Glucosamine & Chondroitin - JOINT HEALTH

old message JOINT HEALTH Darrell Miller 12/22/05
old message Glucosamine & Chondroitin - JOINT HEALTH Darrell Miller 12/22/05

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Date: December 22, 2005 09:37 AM

Glucosamine & Chondroitin - JOINT HEALTH

Everyone old enough to walk appreciates the value of fl exibility and ease of movement. Unfortunately many of us take such good things for granted. A famous folksinger sang, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” That’s certainly true for millions of Americans who live with stiff and uncomfortable joints.

Fortunately there are a number of nutrients available that provide the vital components of healthy joint structure and function and ease of mobility. These nutrients are referred to as “chondroprotective agents,” and include glucosamine and chondroitin, which supply the raw material necessary to produce new cartilage, and may even help rebuild worn cartilage. Other chondroprotective nutrients and herbs, like Cetyl Myristoleate, MSM, and Boswellin, work synergistically with glucosamine and chondroitin and further support normal joint function To understand how chondroprotective agents work, one must fi rst understand how joints work. The key element in human joints is articular cartilage, the shock-absorbing tissue that connects two bones together and allows pain-free movement. Articular cartilage is comprised of two different molecules, collagen and proteoglycans, with the remainder composed primarily of water (65-85%). Collagen, a protein that binds tissue together, provides elasticity. Proteoglycans, composed of sugars and protein, absorb water, which provides lubrication and resiliency, nature’s shock absorber for your joints. Both compounds are produced by chondrocytes, caretaker cells responsible for the formation and maintenance of cartilage. A defi ciency in any one of the above constituents will increase the likelihood of wear and tear on articular cartilage, which can eventually lead to compromised joint function.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are safe, natural and effective nutrients that support healthy joint function by supplying the materials needed to produce collagen and proteoglycans.


Glucosamine is composed of glucose (a sugar) and glutamine (an amino acid). It is utilized by chondrocytes to form glycosaminoglycans (GSG) and proteoglycans (PG). Both of these constituents attract and bind water into cartilage, increasing resiliency. Research indicates that glucosamine may actually help your body repair damaged or eroded cartilage. A number of studies have been conducted on glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride, with a preponderance of positive results. Glucosamine sulfate is considered the more effective of the two. One study from the University of Liege in Liege, Belgium studied the effects of glucosamine sulfate on 212 patients with knee osteoarthritis. Participants took either 1,500 mg glucosamine or a placebo once daily for three years. The study compared joint-space width at enrollment, one year, and at the study’s conclusion.

The 106 patients on placebo had a progressive jointspace narrowing, while participants taking glucosamine experienced no significant joint-space loss, indicating glucosamine may benefi cially modify cartilage structure.3 A study published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage in 1998 investigated the in vitro effects of glucosamine sulfate on proteoglycan and collagen production by chondrocytes taken from osteoarthritic articular cartilage. The results showed “a statistically signifi cant stimulation of PG production by chondrocytes from human osteoarthritic cartilage cultured for up to 12 days in 3-dimensional cultures.” 4 Another study from Italy enrolled eighty inpatients with established OA. They received either 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate or placebo daily for 30 days. The patients treated with glucosamine sulfate experienced a reduction in symptoms almost twice as large and twice as fast as those receiving placebo. Researchers also used electron microscopy of patient’s articular cartilage to support this hypothesis. Patients who received glucosamine sulfate showed a picture more similar to healthy cartilage. The researchers concluded that glucosamine sulfate tends to rebuild damaged articular cartilage and restore articular function.5


Chondroitin is classifi ed as a glycosaminoglycan. It bonds with collagen to form the basis of connective tissue. Chondroitin helps attract fl uid into proteoglycans, thereby bringing nutrients into cartilage and providing shock absorption. While glucosamine helps manufacture and maintain cartilage, chondroitin keeps cartilage from becoming malnourished. Chondroitin works synergistically with glucosamine, and these two nutrients form the basis of most joint health supplements on the market today. A 6-month randomized, multi-center, double-blind, doubledummy study published in 1996 compared the effectiveness of chondroitin versus a popular non-steroidal anti-infl ammatory drug (NSAID) in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). One hundred and forty-six patients with knee OA were recruited and separated into two groups; an NSAID group and a chondroitin sulfate (CS) group. The NSAID group was given the NSAID and a placebo for the fi rst month, then placebo alone for months 2-3. The CS group was given the NSAID and CS for the fi rst month, and then CS alone for months 2-3. Both groups were then given 1200mg of CS for months 4-6. “Patients treated with the NSAID showed prompt and plain reduction of clinical symptoms, which, however, reappeared after the end of treatment; in the CS group, the therapeutic response appeared later in time but lasted for up to 3 months after the end of treatment. CS seems to have slow but gradually increasing clinical activity in OA; these benefi ts last for a long period after the end of treatment.”6

NOW® Foods is your source for natural joint support products. Our Extra Strength Glucosamine & Chondroitin is one of our best-selling products, and we also have combination supplements that include MSM, Concentrace® minerals, and more. We also carry both glucosamine and chondroitin as separate products, as well as in powder and lotion forms.

TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Glucosamine & Chondroitin - JOINT HEALTH

Date: December 22, 2005 09:30 AM
Subject: Glucosamine & Chondroitin - JOINT HEALTH

  • Supports Healthy Joint Structure and Function
  • Supports Mobility and Ease of Movement

1) Balch, James F. et. al. ; Prescription For Nutritional Healing 3 rd rd rdPrescription Edition Edition ; Avery; Penguin Putnam; 2000
2) Benedikt, H.; Glycosaminoglycans And Derivatives For Treatment Of Arthritis; Chiropractic Products, May 1997, pp. 92-95
3) Reginster, Jean Yves et. al.; Long-term effects of glucosamine sulphate on osteoarthritis progression: a randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial; The Lancet, 2001, Vol. 357, No. 9252 4) Bassleer, C. et. al.; Stimulation of proteoglycan production by glucosamine sulfate in chondrocytes isolated from human osteoarthritic articular cartilage in vitro; Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 1998, 6, 427-434
5) Drovanti, A. et. al.; Therapeutic Activity of Oral Glucosamine Sulfate in Osteoarthritis: A Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Investigation; Clinical Therapeutics, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1980, pp. 260-272
6) Morreale, P. et. al.; Comparison of the Antiinfl ammatory Effi cacy of Chondroitin Sulfate and Diclofenac Sodium in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis; Journal of Rheumatology, 1996, 23:8, pp. 1385- 1391

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