Conflicting information and studies exist regarding the efficacy of the glucosamine and chondroitin supplement. Our goal is to familiarize you with the origin, purpose and effects of this supplement, to provide recent research, and hopefully better empower you the consumer to make an informed decision before purchasing this product.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are substances found naturally in the body. Glucosamine is a form of amino sugar that can play a role in the formation and repair of cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate is part of a large protein molecule (proteoglycan) that gives cartilage elasticity and helps provide resistance to compression.
Both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are sold as dietary or nutritional supplements. Glucosamine comes from animals, mostly shellfish such as crab, lobster and shrimp. Chondroitin is extracted from animal cartilage such as shark. Some studies show that some people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis who take either glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate reported pain relief at a level similar to that of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Some research indicates that the supplements might also slow cartilage damage in people with osteoarthritis.
The number of side effects associated with the use of glucosamine & chondroitin are said to be minimal. The most common side effects are increased intestinal gas and softened stools. While there haven’t been reports issued in regards to allergic reactions to glucosamine, those who suffer from shellfish allergy should use caution, consult a physician or stay on the safe side and avoid the products all together. Chondroitin has been known to cause bleeding in people who take a blood thinner or have a bleeding disorder. Studies are continuously being done to confirm the safety and effectiveness of the supplements. Again, please consult your physician before using this product.
This information was excerpted from the Arthritis Foundation brochure Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate.
The 2006 New England Journal report was accompanied by an editorial which concluded:
[Based on this study], it seems prudent to tell our patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee that neither glucosamine hydrochloride nor chondroitin sulfate alone has been shown to be more efficacious than placebo for the treatment of knee pain. If patients choose to take dietary supplements to control their symptoms, they should be advised to take glucosamine sulfate rather than glucosamine hydrochloride. For those with severe pain, taking chondroitin sulfate with glucosamine sulfate may have an additive effect. Three months of treatment is a sufficient period for the evaluation of efficacy; if there is no clinically significant decrease in symptoms by this time, the supplements should be discontinued. Furthermore, there is no evidence that these agents prevent osteoarthritis in healthy persons or in persons with knee pain but normal radiographs (1).
This information is provided to help you make an informed decision regarding this product line. Our Jay Robb product is a glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate mix that comes in 180 tablet bottle. I have suffered from a condition called chondromalacia, a condition that deteriorates the cartilage within the knee joint and has caused prolonged discomfort and sometimes severe pain since I was 20 years old. Having used this product for about 5 years, without the aid of Ibuprofen or Aspirin, along with a consistent exercise and flexibility program, I have maintained a very active lifestyle and am training for my first half marathon this year. My advice is to consult your physician, research the product and enable yourself to make a good decision for you.
1. Hochberg MC. Nutritional supplements for knee osteoarthritis—Still no resolution. New England Journal of medicine 354:848-850, 2006.