3.85 million Australians suffer from arthritis and it is expected that this number will increase to 7 million by 2050. The majority of those affected have osteoarthritis, a condition in which the cartilage that lines the joints becomes damaged, causing pain, stiffness and inflammation. Although there are many nutrients that may help manage osteoarthritis, glucosamine and chondroitin are probably the best known and most commonly used.
It has been estimated that more than one in four Australian women with osteoarthritis and more than one in five men with the condition take either glucosamine, chondroitin or a combination of the two.
Glucosamine for Joint & Cartilage Health:
Glucosamine supports joint and cartilage health and is a naturally occurring substance that is produced by the body. It helps form the structure of the cartilage lining the joints (articular cartilage) and tendons and is also present in the joints’ synovial fluid (lubricating the joints). Maintaining the smooth surface of your joint’s cartilage and the health of the synovial fluid is crucial for healthy joints.
As we get older we produce less glucosamine, which means taking glucosamine supplements may be beneficial for those affected by joint problems. There is strong evidence to support glucosamines role in treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis, with many studies demonstrating its ability to relieve arthritis pain and improve joint mobility.
Chondroitin for Cartilage Damage:
Like glucosamine, chondroitin is a structural component of cartilage. Amongst other functions, chondroitin:
- Takes part in the natural repair and formation of healthy cartilage
- Stimulates the synthesis of proteoglycans by chondrocytes (cartilage cells) which contributes to joint repair
- Supports the shock absorbing properties of the joints
- Helps relieve the pain of osteoarthritis
Multiple clinical trials suggest that taking chondroitin supplements over time may lead to improvements in pain and function in osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, and fingers. For information on what type of Glucosamine you should be using, please visit our blog - What is the best Glucosamine for you?