Glucosamine Chondroitin Benefits, Uses and Side Effects

NEW - Watch Dr Kevin Passero, N.D. discuss natural supplements for joint pain. This three minute video will teach you about popular ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and msm.

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Both chondroitin and glucosamine are essential building blocks of connective tissue that form cartilage, heart valves, mucous membranes, and synovial fluidthe jelly-like substance that fills the joints.


Glucosamine is a simple molecule that is available in supplement form as glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG). The glucosamine sulfate form (stabilized with a mineral salt, such as sodium chloride or potassium chloride) is the most common form of supplementation as it appears to be the most effective when used in connection with osteoarthritis.

Chondroitin Sulfate

Chondroitin sulfate is a more complex molecule than glucosamine. Like glucosamine, it is a major constituent of cartilage and has been the subject of many clinical trials. Chonroitin supplementation has also been shown to be effective for joint support.

When To Use Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate or Both

Some studies indicate that using chondroitin sulfate in connection with osteoarthritis is more effective than glucosamine. However, more than 30 of chondroitin sulfate supplements have been reported to contain less than 40 of the amount of chondroitin listed on the label. Additionally, studies to date are inconclusive when it comes to establishing whether or not chondroitin sulfate in fact is more effective than glucosamine.

Many people with osteoarthritis take combinations of both chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine. This practice may be due to the belief that the two supplements work better when taken together.