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Just read Doug's thread about his trip to the doctor, and it brought up a question I've had for a while: Has anyone seen any studies comparing the effectiveness of Glucosamine Sulfate to Glucosamine/Chondroiton. I've seen studies showing each effective vs. placebo, but none comparing the effectiveness of the two. Glucosamine/Chondroiton costs about twice as much as Glucosamine Sulfate, just wondering if it's worth the extra expense.

Thanks,
Curt
 

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fwiw

ovalmasterofmydomain said:
Just read Doug's thread about his trip to the doctor, and it brought up a question I've had for a while: Has anyone seen any studies comparing the effectiveness of Glucosamine Sulfate to Glucosamine/Chondroiton. I've seen studies showing each effective vs. placebo, but none comparing the effectiveness of the two. Glucosamine/Chondroiton costs about twice as much as Glucosamine Sulfate, just wondering if it's worth the extra expense.

Thanks,
Curt
For what it's worth, my doc actually recommended "glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM complex." No explanation, though. Some pills don't have the MSM.

Doug
 

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ovalmasterofmydomain said:
Just read Doug's thread about his trip to the doctor, and it brought up a question I've had for a while: Has anyone seen any studies comparing the effectiveness of Glucosamine Sulfate to Glucosamine/Chondroiton. I've seen studies showing each effective vs. placebo, but none comparing the effectiveness of the two. Glucosamine/Chondroiton costs about twice as much as Glucosamine Sulfate, just wondering if it's worth the extra expense.

Thanks,
Curt
Yeah...have heard the combo is most effective. I'd do a google search and see if you can find out more. I get mine at Costco and it's pretty cheap compared to the brand name (brand name is called Bio Flex I think).
 

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Glucosamine/Chondroitin

There have been several studies testing the effects of Glucosamine and Chondroitin. They mostly appear to indicate that supplementation would be benificial. However, it is still not a proven fact. The NIH is currently conducting a large scale test which I believe the results will be available in 2005.

I believe there is a large enough body of evidence to indicate that taking Glucosamine/Chondroitin is 1) not detrimental to one's health and 2) may be very health beneficial.

Glucosamine is thought to promote the formation and repair of cartilage.

Chondroitin is believed to promote water retention and elasticity in cartilage and inhibit enzymes that break down cartilage.

MSM is used primarily for treating pain associated with osteoarthritis.

I am afraid I can't answer the question of which chemical form to buy glucosamine in (i.e. glucosamine hydrochloride vs. glucosamine sulfate, etc.). However, I believe it may be worth while to get the glucosamine with chondroitin. And if you currently have any osteoarthritis pains also get it wiath MSM.

Because Glucosamine is a supplement it is not regulated by the FDA, therefore you have to be careful what you buy. Many of the products on the market do not contain the amounts of Glucosamine or Chondroitin they claim they do. The site indicated below appears to be independent and has conducted tests on several brands.

http://www.consumerlab.com/results/gluco.asp

Hope this helps.



ovalmasterofmydomain said:
Just read Doug's thread about his trip to the doctor, and it brought up a question I've had for a while: Has anyone seen any studies comparing the effectiveness of Glucosamine Sulfate to Glucosamine/Chondroiton. I've seen studies showing each effective vs. placebo, but none comparing the effectiveness of the two. Glucosamine/Chondroiton costs about twice as much as Glucosamine Sulfate, just wondering if it's worth the extra expense.

Thanks,
Curt
 

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Try puritanspride.com

They always have sales on their supplements. The prices for all the different permutations of Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM are roughly the same. FWIW, my doctor told me to use the least expensive stuff I could find and only change if I felt it wasn't working. He recommended puritanspride.com. With the brand name stuff, you are paying for a lot of marketing.

The full combo with all three worked fine for me last season. I have riding partners who just use the combo w/out MSM and it works for them.
 

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Consumer Reports tested different brands

ovalmasterofmydomain said:
Just read Doug's thread about his trip to the doctor, and it brought up a question I've had for a while: Has anyone seen any studies comparing the effectiveness of Glucosamine Sulfate to Glucosamine/Chondroiton. I've seen studies showing each effective vs. placebo, but none comparing the effectiveness of the two. Glucosamine/Chondroiton costs about twice as much as Glucosamine Sulfate, just wondering if it's worth the extra expense.

