Chondroitin and glucosamine: Do they really help your joints?

The sales of the supplements chondroitin and glucosamine are an $800 million a year industry in the United States.  They are sold to help with joint pain from arthritis.  Do they really work?

Chondroitin is a substance  that is found naturally in our bodies in the cartilage.  The supplement that you can buy at the store  is made of shark, cow, or can be a man-made  product.  Studies to date around its effectiveness  have been mixed.  Some studies have shown that chondroitin may be effective for the treatment of joint pain and arthritis by showing a decrease in the patient’s pain.  However, the majority of studies have not shown any benefit, and chondroitin has not been found to prevent the worsening of arthritis.

Glucosamine is another supplement that is often taken with chondroitin.  Again, studies on this product  have been mixed, but at this time there are no high quality studies that show benefit from glucosamine for osteoarthritis.
Can you get chondroitin naturally in your diet?  Gristle on meat contains chondroitin but only in small quantities.  Some types of  organs and entrails of meat,  which is known as offal, contain glucosamine.
chondroitin

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