Chondroitin is a sulfated glycosaminoglycan or GAG. This molecule is composed of over 100 alternating sugars, most notably N-acetylgalactosamine and glucuronic acid. Chondroitin is often found in conjunction with proteins. It is a structural part of cartilage that provides its ability to cushion the stress from muscle and bone compression.
The first thing to understand is that Chondroitin is actually a molecule that is naturally produced in the human body. This particular molecule is found in the bodies’ cartilage. The connective tissue that is found between joints needs Chondroitin to remain healthy; thus the popularity of the supplement form.
Chondroitin actually provides this tough tissue the ability to absorb fluid; in most cases, it helps to absorb water and this absorption allows the cartilage to stay healthy. It is also suggested that Chondroitin blocks the enzymes that break down cartilage and provides the foundation for growing new cartilage. There has been some research into the effect Chondroitin has on preventing the onset of osteoarthritis. While some studies in the past have shown promise, other, more recent studies are less than optimistic.
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Chondroitin and Osteoarthritis One very common joint condition is osteoarthritis or OA. This condition results from either injury or normal joint usage. What happens is that a breakdown of the cartilage begins and, over time, there is a complete loss of cartilage. While this can happen... more
One very common joint condition is osteoarthritis or OA. This condition results from either injury or normal joint usage. What happens is that a breakdown of the cartilage begins and, over time, there is a complete loss of cartilage.
While this can happen at any age, it is typically found in older people. Some studies have shown that the use of Chondroitin helps to combat this condition. It is worth noting that not all studies are positive. In fact, some studies show no positive results in osteoarthritis with the use of Chondroitin.
As stated earlier, Chondroitin has been a popular treatment for OA for a while now. Through many positive past studies, it has been established that Chondroitin is an effective supplement for the treatment of OA, specifically in cases involving the knees and hips. Specifically, these studies suggest that using Chondroitin helps to relieve OA pain, reduces swelling, increases mobility in the knees and hips as well as having lasting benefits up to 3 months after Chondroitin supplements have stopped.
There has been some research into the effect Chondroitin has on preventing the onset of OA. While some studies in the past have shown promise, other, more recent studies are less than optimistic.
In 2006, a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health regarding the use of glucosamine and Chondroitin reveled that out of 1,600 people suffering from OA of the knee, those with minor pain saw no significant reduction of pain.
However, there was a slight reduction of knee pain in those that suffered from moderate to severe OA of the knee. While this study did offer some conflicting results, it has spurred on future studies to see if the combination of glucosamine and Chondroitin could be effective in treating more severe cases of OA.
In a second phase of the study, some people continued taking the combination supplement for another 28 months. After that time researchers found that while there was no significant change in preventing the onset of OA. Participants in this second phase did see less in the way of cartilage loss than had been previously expected if they had been taking no supplement at all.
To make sense of it all the bottom line is that in smaller studies, Chondroitin has been proven somewhat effective. However, in larger studies that are more complete Chondroitin was shown to have little in the way of results.
While Chondroitin has gotten a lot of mileage when it comes to being a possible treatment for OA, or for preventing OA, that’s not its only usage. In fact, one study suggests that irrigating the bladder with Chondroitin helps in reducing the side effects from interstitial cystitis, a painful bladder disease. In addition, oral Chondroitin supplements have been shown to help in people who suffer from an overactive bladder.
In addition, some researcher have suggested that Chondroitin supplements can also be useful in treating conditions such as heart disease, preterm labor, Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis. While there has been some evidence of use in these areas, there is to date no study or research data to support these claims.
Typically, Chondroitin supplements are sold in capsule or pill form and it is recommended that you take no more than 400 to 600 mg. You should consider this as a maximum dosage. However, many Chondroitin supplements include things like glucosamine and magnesium as well. The daily recommended amounts of glucosamine and magnesium things will vary, so it is important to know what is a proper dosage and what amounts a particular supplement has.
What you will find when looking at Chondroitin supplements is that many of these supplements are derived from a cow. If you are a vegetarian or you are against using animals for things of this nature, you can often find Chondroitin supplements that are derived from algae.
If you are concerned about possible side effects for Chondroitin supplements, you will be happy to know that when used in recommended amounts for short periods of time, there is no danger of any side effects. For those that used elevated levels of Chondroitin for extended periods of time, you might experience a mildly upset stomach, however, that is the extent of any possible side affects you might experience with taking Chondroitin.
When taking any supplement it is important to understand how these supplements could somehow effect any prescribed medications that you may be currently taking.
In some cases, for those people taking Heparin as a blood thinner, caution should be taken as Chondroitin is similar to heparin. So, it can be possible for Chondroitin to actually enhance the effects of heparin. In addition, Chondroitin can enhance the effects of vitamins like fish oil and vitamin E.
Often times, those suffering from OA pain are prescribed NSAID medication or non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. If you begin taking Chondroitin supplements, you may need to reduce your dosage of NSAID’s. Since NSAID medications can cause stomach bleeding, it is actually a good idea. In any case, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor before you begin taking any sort of supplement.
Finally, while taking Chondroitin supplements are for the most part harmless, there are a few people that should avoid using Chondroitin. Those with allergies to shellfish should not take Chondroitin. This supplement can actual trigger an allergic reaction. In addition, if you are a diabetic you should not take Chondroitin because it can raise your blood sugar levels. Pregnant women should avoid taking Chondroitin because there has to date not been any sort of studies or research as to the possible side effects Chondroitin supplements might have on you or your baby. Children should not take Chondroitin for the same reason.
If you are considering taking any sort of supplement, you should consult with your doctor first to make sure taking the supplement is safe and to ensure that the supplement you are considering taking will not interfere with any present medications you are currently taking. Use the free supplement finder now!
|Shellfish Allergic Reaction|
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