Joint Health Product guide for health conscious consumers
Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM
Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM supplements are for joint health.
Glucosamine is a natural compound found in healthy cartilage, particularly in the fluid around the joints. For dietary supplements, it is harvested from shells of shellfish or can be made in the laboratory.
Glucosamine may provide modest pain relief for some patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, hip and spine. Glucosamine is primarily sold as a joint health supplement. Studies show that supplementing glucosamine sulfate will reduce the rate of collagen (joint tissue) degradation and symptoms of osteoarthritis. Glucosamine supplementation cannot cure osteoarthritis, but it can slow the progression of the disease. Glucosamine is very safe to supplement and its most common side-effect is flatulence.
There are two main types: hydrochloride and sulfate. In most studies on treating osteoarthritis, the typical dose was 500 milligrams of glucosamine sulfate, three times a day.
Chondroitin is a major component of cartilage that helps it retain water. It is made by the body naturally. Chondroitin may provide additional pain relief for some people with knee and hand osteoarthritis. The benefit is usually modest (about 8 to 10 percent improvement) and it works slowly (up to 3 months).
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a source of sulfur, one of the most abundant minerals in the human body. Sulfur is essential in many body functions. It's critical to the production of healthy collagen -- the building block of nails, skin, hair, joints and other connective tissues.
Practical considerations: 1. While the research findings may not be convincing, effectiveness has been reported. 2. It may work slowly and required maintenance for results 3. Glucosamine may be taken alone or with Chondroitin and MSM as combinations.