Monday, May 9, 2011

Update on Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate

Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate are popular supplements for the treatment of arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis. (the most common type) Glucosamine sulfate is a chemical found in the human body. It is used by the body to produce a variety of other chemicals that are involved in building tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and the fluid that lubricates the joints.

Joints are cushioned by the fluid and cartilage that surround them. In some people with osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down and becomes thin. This results in more joint friction, pain, and stiffness. Researchers think that taking glucosamine supplements may either increase the cartilage and fluid surrounding joints or help prevent breakdown of these substances, or maybe both.

A lot of good research article show that Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate helps people with arthritis. However, one recent very good study showed that it did not help. I’m still recommending that patients take Glucosamine and Chondroitin for arthritis but that may change if there are some more negative studies.

Glucosamine does have some interactions with drugs. You should not take Glucosamine if you are taking Warfarin (Coumadin). There are several reports showing that taking glucosamine sulfate with or without chondroitin increases the effect of Warfarin, making blood clotting even slower. This can cause bruising and bleeding that can be serious. Glucosamine may also reduce the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy drugs so don’t take it if you are undergoing chemotherapy.

I recommend that people go to Costco or Sam’s Club to pick up this supplement because it is inexpensive and the quality is good.