Glucosamine & Chondroitin

Glucosamine & Chondroitin

Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally occurring nutrients within the body. As two similar supplements, they work in slightly different ways. 

Glucosamine is thought to promote the formation and repair of cartilage. It also inhibits the enzymes that degrades cartilage tissue.

Chondroitin is believed to promote water retention and elasticity in cartilage. 

In a recent review of the medical literature, the effect of glucosamine in the treatment of osteoarthritis was investigated. The review shocked evidence for the benefit of glucosamine in treatment of osteoarthritis was investigated. The review showed evidence for the benefit of glucosamine in treating osteoarthritis in both human and animal models. It reported that glucosamine appears to assist in production of glycosaminoglycans, which are the building blocks of articular cartilage, as well as enhance the quality and quantity of synovial fluid (fluid inside of joins), which may explain the pain relief associated with taking this supplement. Most of the studies were done on knee joints. 

Another recent study published in rheumatology papers, suggests that glucosamine may help with the symptomatic management of osteoarthritis and may also help delay the progression of the osteoarthritic disease. The recent findings included the fact that the most compelling evidence for inhibiting the progression of degenerations has been obtained with glucosamine for the lower limbs (knee joint and hip joint) and chondroitin for osteoarthritis od the hand only and not the joins of the spine. 

The only paper relating to the effect of glucosamine and chondroitin on the spine was published in 2003. The researcher's care report highlighted the potential of these supplements against cartilage degeneration in general and spinal degeneration in particular. For their objective measure, they used the water content of the intervertebral disc as determined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Their conclusions shoed that long-term use of glucosamine and chondroitin may counteract symptomatic spinal disc degenerations, particularly at an early stage. 

In summary, there is very little known about the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin on spinal joins; however there is quite a bit of evidence for their use on knee joints.

*For more information- ask your physician. This is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional. 

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