Thanks,
Curt
A few months ago Consumer Reports tested a long list of Glucosamine/Chondroiton compounds to see if they contained what the label said they contained. Only a couple actually contained the amounts the label listed. I use it daily and it seems to help. Puritans Pride was a brand listed as containing the amount listed on the label. I get mine at (gasp, here we go again) Wal-Mart. It's the only thing I get there. It's the Spring Valley brand and was also listed as containing what the label said. I think the combo, and maybe with MSM also, is worth the extra expense. I don't use the combo with MSM but think I'll try it next refill.
 

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According to my chiropractor

Glucosamine is definitely a help. He doesn't believe that the body can metabolize chondroitin well enough to make much of a difference and recommends taking it only if it doesn't cost anything. He also thinks it's important not to try to get a whole day's glucosamine in a single dose. He's helped me, my family, and my wife's pregnant patients with our back troubles over the past 5 years and been kind of a minimalist in his approach to chiropractic care.
 

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There is no good evidence that glucosamine/chondroitin repairs cartilage or does anything to promote "repair" of cartilage. The studies that looked at this are flawed in some pretty serious methodilogical ways (the imaging technique used was not standardized nor correct to measure what they measured - joint space). The only thing glucosamine has been proven to do is symptom relief - and is about as effective as NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc). I am not aware of anything concerning the addition of chondroitin. Personally, I think it is a waste of money, and would rather use far cheaper NSAIDS (GI bleeding risks be damned (small anyhow)). Until there is real evidence that supports the manufacturers' claims (they make food supplements, and so don't have to prove any of their claims), I will keep my money and buy some naproxen or ibuprofen instead. Glucosamine is not a disease modifying drug (neither are NSAIDS), and I would not be willing to contribute money to the ridiculous claims made in the marketing of these "food supplements."
 

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Thorn Bait said:
There is no good evidence that glucosamine/chondroitin repairs cartilage or does anything to promote "repair" of cartilage. The studies that looked at this are flawed in some pretty serious methodilogical ways (the imaging technique used was not standardized nor correct to measure what they measured - joint space). The only thing glucosamine has been proven to do is symptom relief - and is about as effective as NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc). I am not aware of anything concerning the addition of chondroitin. Personally, I think it is a waste of money, and would rather use far cheaper NSAIDS (GI bleeding risks be damned (small anyhow)). Until there is real evidence that supports the manufacturers' claims (they make food supplements, and so don't have to prove any of their claims), I will keep my money and buy some naproxen or ibuprofen instead. Glucosamine is not a disease modifying drug (neither are NSAIDS), and I would not be willing to contribute money to the ridiculous claims made in the marketing of these "food supplements."
There have been studies that show that this supplementation slow down degeneration so if anything it appears that taking this is a good precaution if anything. It's relatively cheap compared to some supplements and I do worry about gastrointestinal bleeding from NSAIDS so I'm gonna keep taking it for a while unless someone gives me good evidence not to.
 

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No Evidence... I stand by it.

Well, you can find studies to prove just about anything. It does matter however the quality of the studies as well as the whether or not the patients/people studied fit the same profile as you (otherwise you can't really say the results apply to you). Anyhow, as mentioned previously, I think if you are at higher risk of GI bleeds from NSAIDS, then glucosamine is proably safer and about as effective. Just don't expect it to repair or slow down the progress of osteoarthritis in a way that is significant to your symptoms. The study in Lancet 2001 was a double blind placebo controlled trial that compared people on and off glucosamine and measured knee joint space at 1 and 3 years after enrollment. The people on glucosamine had less joint space narrowing progression, though this could not be correlated with clinical significance (symptoms). Lancet 2001 Jan 27;357(9252):251-6. There was also a meta-analysis in 2003 in the Archives of Internal Medicine which looked at most of the better studies to date to determine whether glucosamine was efective in symptom control as well as whether it was disease modifying - this basically resulted in the finding that it was effective at controlling symptoms, was also safe, but could not really say that it slowed or reversed progression (the inherent problem is that radiographs of osteoarthritis correlate very poorly with symptoms, and so it is hard to say that less joint space narrowing means anything in terms of what a patient feels). As mentioned before, the NIH has committed to a larger prospective study which will hopefully answer the question. In the meantime, since I am a young guy (I also do not have OA), I just periodically use NSAIDS for aches, etc because they are cheaper and safe enough. For the older folks with other health problems, I think glucosamine is a reasonable choice if you can afford and can find a reliable source. If it works for your pain then great, otherwise I see no reason to take it.
 

