enough question about chondroitin and risk of prostate cancer for me to advise all men to avoid chondroitin at this time. Besides, Ive observed that glucosamine usually works just as well by itself. So just use plain glucosamine until this question is settled for good.
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.
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How Different Kinds Of Arthritis Hurt Your Feet
Various types of arthritis present differently in the feet.
- Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the first metatarsophalangeal joint that connects your big toe to your foot, although its also often found in the midfoot and ankle.
- Rheumatoid arthritis usually appears in both feet and affects the same joints in each foot. This is in contrast to OA, which typically affects one specific joint.
- Gout frequently affects only the feet, often the big toe. Read more about treating a gout flare.
- Psoriatic arthritis can also take a toll on toes, causing sausage-like swelling called dactylitis. PsA is often also accompanied by inflammation of the entheses, the places where tendons and ligaments attach to bones. In the feet this usually presents as plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes, as well as the bony projections known as bone spurs, which can cause pain if they press or rub on other bones or soft tissues.
- Ankylosing spondylitis also causes enthesitis, such as plantar fasciitis and pain at the Achilles tendon.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers Dont Take Glucosamine
In a recent column, you said that a person should NOT takeglucosamine if they have Rheumatoid Arthritis, but that it wasuseful for people with osteoarthritis. I have just been diagnosedwith Rheumatoid Arthritis and my doctor started me onglucosamine and chondroitin immediately. Why is this a problem?C.P., Coral Springs, Florida
ANSWER: I can see why this is confusing for people with arthritis. As you know, glucosamine and chondroitin are used to build cartilage within the joints. And in osteoarthritis, there is a deficit of cartilage in the joints, so these supplements are helpful.
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Kirkland Signature Glucosamine With Msm
Kirkland Signature is known for providing simple and efficient supplements that address your basic needs. This one is no exception.
The dosage of glucosamine in each tablet is solid, at 750 mg, and it has MSM, another popular joint supplement included in equal proportions.
The capsules are held together with perhaps more binders and fillers than the most stringent of purists might like, but this supplement is still a winner.
Glucosamine And Chondroitin: Which Brands To Avoid Which To Buy
The top brand was: Kirkland Signature Extra Strength Glucosamine HCL and Chondroitin Sulfate , which contained more than 100% of the labeled amounts and cost only $0.25 per day for a therapeutic dose.
Brands ranked 2-5 were:
- Spring Value Glucosamine & Chondroitin Double Strength
- Target Triple Strength Glucosamine and Chondroitin Complex
- Vitamin World Glucosamine Chondroitin Double Strength
- Vitasmart Double Strength Glucosamine & Chondroitin
A therapeutic dose of these cost between $0.40 and $0.40 per day.
Other brands tested containe adequate amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin but cost as much as $1.25/day for a therapeutic dose.
Consumer Reports characterized two brands as inadequate. This is because they contained significantly less chondroitin than the label said.
These two brands are:
- FlexAble Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sugar Free Chewables with Vitamin C which had only 60% of the labeled amount of chondroitin
- Trader Darwin’s Glucosamine Chondroitin which had only 10% of the labeled amount.
Buy a copy of the book Conquering Arthritis at regular price and receive a free copy the article, ‘Researching Promising Arthritis Therapies Using PubMed.’
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Often Used To Treat Bone And Joint Disorders
Glucosamine supplements are frequently taken to treat various bone and joint conditions. Most scientific research on glucosamine has focused on the use of one specific form called glucosamine sulfate.
This molecule has been well-studied for its potential to treat symptoms and disease progression associated with osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis , and osteoporosis.
Multiple studies indicate that taking daily glucosamine sulfate supplements may offer effective, long-term treatment for OA by significantly reducing pain, helping maintain joint space, and slowing disease progression (
Based on the conflicting evidence, some scientific organizations recommend against the use of glucosamine for managing knee osteoarthritis .
As such, more human research is needed to better understand the mechanisms of and best applications for glucosamine in joint and bone diseases.
Though glucosamine is used frequently to treat various bone and joint conditions, more research on its effects is needed.
People often use glucosamine to treat a wide variety of chronic inflammatory diseases, although scientific data to support this is limited.