What is chondroitin and how does it work?
Where glucosamine provides the building blocks to make more cartilage, Chondroitin acts like a "liquid magnet". It helps attract fluid into the cartilage. This is important for 2 main reasons:
(1) The fluid acts as a spongy shock absorber.
(2) The fluid sweeps nutrients into the cartilage.
The cartilage in the joints has no blood supply, so all of its nourishment and lubrication comes from the liquid that ebbs and flows, as pressure to the joint is applied and released. Without this fluid, cartilage would become malnourished, drier, thinner and more fragile.
Besides drawing in precious fluid, chondroitin also protects the existing cartilage from premature breakdown, by inhibiting the action of certain "cartilage-chewing" enzymes. It interferes with other enzymes that attempt to "starve" cartilage, by cutting off the transport of nutrients. As well as this, it works synergistically with glucosamine.
Can we get chondroitin from the food we eat?
Chondroitins are found in most animal tissues, especially in the gristle around joints. Some of the chondroitins we eat are absorbed into our bodies intact and incorporated into various tissues, including the cartilage in the joints. However, when there is actual damage to the cartilage, the body can find it hard to keep up with the production of the chondroitin. This is where supplementation comes in; we can replace what the body fails to make.
HOW MUCH CHONDROITIN DO YOU NEED TO TAKE?
We recommend 1500-1600mg a day initially, building up to 2000mg a day. After 3 full months of supplementation, this dosage can be reduced to a maintenance dosage of 1200mg a day.
Because Chondroitin is attracting the fluid to the cartilage to make it more spongy, as well as protecting the existing cartilage, the more and longer you take it, the better the results will be. If you have had the problem for many years, you cannot expect results overnight. It could take many months of supplementation before you notice great results. But persevere. It will be worth it!
Are there any side effects or health ailments that you should not use chondroitin with?
There are no known side effects with Chondroitin. In a 6-year study, tracking people taking doses of 1.5 to 10 grams per day, there has been no toxicity reported. Chondroitin is not known to adversely interact with any medication or health complaint. However, in all cases of "self prescribing", seek advice from your health professional before starting.
Do I have to take chondroitin with glucosamine?
It is advisable that you do, because Glucosamine provides the building blocks to make more cartilage and Chondroitin attracts the fluid to the cartilage.
As well as this, we recommend using evening primrose oil and fish oil as well, for maximum results.
Healthyonline stock a number of products that contain both glucosamine and chondroitin e.g.
Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM Joint Food Powder - Nutritional support to maintain healthy joints, ligaments and cartilage.