Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate

Millions people suffer from osteoarthritis, an often painful condition in which the cushioning cartilage between bones wears away. Many people are trying new therapies and dietary supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate in their search for relief.http://www.ebiochem.com

Glucosamine is found naturally in the body. It stimulates the formation and repair of articular cartilage. Over-the-counter supplements come from animal sources. Chondroitin sulfate is another natural substance found in the body. It prevents other body enzymes from degrading the building blocks of joint cartilage. The type sold in health-food stores and pharmacies is derived from animal products.http://www.ebiochem.com

Both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have been used in Europe for several years, with few reported side effects. Both supplements also have some anti-inflammatory effects that may account for the pain relief.http://www.ebiochem.com

But there is no proof that either substance, taken singly or in combination, will actually slow the degenerative process or restore cartilage in arthritic joints. All studies done to date have been short and focused on pain relief. A long-term study is just beginning, sponsored by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.http://www.ebiochem.com

Dietary supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are not tested or analyzed by the Food and Drug Administration before they are sold to consumers. That means consumers can’t be sure they’re getting what they pay for when they purchase bottles labeled “Glucosamine/Chondroitin.”http://www.ebiochem.com

Why many people take Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a natural compound that is found in healthy cartilage. In the past, some researchers thought glucosamine may actually slow progression of the disease, unlike other current medical treatments for OA. Many people take either acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), for OA pain. In addition, some of these drugs can cause stomach upset, cramps, constipation, diarrhea, and in some cases, stomach ulcers and infertility. from:ebiochem.com

Glucosamine is often combined with chondroitin sulfate, a molecule naturally present in cartilage. Chondroitin gives cartilage elasticity and is believed to prevent the destruction of cartilage by enzymes. Glucosamine is sometimes combined with methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, in nutritional supplements. Because glucosamine can help the everyday rebuilding of the connective tissues around your joints,  including your tendons, ligaments and cartilage. These tissues are continuously being formed and reformed during normal everyday activity. from:ebiochem.com

Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, dietary supplements should be taken only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider. Studies suggest that glucosamine is safe, and causes only minor side effects, such as stomach upset, heartburn, indigestion, gas, bloating, nauseau, and diarrhea. If these occur, try taking glucosamine with food. People with peptic ulcers should take glucosamine sulfate with food. from:ebiochem.com