There are many people looking for chondroitin supplements, but what is chondroitin? Learn about its benefits, side effects, and more.
Chondroitin is a chemical found in joint cartilage and a form of it (chondroitin sulfate) is used as a supplement to help treat osteoarthritis. These supplements will typically also include glucosamine sulfate, a naturally occurring compound in joint fluid that may help slow the loss of joint cartilage.
Chondroitin supplements are supposed to enhance the shock-absorbing characteristics of joint cartilage while also blocking the enzymes that break down cartilage. In 2004, the Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT) was started to evaluate the benefits of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate.
After the first two-year study, they found that chondroitin and glucosamine supplements didn’t lead to better outcomes than if people took Celebrex (an anti-inflammatory) or a placebo. However, a 2018 review found mixed results regarding the effectiveness of chondroitin for osteoarthritis knee pain.
Chondroitin Side Effects
According to the GAIT trials, chondroitin sulfate is generally safe for long-term use and well-tolerated. However, since chondroitin extract may contain beef or pork albumin, you shouldn’t take the supplements if you’re hypersensitive or allergic to pork and beef. Chondroitin also raises blood sugar, so if you have diabetes or are at risk, you should monitor your sugar levels closely.
The supplement may also slow blood clotting, so anyone that’s scheduled for surgery or has a bleeding disorder should not take it. Furthermore, it may worsen asthma symptoms, so people with this condition should be cautious. Lastly, people who have a high risk of prostate cancer and women who are pregnant should not take chondroitin either.
The supplement comes in various forms (capsules, tablets, and powders) and the typical dosage used in clinical trials is between 800 and 2,000 mg per day. While you can take it without food, taking it with food may be better to avoid an upset stomach.
When choosing supplements, make sure they have been tested and certified by an independent certifying body like NSF International, ConsumerLab, or the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP). It’s also a good idea to make sure the supplement was manufactured according to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
One supplement that stands out among the rest is Joint Health Support by Elements of Health Care. It contains glucosamine sulfate, Boswellia extract, chondroitin sulfate, turmeric, quercetin, methionine, MSM, and bromelain. Together, these ingredients provide various benefits.
For instance, they promote fortified cartilage, reduced inflammation and swelling, lubricated joints, and joint gap increase (and less rubbing). If you’re ready to support your joint health, then consider taking Joint Healthy Support by Elements of Health Care.