If you suffer from the pain of osteoarthritis, you may be wondering if the dietary supplements glucosamine and chondroitin will help relieve your pain and rebuild your cartilage.
Glucosamine is found in cartilage and connective tissue. It is a type of sugar produced by the body.
It is often paired in supplements with chondroitin sulfate, which helps cartilage retain water.
The supplements are typically manufactured using animal products, including lobster, crab, or shrimp shells, and shark cartilage.
While numerous studies have been conducted on these supplements, results have been mixed. The supplements seem to work well for some people, and not at all for others.
Study results have been hard to replicate and a variety of different formulations of glucosamine and chondroitin have been used in various studies.
Only two findings seem clear. First, preparations identified as glucosamine hydrochloride do not seem to have any benefit. Second, no studies found any harm from these supplements when taken in recommended amounts.
Since some people do report positive results from these supplements, this is an alternative worth trying if you wish to avoid regular use of NSAIDs, prescription anti-inflammatory medications or prescription pain medications for arthritis treatment.
Try using the supplements for 60 to 90 days to see if you derive any benefit. Always check with your health care provider before adding or changing any medication or supplement.