When it comes to choosing joint supplements there are many options. Use caution when choosing both the supplement and brand. Recent studies have shown that some brands come far short of the label claims. In one study of eleven chondroitin products, tests showed four of the products contained less than half the stated amount of chondroitin. How do you choose a product? The Arthritis Foundation says to pick the most reputabile brand--don't try to save with a cheaper imitation.
Glucosamine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body. Glucosamine is a precursor to a molecule used in the formation and repair of cartilage. Treatment with glucosamine is based on the idea that oral consumption of the substance may increase to rate of formation of new cartilage by providing more of the necessary building blocks. The recommended dose of glucosamine in 1500mg each day for one to two months. Ongoing treatment if often continued if results are favorable.
Chondroitin is the most abundant glycosaminoglycan in cartilage and is partly responsible for the resiliency of cartilage. Chondroitin is also important in preventing the action of enzymes that destroy cartilage. The recommended dose of chondroitin is 800 mg each day (400 mg twice daily) for one to two months. Ongoing treatment if often continued if results are favorable. Most commonly chondroitin is take in combination with glucosamine.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is taken because some believe it helps support health ligaments. While glucosamine and chondroitin have not undergone extensive clinical testing, MSM has not undergone any significant test to support its use. The theory is that the sulfer in MSM helps the body maintain healthy, flexible ligaments.
Combinations of both glucosamine and chondroitin, and all three aforementioned supplements, are readily available. These combinations are usually cheaper than the individual medications and certainly easier to take. Use caution when taking these medications, and check with your doctor before starting these drugs.