Just like glucosamine, chondroitin is found naturally occurring in the connective tissues of our joints and is an essential factor to the production, maintenance and repair of cartilage. Cartilage is the rubber cushion that can be found at either end of the bone, where 2 or more bones meet. It acts as a shock absorber and prevents the bone surfaces from rubbing against each other in order to protect our bones and joints. Chondroitin is essential for maintaining and preserving healthy cartilage and our bodies should produce sufficient amounts within the joints by itself.
Unfortunately, as we age our joints can suffer from the degeneration of cartilage, causing it to become dried out, cracked and beginning to wear away. With bones left unprotected, our joints can become swollen, stiff, inflamed, tender and painful with a possible result of osteoarthritis.
What are chondroitin supplements used for?
In combination with other products, chondroitin sulphate supplements can be taken to ease and relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis. Chondroitin is often paired with glucosamine sulphate, glucosamine hydrochloride, manganese ascorbate and N-acetyl glucosamine to reduce pain, inflammation and stiffness of joints that may be suffering from osteoarthritis. Modern research has suggested that chondroitin sulphate can alone help to reduce arthritis pain, increase joint mobility and decrease the need for other painkillers. Studies have also found that chondroitin sulphate alone could benefit hand and knee osteoarthritis the most.
Chondroitin & glucosamine:
It has been suggested that chondroitin is at its most effective when combined with glucosamine; another element that is naturally occurring in the joints and is essential for the maintenance and repair of cartilage. Chondroitin and glucosamine can be taken to reduce the pain of joint damage as well as inflammation, stiffness and lack of mobility. Most research that has been carried out has found the most success with glucosamine for knee osteoarthritis, with patients noting a significant reduction of pain and stiffness. They have also found that a regular intake of glucosamine could prevent the narrowing of joint spaces that occurs when the cartilage has worn away, meaning that bones are less likely to run together and cause further deterioration.