Glucosamine chondroitin is a dietary supplement used to treat osteoarthritis. It’s formulated with glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate. Glucosamine sulfate is a naturally occurring substance in the human body It’s abundant in the joints. This compound is harvested from the shells of shellfish and used as a dietary supplement.
Chondroitin sulfate is composed of a chain of alternating sugars. It’s usually found merged to proteins to form a proteoglycan.
How Glucosamine Chondroitin Works?
Our joints are cushioned by cartilage and fluid to prevent bones from grinding into each other. But over time, the cartilage and joint fluid start breaking down. This thins out the cushion between the joints. Constant movement wears away the cushion even more, leading to inflammation. This condition is called osteoarthritis, a common form of arthritis. The symptoms of osteoarthritis include joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation.
Glucosamine chondroitin works by promoting the generation of ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. The drug also boosts the amount of thick fluid that surrounds the joints. By restoring the cartilage, and joint fluid, the joints are protected from friction.
Sulfate is a critical part of generating cartilage. That’s why most scientists believe the sulfate in glucosamine and chondroitin work so great in preventing osteoarthritis. Clinical tests suggest that the drug works. However, some patients are reporting serious side effects from the drug. As such, you have to consult your doctor before taking this supplement.
Is Glucosamine Chondroitin Effective?
Research shows that glucosamine is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans. These compounds are critical in the regeneration of joint cartilage. Unfortunately, there is conflicting information about the effectiveness of glucosamine chondroitin in alleviating arthritis. Some health experts say that glucosamine chondroitin only works “slightly better” than a placebo.
The Side Effects of Glucosamine Chondroitin
Major and Minor Discomforts
Glucosamine chondroitin has a number of side effects. These side effects include insomnia, drowsiness, headaches and upset stomach. Those who are sensitive to this drug will also experience skin reactions, hardening of the nails and nausea.
Glucosamine chondroitin can also temporarily elevate heart rate and blood pressure. In rare cases, it causes vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and heartburn. It also leads to appetite loss and increases the risk of eye cataracts.
People who are severely allergic to shellfish are advised against taking this drug. Taking glucosamine chondroitin could trigger hives, anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock in very sensitive people. People who are hypersensitive to iodine are also advised against taking glucosamine chondroitin. In some cases, an allergic reaction to glucosamine sulfate could result in the swelling of the throat.
Triggers Changes in Blood Sugar Level
A research published in the Mayo Clinic website found that glucosamine sulfate has the ability to change the blood sugar level. Some health experts also believe glucosamine sulfate could cause insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction. As such, diabetics should consult their doctor first before taking this drug.
Enhances Blood Disorder Symptoms
Those afflicted with bleeding disorders should consult their doctor first before taking glucosamine chondroitin. That’s because glucosamine sulfate increases the risk of bleeding. This supplement may also interact with anti-coagulant drugs.