March 02 2021
Two of the popular supplements for the treatment of osteoarthritis include Glucosamine and Chondroitin. If we see the statistics, nearly 2.6% of the population has taken either one or both of these products. Though mixed results have been found about the utility of glucosamine and chondroitin supplement in osteoarthritis, there is some evidence saying that glucosamine and chondroitin help to relieve the pain in Osteoarthritis.
Before exploring the benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin in osteoarthritis, let us have an overview of these supplements.
What are glucosamine and chondroitin?
Cartilage is the connective tissue that cushions your joints. And glucosamine and chondroitin are the compounds found in it. These supplements are either formed in the lab or are obtained from the cartilage of various animals like pigs, cows and shellfish.
You will find glucosamine in various forms in the market. It's being sold in the form of glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. Though both glucosamine and chondroitin are available individually as well, often these are sold in a single supplement.
The glucosamine and chondroitin supplement is often prescribed for the treatment of Osteoarthritis in many European countries. After having an overview about these supplements, let us now understand how these supplements work.
How does Glucosamine and chondroitin supplement work?
So what happens in osteoarthritis is that the cartilage is degenerated leading to pain, swelling and other symptoms. Glucosamine and chondroitin have anti-inflammatory properties and help in relieving their pain. Chris D'Adamo is the director of Research and Education at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Centre for Integrative medicine. He says, “They also have some cartilage-protecting effects through a variety of mechanisms."
The structure of cartilage is maintained by the cells called chondrocytes and what glucosamine and chondroitin do is that they protect these chondrocytes. It is being theorized that these supplements have the potential to slow down the deterioration of the cartilage in joints.
After understanding what glucosamine and chondroitin are and how they work, let us now aware ourselves with evidence of these supplements being beneficial in osteoarthritis.
So there is a study termed Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial abbreviated as GAIT. The study compared the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin, both supplements individually and celecoxib and placebo in 1600 individuals suffering from osteoarthritis.
So the first phase of the study found that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin helped small subgroups of people with moderate and severe knee pain. In the follow up the study found that these supplements improve pain and functionality, though not better than placebo or celecoxib, NSAID Drug(Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug).
After the GAIT trial, many larger studies found positive results of the supplements. D'Adamo said that if we look at the totality of evidence for glucosamine and chondroitin for osteoarthritis of the knee, then it is very strong.
Another multinational study called MOVES found that glucosamine and chondroitin are as effective as celecoxib for the treatment of osteoarthritis pain. It is believed that glucosamine and chondroitin supplement is a good alternative for those who are not good candidates for NSAIDs because of underlying GI or cardiovascular problems.
Joint space narrowing is another sign of cartilage degeneration. A study has found that these supplements can help in reducing this joint space narrowing.
Which form is best?
Some studies say that chondroitin is superior while others say that glucosamine is more effective. On the other hand, some people prefer the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin. Talking about the forms of glucosamine, studies suggest that glucosamine sulfate is more effective than glucosamine hydrochloride.
Are these glucosamine and chondroitin supplements safe?
Surely, these supplements are considered safe with no serious side effects being reported. But it is worth mentioning that these supplements do interact with blood thinners like warfarin.
Apart from the interaction with warfarin, these supplements may affect your blood glucose level. Also, some studies say that these supplements can raise eye pressure thereby increasing the risk of glaucoma. Hence if you have diabetes or glaucoma, intake of these supplements is not recommended. Else you will have to monitor your blood sugar levels and eye pressure more closely while you take these supplements.
The Bottom Line
The National Centre for complementary and integrative health(NCCIH) says that evidence on how useful glucosamine is for Osteoarthritis pain is unclear and chondroitin is not helpful But these supplements are not at all harmful. This means that there is not strong evidence that the benefits of these supplements outweigh the risk. Nevertheless, these supplements could prove to be beneficial for people with osteoarthritis.
So if you are looking to take these supplements, check with your doctor first to make sure it's safe for you and it won't interact with other drugs that you might be taking. D'Adamo says that it takes weeks to manifest the effectiveness at its best level and hence it becomes important on our part to be more patient. It is believed that these supplements are different from NSAID and hence there won't be immediate results But an advantage of these supplements over COX2 inhibitors that they come with mesh side effects.
Check out Alvizia Glucosamine chondroitin supplement. It is believed to support your joints to make them more healthy. The key ingredients of the supplement include glucosamine, chondroitin. With age, our joint damages. However, the supplement will help you to reduce the pain caused by the damage. With this supplement, you can build the cartilage naturally. Glucosamine chondroitin formulas help you increase bone strength. The supplement is indicated in various joint problems including knee pain, joint pain, osteoarthritis, sprain, strain, back pain, jaw pain and shoulder pain.
Glucosamine sulfate will help you to build cartilage while the anti-inflammatory effect will be produced by chondroitin sulfate. This will reduce the painful swelling in your joints.
Glucosamine acts as a natural shock-absorbent and joint lubricant meaning that it allows the smooth movement of the joint. So if you have a history of bone pain, low bone density or bone fracture, then try checking out the supplement.