Chondroitin promotes good mobility by helping to prevent and reduce wear and tear on the joints. It’s a great choice for old and young alike. Men and women with joint problems may find it beneficial as will sporty types who push their bodies to the max.
What is Chondroitin?
Chondroitin occurs naturally in the body to help build cartilage (the connective tissue that cushions the joints).
In supplement form chondroitin is derived from natural sources such as shark or cow cartilage. It can also be produced synthetically.
There are no dietary sources of chondroitin so supplements are needed to top-up the body’s supply. Supplements (often sold as chondroitin sulfate) usually come in capsules or tablets and are sometimes combined with other joint products such as glucosamine, MSM and Manganese.
Why do I need Chondroitin?
Chondroitin helps our cartilage to absorb fluids (including water) into the connective tissue. It may also promote the production of new cartilage and block enzymes that breakdown cartilage.
Research suggest chondroitin can benefit people with osteoarthritis (a chronic disease of the joints that causes decreased mobility and pain). Studies show that chondroitin supplements can decrease pain. In one study, people with osteoarthritis has significantly less hand pain and better hand function after taken 800mg of chondroitin supplements for six months.*
Chondroitin may even help with the growth of new cartilage or stop the damage of existing cartilage. In a European study on chondroitin and osteoarthritis the researchers reported not just reduced knee pain but also a slower progression of the disease*. However, scientists are mixed on this and more research is needed.
Can too much Chondroitin be harmful?
Chondroitin may cause stomach upset and headaches if taken in high doses but is generally thought to be safe. A typical dose is 400mg taken 3 times a day or 600mg taken twice daily.
Chondroitin may affect blood sugar levels so discuss the use of these supplements if you have diabetes.
Check the ingredients if you are a vegetarian as chondroitin is often made from cow cartilage (although you can find products made from algae instead).