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Health & Nutrition
Zaheera Swing
Nutritional Therapist & Herbalist BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD

Glucosamine Chondroitin for Healthy Joints and More!

It’s no secret that Glucosamine and Chondroitin are considered the top research-backed natural supplements for joint health. Scientists have been fascinated by the ability of these two compounds to promote healthy cartilage function, reduce joint pain and ease inflammation. 


We all know chronic pain can affect our ability to do daily tasks, work, and participate in activities we once loved. People often think of aches and pains as a normal part of aging, but what if that didn’t have to be the case?
What if aging didn’t have to mean less living?

 


Why is joint pain associated with aging?


As we age, cartilage softens. Over time, gravity, general wear & tear, diet, and other lifestyle factors can take their toll on your joints. While these changes usually happen slowly, they can lead to the development of joint issues, resulting in uncomfortable symptoms such as:


  • Joint pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Joint tenderness 
  • Reduced joint mobility and function

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the US. More than 32.5 million US adults have osteoarthritis. It seems to affect women more frequently, with around 62% of people with osteoarthritis being women [1]. So if you are struggling with this condition, know that you aren’t alone!

 

knee pain

 

While many factors contribute to the development of osteoarthritis that may be out of our control, like aging and genetics, there IS good news! Evidence-based research shows that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate can help relieve joint pain and other related symptoms and reduce the progression of joint deterioration! 

 

 

What exactly is glucosamine chondroitin?

 

glucosamine chondroitin capsules

 

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are both compounds naturally found in cartilage. Cartilage is the primary type of connective tissue found within the body. One of its leading roles is to act as a cushion at the end of bones, facilitating comfortable and smooth movements of the joints so that you can move around freely without pain or discomfort [2].



Glucosamine sulfate is an amino sugar, meaning it’s made from a chain of sugars and proteins that are bound together; however, it’s not used as an energy source like other sugars are but instead, it’s found in and around the tissues and fluid that cushions the joints [3]. Glucosamine sulfate has been studied extensively in various clinical trials to manage joint pain and inflammation. Glucosamine can be found in different forms, such as glucosamine hydrochloride or n-acetyl glucosamine; however, glucosamine sulfate is the most studied type.


Glucosamine can be used in your body to make biological chemicals that form:


  • Tendons
  • Ligaments
  • Cartilage 
  • The synovial fluid surrounding joints

Chondroitin sulfate is one of the building blocks of cartilage. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage that cushions joints can break down. Luckily it's been found that chondroitin sulfate may slow this breakdown process. Chondroitin belongs to a group of complex carbohydrate molecules called glycosaminoglycans, but since that is quite the mouthful, they are often called GAGs for short! GAGs support cartilage and tendons and lubricate the joints [3].


Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate work synergistically to protect “chondrocytes,” which are cells that help maintain cartilage structure [4]


Some of the fantastic benefits offered by glucosamine and chondroitin: 


  • Improves joint comfort
  • Maintains and repairs cartilage
  • Improves joint mobility and flexibility
  • Reduces joint pain and inflammation
  • Enhances gut health

Benefits: How does it work?


Helps to Build & Repair Cartilage



Healthy runner

Joint spaces need to be cushioned by cartilage. When cartilage is healthy, it has a smooth and slippery surface to enable fluid motions between joints, like a well-oiled machine. However, cartilage can become rough with degradation, resulting in friction, discomfort, pain, inflammation, and stiffness.

This can also negatively affect bone health down the line.


The body uses glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate as the building blocks of cartilage. Amazingly, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have also been found to protect the body against cartilage degeneration by blocking the activity of certain enzymes that break down cartilage or inhibit its ability to repair itself when damaged.

Chondroitin also improves the resistance and elasticity of cartilage so that your joints are well protected from any impact! [3] [5]


Glucosamine is thought to play a role in cartilage repair and maintenance by stimulating cells in the cartilage to produce GAGs and proteoglycans [3] which provide your joints with shock-absorbing qualities so you can run, dance, and jump about as much as you like!


