As a result of injury or as part of the ageing process, joint function is impaired when cartilage (the protective covering at the ends of the bones), which form the joints, breaks down. Cartilage acts as a shock-absorbing tissue and is made up of 65% to 80% water, collagen and proteoglycans. Special cells in cartilage, called chondroyctes, are involved in the production of new collagen and proteoglycan molecules. When cartilage breaks down it can lead to damage and degeneration of the bone, resulting in the pain, inflammation and reduced mobility features of arthritis.

Recent research suggests that healthy cartilage and joints depends on special nutrients including Glucosamine sulphate and Chondroition sulphate. The following quote is from the book ‘The Arthritis Cure’ by Theodosakis, Adderly and Fox.

“A revolution is about to happen. An arthritis cure has been discovered, and it’s as simple as taking two nutritional supplements. Four decades of medical research around the world have shown that two nutritional supplements – Glucosamine and Chondroition Sulphates – can halt, reverse and even cure osteoarthritis.1

Glucosamine important for healthy joints

Glucosamine aids in the formation of connective tissue including collagen and cartilage and a deficiency or depletion of Glucosamine may be associated with joint and tendon problems, indicating a need for increased intake.

Chondoitin is also vital

The cartilage in the joints act as a spongy ‘shock absorber’. For this it needs special substances to attract fluid. Chondroitin, another natural substance made in the body, attracts fluid into the cartilage like a liquid magnet. Without this fluid, cartilage would become malnourished, thinner and more fragile.3 In this way Chondroitin protects cartilage from breakdown and also stimulates the synthesis of new cartilage, important for healthy joints.

Clinical research

There is an extensive amount of clinical research proving that Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulphates work in humans and animals.1

One study examined 80 patients in Milan, Italy, who were all suffering from severe, established osteoarthritis.3 The participants were given either Glucosamine sulphates or a placebo. “The group treated with Glucosamine experienced a significantly greater reduction in overall symptoms, compared to those who took the placebo …”.1 When cartilage samples from the Glucosamine-treated patients were examined, they looked ‘strikingly similar to healthy cartilage’,1while the cartilage from the patients in the placebo group ‘showed typical evidence of osteoarthritis … “The researchers concluded that Glucosamine Sulphate rebuilt damaged cartilage thereby restoring function in most of the osteoarthritic patients taking the supplement.1

A study done in France in 1986 on patients suffering from osteoarthritis showed that the damaged cartilage in those people receiving Chondroitin sulphate had repaired itself to a significant degree after 3 months of therapy. “By itself each supplement is effective. Together they may well be the answer for millions of people suffering from osteoarthritis, the solution that works where drugs and surgery have failed.”1

Adverse Effects

Tests have shown that unlike many agents used in arthritis, including aspirin and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s), Glucosamine sulphate is exceptionally well-tolerated.

The few side-effects which have been reported are limited to minor stomach upsets and nausea. “A six-year study tracking people taking doses of 1.5g to 10g of Chondroitin sulphates per day has shown no toxicity.1

References:

1 Theodosakis, Jason, MD., MS., M.P.H., Adderly, Brenda, M.H.A., and Fox, Barry, Ph.D. ‘The Arthritis Cure’
2 Sahelian Ray, M.D., ‘Glucosamine, Nature’s Arthritis Remedy’ Longevity Research Centre, 1997.
3 Dovanti, A., Bignamini, A.A., and Rovat