Glucosamine And Chondroitin For Osteoarthritis


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Glucosamine and chondroitin are two of the types of molecules that make up the cartilage that is found in the joints of the body. The cartilage is formed and repaired by the glucosamine and chondroitin is responsible for making up the resiliency of the cartilage. As we get older, the body does not produce as much of these molecules and we can begin to get degenerative joint problems such as osteoarthritis.

Glucosamine and chondroitin can be purchased as a nutritional supplement to reduce pain and swelling of osteoarthritis as well as to repair and strengthen the cartilage of the afflicted joints.

Studies of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements have not been able to conclude that the supplements have actually provided repair or new formation of healthy cartilage in patients with osteoarthritis. However, it should be noted that these studies are only conducted for an average of two months time, and therefore the supplements may not have been given enough time to work.

On the other hand, studies have concluded a significant decrease in the pain and swelling of the joints in patients with osteoarthritis when taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements regularly.

A few longer term studies have been conducted on glucosamine and chondroitin with positive results. A three year study of glucosamine in Europe showed that osteoarthritis patients given glucosamine supplements, rather than a placebo, not only reported less pain, but had positive x-ray results of the cartilage of their affected joints. A recent three month study of chondroitin, in which the results were combined with previous short terms studies, showed that patients had a significant reduction of their osteoarthritis pain. Long term studies of glucosamine and chondroitin are planned.

Side effects of glucosamine and chondroitin are rare and those that have been reported are typically very mild. These have included nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, glucosamine is part glucose and should be avoided, or carefully monitored, by diabetics. Glucosamine is also usually made from shellfish, so those with shellfish allergies should also avoid glucosamine supplements or look for a supplement that is made with corn.

If you are unsure whether to take a glucosamine and chondroitin combination supplement to help with your arthritis pain, you should speak with your physician. As with all osteoarthritis pain management options, a healthy diet and daily exercise, and weight loss if needed, should be part of the plan. No medication or supplement, not even glucosamine and chondroitin, will be as therapeutic alone as with the help of diet and exercise.

Glucosamine and chondroitin combination supplements can be purchased in powder or liquid form from a health food store or online. The powder form should be mixed with water or fruit juice to the recommended dosage every day and if there is no improvement after three months, the glucosamine and chondroitin supplements should be discontinued.

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