Lubricates Joints 

strong flexible joints

 

We once thought that osteoarthritis only involved the breakdown of cartilage between the joints; however, it is now known that the bone and joint fluid, known as the “synovial fluid,” are also affected [6]


Each of your joints contains this thick, slippery synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints, making movement easier. Unfortunately, synovial fluid decreases with age, leading to those creaky and stiff joints that nobody likes. 


Chondroitin sulfate can attract water into joint cartilage, like a sponge! This is beneficial since water helps increase the synovial fluid volume, offering the proper lubrication for happy and well-cushioned joints! [3]


Glucosamine sulfate also acts as a lubricant for the joints by forming a vital component of the synovial fluid itself. 

 


Reduces Inflammation


fitness training

 

If your joints are chronically inflamed, this can lead to pain, swelling, and tenderness. Interestingly, research shows that both glucosamine and chondroitin have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, which may be one of the reasons they are so beneficial in conditions like osteoarthritis, where there can often be painful inflammation in the lining of joints.

Researchers have found that glucosamine and chondroitin supplementation can help reduce the pro-inflammatory chemical levels known as C-Reactive Protein by up to 36%! [7]

 


Promotes Gut Health and Repair



Healthy gut lining

 

Ever heard the saying, “all disease begins in the gut”? If that’s the case, we definitely can't leave out this fantastic benefit! Both glucosamine and chondroitin make up an essential part of the intestinal mucosal layer.

This layer creates a protective barrier that lines the intestines, shielding them from digestive enzymes, food particles, and harmful bacteria [8]. A healthy mucosal layer can also help protect against “leaky gut,” associated with inflammation and even joint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis! [9]


Let’s not forget the gut microbiome - glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate can provide fuel for the friendly bacteria in your gut. That means they may promote a more balanced composition of your gut flora, positively impacting your overall health and wellbeing [8]



What do clinical studies show about glucosamine and chondroitin?


Over the years, there has been a lot of exciting scientific research on glucosamine and chondroitin as a treatment for joint pain. Let’s take a look at a few of the most notable studies:


  • They always say prevention is better than cure, right? Amazingly, it's thought that glucosamine sulfate may actually decrease the risk of developing osteoarthritis! A study over 2.5 years found that women taking 1500mg of glucosamine daily reduced their risk of developing knee osteoarthritis significantly compared to the placebo group [10].

  • A large randomized controlled study found that daily supplementation with chondroitin sulfate in patients with osteoarthritis reduced symptoms of knee osteoarthritis compared to the placebo group and significantly impacted pain and inflammation [11]

  • Research has shown that daily supplementation with glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate may slow the progression of knee osteoarthritis [12]

    Imagine going for a hike or playing with your grandchildren without those aching knees! 


    • A cohort study that took place over two years found that there was a 36% reduction in medication use when 1500mg of glucosamine was taken daily by those with osteoarthritis [13]


    Who needs glucosamine chondroitin?

     

    stiff joints and knee pain

     

    Have you been suffering from joint pain when exercising or noticed stiffness and loss of mobility? Or perhaps you’re looking for an easy and convenient way to protect your joints as you age? Then a glucosamine chondroitin supplement may be the perfect choice for you. 


    As we’ve seen, research shows that people who suffer from painful joint conditions like osteoarthritis may see an array of positive benefits from taking a glucosamine chondroitin supplement.

     

    Since there is no cure for osteoarthritis, many people may be disappointed by the efficacy of over-the-counter remedies and the unfortunate side effects that come along with them. The great news is that glucosamine chondroitin supplements have none of the side effects associated with commonly prescribed treatments and are safe for long-term use! 



    How to choose the best glucosamine chondroitin supplement?

     

    Quality Glucosamine supplement

    Glucosamine sulfate (or glucosamine sulphate) is one of the most studied forms of glucosamine, as it is the form that is naturally found in the human body. Other forms of glucosamine include glucosamine hydrochloride and n-acetyl glucosamine.

    These forms haven’t been studied as extensively, and they don't contain sulfate, which plays an essential role in cartilage health. Glucosamine sulfate is readily absorbed and used within the body. It has been shown to present in the cartilage as quickly as four hours after taking it! [14].

