Glucosamine and chrondroitin are popular for joint injury or joint pain relief. Glucosamine, which naturally occurs in the body, plays a key role in the construction of cartilage, the tough connective tissue that cushions the joints. Cartilage is slowly lost in our joints with age and/or injury. Scientists speculate that the decrease in cartilage results, at least partially, from the body not making or absorbing enough glucosamine. Because cartilage work as a lubricant, this loss causes friction and pain.
Evidence from many well-designed trials indicates that glucosamine may be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis. In general, findings from these studies suggest that glucosamine provides several benefits for people with osteoarthritis including pain reduction, improved function and mobility, and slowed progress or even prevention of joint destruction. A large-scale study sponsored by the National Institute of Health involving over 1500 patients showed that 79% of the patients with moderate to several pain had significantly decreased knee pain when taking the glucosamine chondroitin combination. Patients experiencing mild knee pain were not affected.
Side effects: The majority of studies indicate that glucosamine and chondroitin are safe, and causes only minor side effects that could include stomach upset, heartburn, indigestion, gas bloating, and diarrhea. If these symptoms occur, glucosamine should be taken with food. Those with peptic ulcers should take glucosamine with food.
Glucosamine sulfate may contain high amounts of sodium or potassium, so individuals on a restricted diet or taking potassium-sparing diuretics should carefully check the label before taking glucosamine supplements. CFN’s Glucosamine & Chondroitin contains 110 mg sodium (4% RDA) and 245 mg potassium (6% RDA).
The Center for Nutrition recommends 1500 mg glucosamine sulfate and 1200 mg chondroitin sulfate for moderate and severe joint pain from osteoarthritis. 1 tablet dose taken three times daily. Benefits are typically noted in 6-12 weeks.