Why Getilapson Joint Health
Chondroitin is a natural substance found in the human body and a major component of cartilage, which helps build connective tissue throughout the body, including those that form joints and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Because it works by retaining water, it helps add lubrication and flexibility to tissue and joints.
When found in supplement form, it can either be derived naturally from the cartilage of animals (including cows, pigs or sharks) or man-made. Drinking bone broth is probably the greatest way to obtain both glucosamine and chondroitin at home.(6)
Glucosamine and chondroitin are part of normal cartilage. Cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones in a joint.
Glucosamine, also called chitosamine, is a natural substance that is found in the covering of shellfish. It is available in different forms, including glucosamine hydrochloride, N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG), and glucosamine sulfate, which is a combination of glucosamine and mineral salt. Glucosamine is also available in synthetic forms. The body absorbs glucosamine well.
Chondroitin can come from natural sources, such as shark or bovine cartilage, or it can be made in a lab. Chondroitin is also known as chondroitin sulfate, chondroitin sulfuric acid, and chonsurid. Chondroitin sulfate is a combination of chondroitin and mineral salt.(7)
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. Glucosamine may be taken separately as a dietary supplement for joints.(8)
What are our Joint Health Ingredients
What Is MSM and Can It Help My Arthritis?
MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, is a supplement that is used to try to help a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, allergies, and even snoring.
MSM is an odorless and tasteless natural sulfur compound found in all living things. Sulfur is needed by the body for healthy connective tissue and joint function and has purported pain-quashing and anti-inflammatory properties.
While MSM is found in many foods — including meat, fish, certain fruit, vegetables, and grains — it is destroyed when foods are processed. MSM supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years and many people feel they have had some pain relief since taking MSM. Although some studies have reported improvement in pain with MSM, more research needs to be done to support its use as an arthritis supplement.(1)
What Is Chondroitin?
Chondroitin is a major component of cartilage that helps it retain water. It is made by the body naturally. For production of supplements, it can be manufactured from the cartilage of animals, like cows, pigs or sharks, or it can be made in the laboratory. The supplement is sold as chondroitin sulfate. In many European countries it is approved as a prescription treatment for OA. In the U.S., it is often combined with a glucosamine supplement.(2)
What Is Glucosamine?
Like chondroitin, glucosamine is a natural compound found in healthy cartilage, particularly in the fluid around the joints. For dietary supplements, it is harvested from shells of shellfish or can be made in the laboratory. It can come in several chemical forms, but the one most used in arthritis is glucosamine sulfate. In laboratory tests, glucosamine showed anti-inflammatory properties and even appeared to help cartilage regeneration.(3)
Benefits of Joint Health Research & Study
Chondroitin Sulfate in Osteoarthritis
Chondroitin may provide additional pain relief for some people with knee and hand osteoarthritis. The benefit is usually modest (about 8 to 10 percent improvement) and it works slowly (up to 3 months). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD), which has rated and evaluated more than 80,000 natural drug ingredients and commercial dietary supplements, classified chondroitin as “possibly effective” for knee OA.
A 2011 study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism found chondroitin sulfate to modestly relieve pain and improve function in people with hand OA (the results of this study were not yet taken into account by the NMCD for their recommendation). The supplement was made from fish and taken daily at a dose of 800 mg for 6 months. Patients reported some improvement after 3 months of treatment. A shorter duration of morning stiffness was also noticed. Chondroitin did not improve grip strength. In addition, patients treated with chondroitin did not use less pain medication (acetaminophen) than those taking placebo.
Because no side effects due to chondroitin were reported, it can be tried as an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for patients who cannot take NSAIDs and who need long-term treatment. Chondroitin and NSAIDs have not been compared head-to-head; however, other studies of NSAIDs in patients with hand OA showed a similar improvement in hand pain and function as found with chondroitin. The NSAIDs relieve pain more rapidly than chondroitin sulfate, but they may cause more serious side effects (increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, heart attack or stroke, and interactions with other medications), particularly in elderly patients.(4)
Glucosamine in Osteoarthritis
Glucosamine may provide modest pain relief for some patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, hip and spine. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database classified glucosamine as “likely effective” for osteoarthritis, thus rating it higher than chondroitin. Most of the studies included in the recommendation were done in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Because glucosamine is very safe, it can be tried in place of NSAIDs in patients who need long-term treatment and cannot take NSAIDs.
However, some studies show that glucosamine provides the same pain relief as a placebo (a pill that does not contain any medicine). This is called a “placebo effect,” in which the patients expect to feel better, so they do. An example is a study published in 2010 in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found glucosamine did not provide additional pain relief compared to placebo in people with chronic lower back pain caused by osteoarthritis in the lower spine. Half of the participants took glucosamine (1,500 milligrams daily) and the other half took a placebo. Both groups said their lower back pain improved by about 50 percent over one year. However, due to small number of people involved in the study, more research is needed to confirm these results for lower spine OA.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Combination in Osteoarthritis
The most comprehensive long-term study of any supplement—the Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT)—looked at the combination of chondroitin and glucosamine, both supplements individually, celecoxib (Celebrex) and placebo in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
The first phase of GAIT found that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate showed significant relief in a smaller subgroup of study participants with moderate-to-severe knee pain. But there was no effect in the group with mild pain. Those results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006.
The second phase of the GAIT study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism in 2008 looked at preventing joint damage in the knee. The combination of glucosamine and chondroitin appeared to be no more effective at preventing joint damage caused by osteoarthritis than a placebo. While the differences between the groups were not statistically significant, the participants who lost the least amount of joint space over two years were in the groups taking either glucosamine alone or chondroitin alone. It is possible that taking the two supplements together might limit their absorption into the body, explaining the lower effect of the supplement combination.
In the third phase looking at a total of four years, the supplements in combination or alone had no greater benefit in knee pain relief than celecoxib or placebo. Although the results were not statistically significant, celecoxib achieved the highest odds of attaining at least 20% reduction in pain. These results were published in 2010 in the journal Annals of Rheumatic Disease.(9)