     

    • This is why it’s essential to ensure your supplement contains this bioavailable form of glucosamine.
    • You’ll also want to ensure you’re getting a high potency dose that correlates with the latest research.

      Studies show that glucosamine is effective when taken at 1500mg daily, as found in NutriRise Glucosamine Chondroitin. At NutriRise, we understand how different evidence-based ingredients work synergistically to maximize the effect.

      Many nutritional supplements on the market may contain only glucosamine and chondroitin; however, additional components can work synergistically to offer more advanced joint support and pain relief efficacy.

      For instance, Nutririse Glucosamine Chondroitin supplement contains Boswellia, Turmeric, Quercetin, MSM, Bromelain, and Methionine. 


      Here’s why:


      • Boswellia has been shown to reduce joint inflammation in patients with osteoarthritis pain and promotes a healthy immune response [15]

      • Turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory properties resulting from its phytochemical constituent known as curcumin and has been shown to relieve symptoms of arthritis [16]

      • Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant that can fight free radicals and supports reducing oxidative damage to tissues and inflammation [17]

      • Bromelain is an enzyme derived from pineapple which supports inflammation [18]

      • MSM is an organic sulfur, which has been shown in research to help with joint pain and swelling [19]

      • Methionine provides sulfur needed to nourish joints and slow down the aging process [20]


      Most people are unaware of the potentially harmful additives found in many supplements on the market today. Some of these additives are associated with unfortunate side effects and may even promote inflammation, which is the opposite of what you’re looking for in a joint supplement, right?

       

      NutriRise Glucosamine Chondroitin is 100% free of binders, fillers, pesticides, wheat, yeast, artificial colors, flavors, hormones, heavy metals, and preservatives if you want peace of mind. It’s also manufactured in the USA in a GMP-Certified facility with rigorous in-house and third-party testing to guarantee the highest quality.

       

       

      Who should avoid glucosamine chondroitin?


      Although glucosamine chondroitin is a well-researched and highly safe dietary supplement, some people should avoid taking it or monitor its use under the supervision of a healthcare professional. 

      Such as:


      • Pregnant women should avoid supplementing with glucosamine chondroitin since there is limited scientific evidence for safety.

      • Those on blood-thinning medication should avoid using glucosamine chondroitin since it may enhance the mechanisms of these types of drugs.

      • Some evidence suggests that glucosamine chondroitin may exacerbate asthma symptoms in those with this condition.

      • Individuals with diabetes should be monitored by a medical professional if they would like to supplement with glucosamine chondroitin since it may alter blood glucose levels.

      While both glucosamine and chondroitin are well tolerated, some individuals occasionally experience digestive upset, such as nausea, diarrhea, and indigestion.




      Final Thoughts


      We know that chronic joint pain and stiffness can make it hard to live life to the fullest. Researchers have now predicted that 78 million people in the US will have some form of joint problem by 2040 [21]


      With these numbers rising, taking good care of our joints should be a higher priority. The good news is that clinical studies show that a glucosamine chondroitin supplement is a fantastic tool to provide you with the support you need for happy and healthy joints, so you are free to move through life with ease!


      Here’s a recap of what you learned today:


      • Glucosamine and chondroitin are essential components naturally found in the cartilage of joints.

      • Together, they work synergistically to protect cartilage, enhance the lubrication of joints, and help support the associated symptoms.

      • Glucosamine chondroitin is a well-researched, advanced joint support supplement safe for long-term use.

      • Make sure you look for a high-quality, third-party tested supplement containing glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate with additional synergistic ingredients for added benefits.


      Note: This article is for informational purposes only and not intended for use as medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any dietary supplement.






      Zaheera Swing
      Nutritional Therapist & Herbalist BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD
      As a qualified Nutritional Therapist (BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD), Zaheera Swing has a deep passion for restoring balance and harmony to the body through the modalities of nutritional science, herbalism, and holistic lifestyle practices. Using the functional medicine model coupled with wisdom from ancient paradigms, she aims to provide insight into the underlying root causes of poor health and the holistic tools we can harness to enhance the well-being of mind, body, and spirit.
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