Glucosamine and chondroitin are the most popular supplements to use. These substances are often used together because they have similar mechanisms of lowering inflammation, slowing and preventing the degeneration of joint cartilage and treating pain. In addition, they’re considered very safe and pose little risk for side effects.
Recommended: Learn More about Taking Ideal Collagen for Your Joints (combines collagen with glucosamine and chondroitin).
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are components of normal cartilage. They are the building blocks for cartilage and appear to stimulate the body to make more cartilage.
Both help create molecules that form cartilage, which is the substance found within the spaces between our joints that help attach muscles to bones.
Both glucosamine and chondroitin are found in nature. Natural glucosamine is derived from the hard exoskeletons of shellfish. And chondroitin is derived from the natural cartilage, tissue, bones and skin of animals like cows and chickens.
Drinking Ideal Collagen is probably the greatest way to obtain both glucosamine and chondroitin at home, since the it leaches out high amounts of these nutrients in an easy-to-absorb form.
Ideal Collagen is offered in a powdered or liquid form for the best and quickest absorption by the body. It’s also one of the best supplements because of the amount of collagen it comes with.
A study* published in 2006 by The University of Utah’s School of Medicine investigated the effects of chondroitin and glucosamine, called “The Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT).”
According to reports released by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, GAIT is the first large-scale, multi-center clinical trial in the U.S. to test the effects of the dietary supplements glucosamine hydrochloride (glucosamine) and sodium chondroitin sulfate (chondroitin sulfate) for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.
About the GAIT study
- Compared the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate (used separately and also in combination) to effects of a placebo and also a prescription drug.
- 16 rheumatology research centers across the U.S. and over 1,500 patients participated in the study, which lasted six months.
Results of the GAIT study
- showed that for participants with moderate to severe pain, glucosamine combined with chondroitin sulfate provided statistically significant pain relief compared with the placebo — about 79 percent had a 20 percent or greater reduction in pain versus about 54 percent for placebo group.
- Chondroitin and glucosamine actually worked for more people than the prescription did — 70 percent of participants in the celecoxib group experienced pain relief compared to placebo.
- The study provides evidence suggesting that chondroitin used with glucosamine helps preserve valuable cartilage, decreases pain and increases physical health.
- Their combination can reduce joint stress following exercise or injury by helping the body synthesize new cartilage, keep joints flexible and control inflammation.
Chondroitin and glucosamine are also used together to help heal wounds and inflammation of the skin. Treatments made using chondroitin and glucosamine are often used for wound dressing over scrapes, burns and lesions to keep wounds moist thereby promoting faster recovery.
Some studies have found that patients with burns requiring skin grafting, the use of chondroitin can speed healing time and help control inflammation significantly. Chondroitin also helps the body produce collagen which is essential for overall skin health and fighting the effects of aging on the skin.
Therefore, if you are going to take glucosamine or chondroitin for joint pain relief, you might as well take them together to be more effective. Plus, you have the added bonus of getting healthier and younger-looking skin.