recommend these supplements (often they can be found in the same pill) for
athletes who are involved in sports that involves pounding and stress on
the joints. It can be found in numerous places on the internet or at your
local drugstore as it is becoming a quite popular for arthritis sufferers
Stiff, aching joints are believed by many people to be an inevitable part of
aging, yet many factors contribute to minor joint aches and pains,
including genetics, weight, age and sports-related activities. The
top three structural components necessary for joint support in one
state-of-the-art supplement: Glucosamine Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate and
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Each of these dynamic ingredients plays a
role in the complex connective tissue matrix that is responsible for
cushioning joints and bones.
is a chemical compound of Glucose and an Amine molecule (a nitrogen atom
with two hydrogen atoms) that supports the maintenance of cartilage and the connective
tissues in the body. Glucosamine is among the most popular joint
supplements and at 1500mg per day appears to be quite safe and
effective but approximately 4-8 eight weeks may be necessary before
the joint benefits of glucosamine become evident. Glucosamine sulfate is an amino acid derivative of glucose and plays an important role in the
formation of connective tissue. Connective tissue is the
"cement" that holds the skeleton together and is extremely
important for joint maintenance. Cartilage cushions human joints, and when it wears
down over time and the body's ability to replace it slows or ceases, the
result is osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. This painful
and potentially disabling condition often goes along with aging. Glucosamine hydrochloride supports the body's immune
system in maintaining cartilage health. Cartilage loss is caused by
For active athletes, the
slightest injury can result in developing "secondary"
osteoarthritis. Athletes can lose functional capability in one or more
joints very quickly, and of course a lifetime of debilitating pain.
To perform at peak level, your
joints must be in top condition. Given the availability of glucosamine
without prescription, the smart athlete is already taking a glucosamine
formula as a preventive measure.
is another natural substance found in the body. It prevents other body
enzymes from degrading the building blocks of joint cartilage. The type
sold in health-food stores and pharmacies is derived from animal products.
Glucosamine and chondroitin
sulfate are natural substances found in and around the cells of cartilage.
Researchers believe these substances may help in the repair and
maintenance of cartilage. In addition, researchers believe that
glucosamine inhibits inflammation and stimulates cartilage cell growth,
while chondroitin sulfate provides cartilage with strength and resilience.
Currently, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are classified as dietary
Dietary supplements for
the treatment of osteoarthritis
support pain relief in 60% of people with knee arthritis
Building blocks or
vitamins for cartilage
Derived from shellfish
shells and cow cartilage
No FDA standardization
may contain less product than advertised/ may contain other ingredients not advertised
Recommended Daily Dose:
- 1500 to 2500 mg Glucosamine Sulfate
- 1200 mg Chondoitin Sulfate
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements are used to slow the
progression of osteoarthritis the deterioration of cartilage between
joint bones and reduce associated pain. They are both naturally
occurring molecules in the body. Glucosamine is thought to promote the
formation and repair of cartilage. Chondroitin is believed to promote
water retention and elasticity in cartilage and inhibit enzymes that break
Glucosamine is sold in many forms, including glucosamine sulfate,
glucosamine hydrochloride (HCl), and N-acetylglucosamine (NAG), and may
also contain a potassium chloride or sodium chloride salt. However, there
appears to be no conclusive evidence that one form is better than another.
Chondroitin is typically sold as chondroitin sulfate.
Testing & Results:
Currently, glucosamine and chondroitin are not considered drugs in the
U.S. and are not required to be tested for quality by any governmental or
other agency prior to sale.
In December 1999 and January 2000 a consumer group purchased a total of 25
brands of glucosamine, chondroitin and combined glucosamine/chondroitin
products. These products were then tested to determine
whether they possessed the labeled amounts of the claimed glucosamine
and/or chondroitin ingredients.
Overall, nearly one-third of the products did not pass testing. Among
glucosamine/chondroitin combination products, however, almost half (6 out
of 13) did not pass all due to low chondroitin levels. Similarly, the
two chondroitin-only products tested did not pass. In contrast, all ten of
the glucosamine-only products passed testing. One possible explanation for
the low pass rate for chondroitin-containing products is economic
chondroitin costs manufacturers approximately four times as much as
[Note: On January 29, 2001, the consumer group removed one of the originally
approved glucosamine/chondroitin combination products from its list of
products passing this review. The product, based on information in its
Supplement Facts panel, contained an amount of manganese in excess of the
new Upper Tolerable Intake Level (UL) for manganese set by the National
Academies' Institute of Medicine earlier in January. The UL is the highest
level of chronic daily intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse
health effects for almost all individuals in the general population. As
intake increases above the UL, the risk of adverse effects may increase.
For adults, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for manganese is now 2
mg per day and the UL is 11 mg per day.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), also known as dimethyl sulfone or DMSO2, is
used as a dietary supplement primarily for treating pain associated with
osteoarthritis. It has also been proposed as treatment for other
conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation of the bladder
wall (interstitial cystitis), snoring, muscle spasm, and as an anti-cancer
agent. All of these uses, including those for arthritis, however, are
based on limited research and have not been well established. Many
additional claims are found on MSM products, including skin-softening and
nail-strengthening, but are also not well supported with research.
MSM is a compound that occurs naturally in both plants and animals,
although its biological role is not known. The mechanism by which MSM may
work is also not well understood, although it is known to contribute
sulfur to the body which can then be used to synthesize certain amino
acids (building blocks for proteins) and it can act as an antioxidant. MSM
is chemically related to DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) which itself had
earlier been used in many of the same ways as MSM. Unlike MSM, however,
DMSO is a chemical solvent. DMSO was found to cause a range of adverse
reactions and is no longer approved as a supplement it can only be
used on a limited basis under medical supervision.
Neither the U.S. government nor any other agency is responsible for
routinely testing MSM supplements or other dietary supplements for their
contents or quality. ConsumerLab.com, as part of its mission to
independently evaluate products that affect health, wellness, and
nutrition, purchased many of the leading MSM products sold in the U.S. and
tested them for their quality.
Testing & Results:
In February and March 2001, a consumer group purchased 17 different MSM
dietary supplements, several of which also contained other
ingredients, such as glucosamine and/or chondroitin or vitamin C.
These products were tested to determine whether they contained the amounts
of MSM stated on the labels. Products were also tested for DMSO
contamination. Although probably not a health risk in small amounts, DMSO
in products indicates poor manufacturing.
Of these 17 MSM products, two failed testing because they respectively
contained only 85% and 88% of their labeled amounts of MSM. One of the products that did not pass was also found to have a
small amount (0.05% by weight) of DMSO. All of the other products had less
than this amount of DMSO or no detectable DMSO at all. Listed below,
alphabetically by name, are the products that passed the group's independent testing of MSM supplements. Any MSM combination product that
failed to pass another consumer group product review was not eligible for
evaluation in the MSM Product Review.)
The addition of a
comprehensive joint support formula to a daily nutritional plan is a
proactive way to promote healthy, mobile joint function for
health-conscious individuals of all ages and lifestyles but is strongly
advised for those involved in demanding gymnastics related sports.