People with arthritis issues add supplements like glucosamine chondroitin to their diet. Both glucosamine and chondroitin occur naturally in our bodies. These are the compounds of our cartilage. Cartilage protects the ends of bones from rubbing against each other. People with osteoarthritis lacks both these compounds, which result in the wearing down of their cartilage. That is the reason people take both these supplements to get relief from arthritis pain. There is no solid research that proves that taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements is effective or not. Even in some people, there was no effect of taking these supplements. Here is everything you need to know about both these supplements.
Effectiveness Of Glucosamine
Extensive research was conducted on glucosamine to know about its effectiveness against osteoarthritis. In the first study, glucosamine supplements were given to patients having knee arthritis. It was concluded that glucosamine slightly helped in getting relief from the pain.
Another study was conducted on people again having knee and hip arthritis. In that study, glucosamine did not show any improvement. But glucosamine supplement was also given to women above 40 who were overweight. It was observed that taking glucosamine supplements decreased the chance of knee arthritis significantly.
In the end, it was concluded that taking glucosamine supplements is not as effective as a placebo. But glucosamine supplements are more effective than placebo for osteoarthritis preventive therapy.
Effectiveness Of Chondroitin
A vast research was also done on chondroitin for knowing its effectiveness against osteoarthritis symptoms. A vast study was conducted on three groups of people having knee osteoarthritis. One group was given a chondroitin supplement. The second group was given a famous NSAID celecoxib. The third group was given a placebo.
Now, after giving a specific dose of these medicines to 3 groups of people, the result of all three medicines for osteoarthritis pain management was observed. It was concluded that chondroitin was effective for people alleviating the pain caused by knee osteoarthritis.
In the same study, it was also observed that chondroitin was only effective against pain caused by osteoarthritis. It does not help the patients in improving the mobility and functionality of the knee joints. While the other two treatments also helped in increasing the mobility and functionality of the joints.
Combination Of Glucosamine And Chondroitin
The research was also conducted to know the effectiveness of glucosamine chondroitin supplements when taken together. In one study, a combination of both these supplements was given. But there was no significant improvement in pain or functionality.
Again, in another study, the combination of glucosamine chondroitin supplements was given, but a dose was slightly changed. This time the results were quite satisfactory. The combination of these supplements helped in improving the pain, swelling, mobility, and functionality.
Another study showed that taking the combination of both supplements was more effective than a placebo. But still, more deep and high-quality research is needed to reach a solid conclusion as the results of all the studies are not the same, so no conclusion about the effectiveness of combining these supplements can be made.
What Are The Side Effects?
Glucosamine chondroitin supplements are safe to use. There are no serious side effects that were observed after taking these supplements. But people who have certain allergies should consult their doctor before taking these supplements.
Some components of glucosamine have an animal origin. Those who are following a vegetarian diet pattern should not take this supplement. Here are some common side effects that can occur after any of the two supplements.
- The use of these supplements can also lead to an increase in intestinal gas.
- Can also affect blood sugar level.
- Can decrease insulin sensitivity.
- It can also interact with anticoagulant medicines.
These side effects are why you should discuss all the pros and cons of these supplements with your doctor in detail.
Though there are no serious side effects of using glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, it can have some side effects. Inform your doctor in detail if you are allergic to any medicines or have any allergies. The other thing you have to do is to notify your doctor about your medical history in detail. This way, your doctor will determine that whether you should take these supplements or not.
Also, inform your doctor about all the medicines that you are taking. Make a complete of all the medicines that you are taking. Remember to mention all prescription, non-prescription, and herbal medicines in that list. Do not change the dose of any medicine or stop taking any medicine without the consultation of your doctor.
Who Should Not Take These Supplements?
Here are some people who should not take glucosamine chondroitin supplements to avoid any inconvenience.
- Glucosamine is obtained from shellfish, so this supplement is not suitable for those who have shellfish allergies.
- People who are taking blood-thinning medicines should not take these supplements. Both these supplements have a blood-thinning effect which can lead to serious health problems if you take anticoagulants and supplements together.
- These supplements are approved to be used by the children. These supplements might harm the development of a child.
- Women who are pregnant or might become pregnant should not take these supplements as these supplements can affect the unborn baby.
- Breastfeeding women should also not take these supplements as there is no evidence about whether these supplements pass into breast milk or not.
As there is no clear data that shows that these supplements are good for alleviating osteoarthritis symptoms or not. So no tests were done to determine the exact dose of both these supplements to get the best results.
One study showed that the combination of 1500 mg chondroitin and 1200 mg glucosamine effectively reduces the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
To avoid any serious side effects and complications, never take these supplements without the consultation of your doctor.
The results of all the studies conducted on glucosamine, chondroitin, or the combination of both of these supplements were inconsistent. If you want to try these supplements, first consult your health care professional.