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personal experience...

I've been taking glucosamine/chondroitin and MSM for several years. After only a few months of taking this supplement I rarely have a flare-up of arthiritis in my knees, like I did years ago. My pain was severe enough that Ibuprofen didn't help much. Celebrex did help, but now I don't need the Celebrex. All of the NSAIDS have the unfortunate side affect of causing ear ringing (an alergic reaction) for me. I avoid them except when necessary.

Several people I know have had their doctors recommend only glucosamine. I take four pills a day (3 recommended). I take two with chondroitin and two without.

MSM is much cheaper if purchased in bulk powder, rather than pills from Nutrition Express.
 

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Glucosamine etc

Definitive research evidence of benefit of these supplements doesn't exist that I know of. I have had too many patients tell me it was helpful for them that it has been impossible to ignore. I do not recall anyone reporting an adverse effect. When "******" was first used (it was developed for high blood pressure or angina, I can't remember which) many patients reported other effects as well, so you can't completely ignore this type of information. With glucosamine etc. the effect likely will take six weeks at least, and any change will therefore not be dramatic. The evidence was enough for me to start taking it, and it is the only supplement I take very regularly. My experience is similar to C-40's, so I keep taking it. Any doses/brands better?--I have no idea. If you suffer from joint aches and pains, I think it is worth a try and judge for yourself. If you want to take it because it will helps your 20 year old joints last to 120, I don't know but the knee cartilage report is certainly interesting.
 

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Any info about sources?

Mel Erickson said:
A few months ago Consumer Reports tested a long list of Glucosamine/Chondroiton compounds to see if they contained what the label said they contained. Only a couple actually contained the amounts the label listed. I use it daily and it seems to help. Puritans Pride was a brand listed as containing the amount listed on the label. I get mine at (gasp, here we go again) Wal-Mart. It's the only thing I get there. It's the Spring Valley brand and was also listed as containing what the label said. I think the combo, and maybe with MSM also, is worth the extra expense. I don't use the combo with MSM but think I'll try it next refill.
In the CR report? My wife's allergist recommended she look for glucosamine that was not derived from shellfish, since she tends to allergies anyway and seems to have developed a shellfish allergy after taking the glucosamine compound for several months. Anyone else heard this/experienced it?
 

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Here's a product

DougSloan said:
For what it's worth, my doc actually recommended "glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM complex." No explanation, though. Some pills don't have the MSM.
Doug
that I've been taking for a few years now, just as a preventive supplement:

"Joint SYNergy" 120 caps by MRM.
Joint Synergy provides a systematic approach to joint care & repair. Each capsule of Joint Synergy supplies the most advanced ingredients known to promote joint health plus the superior activity of Noto-Gin™. Noto-Gin™ is a unique form of Panax Ginseng shown in exciting new studies to provide fast relief to muscles, bones and joints*. Clinical research has demonstrated the effectiveness of these compounds individually, and together, in assisting the body to rebuild damaged connective tissue*. Sea cucumber contains high amounts of mucopolysaccharides and other compounds, such as holoethicin that support joint health*. Glucosamine sulfate enjoys years of clinical and experimental use in Europe. Methyl-Sulfonyl-Methane (MSM), a patented compound, has been used in both clinical and experimental investigations for several years.

Dual Action formula! Comprehensive joint care & repair formula* Exclusive herbal complex providing superior inflammation relief* Noto-GinTM for natural pain relief*
Active Ingredients: (Amount per 4 capsules):
Glucosamine Sulfate (KCl) - 1000 mg
MSM (Methyl-Sulfonyl-Methane) - 500 mg
Noto-Panax Ginseng - 100 mg (50-60% Saponins supplying 45% Ginsenosides)
Chondroitin complex - 280 mg
Collagen complex (typeII) - 200 mg
Sea Cucumber - 100 mg (25% mucopolysaccharides)
CMO (25%) - 100 mg
Boswellia serrata- 200 mg
Bromelain (2400 GDU) - 100 mg
White Willow bark (0.1% salicylates) - 80 mg
Tumeric (95% curcuminoids) - 75 mg
Manganese (citrate) - 8 mg

I pay $44 for 2 bottles of 120.
 
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