Glucosamine chondroitin was very popular several years ago with its claim to restore degenerated cartilage especially in people who suffer from different forms of arthritis. I’d like to talk a little about what is the cartilage that GC is suggested to affect and some background on how GC works.
All our moveable joints are covered by articular cartilage which is basically a cushion and shock absorber the protects our bones from rubbing and touching when we move. It is made of a flexible type of cartilage that should give and stretch with compression. If we consider the knee joint – this is where many people who have arthritis tend to suffer from pain – there is quite a bit of compressive force that goes through here because we are constantly upright, putting pressure through this joint from our body weight as well as from the ground putting pressure up through the knee. While the cartilage in our knee is designed for this compression, excessive amounts can eventually cause damage and degeneration.
Articular cartilage doesn’t have its own blood supply therefore it does not heal well. It relies on the elastic nature of the cartilage to pump nutrients in and out as it is compressed and relaxed. As the cartilage breaks down, it loses this ability to compress and recover, therefore decreasing its ability to restore healing nutrients.
When cartilage is broken down enough, we can start to rub “bone on bone” as you may have heard from people. You can also get crunching and grinding. Additionally, this normally elastic, flexible cartilage, turns into a stiffer fibrocartilage that does not have the same compressive or cushion quality. This is when people tend to start having pain with all their activities.
Enter glucosamine chondroitin. The idea of the supplement is that it may help strengthen the cartilage as glucosamine and chondroitin are both major components of healthy cartilage. Cartilage is largely made of water-loving materials that provide the elasticity and cushion qualities. Glucosamine and chondroitin have been shown to speed production of materials in cartilage that absorb water, therefore increase cushion effect. It has also been shown to decrease the degeneration of cartilage and improve repair.
Keep in mind, there is no FDA approval or steadfast research proving either work better than placebo. However, many independent studies have deemed GC as safe for use and many people often report pain relief as both have anti-inflammatory properties and some take them instead of over-the-counter drugs.
I have personal testimony of my husband who has tried many different brands of GC and none worked until we tried the brand Better Safer Smarter recommends. I believe this is due to the Oligo technology and the high absorbability. Bottom line I tell patients who ask about GC, it is generally safe to take (unless you are allergic to shellfish because it is derived from shellfish) but it isn’t proven scientifically to work. Theoretically, there is merit to its use and there are many people who can give testimony to how it has helped their arthritic pain. Especially when you choose a brand that is natural, tested for quality and is highly absorbable, it may be worth a try. Ultimately, it won’t hurt you, so contact us for a recommendation today.
As a doctor of physical therapy, professor and sports enthusiast, health and wellness are naturally a part of Janice’s lifestyle. For her family, having toxins out of the home as well as healthy snacks and vitamins are also a priority. While Janice loves the roles of helping patients return to their lives after injury and teaching students to become skilled, compassionate therapists, family is the most important aspect of her life. With two young children, Janice finds herself longing to be at every school field trip, volunteer in their classrooms and be home to pick them up from school. Through The Legacy Group, Janice has found the flexibility to earn an income both in and out of the home, giving her time to coach her kids’ sports teams and enjoy the outdoors surfing, skiing and hiking with her family. The Legacy Group has allowed Janice to share her passion for health and wellness with others while creating an income to bring her home to her family.