Benefits of Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin is claimed to be helpful for a number of conditions. For example, the dietary supplement is believed to be beneficial for treating osteoarthritis, glaucoma, and heart disease. Early studies showed that the product was indeed effective for osteoarthritis, but later research has shed some doubt on these claimed glucosamine and chondroitin benefits.
Glucosamine and chondroitin dietary supplements are sometimes claimed to be useful for treating the following conditions:
- Arthritis of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
- Weight loss
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Anemia (when used with iron).
Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, is especially common in older people. Researchers do not know the exact cause or causes of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis symptoms can range from occasional stiffness and mild pain to severe, continuous joint pain. Sometimes osteoarthritis causes your joints to feel stiff when you haven't moved them in a while, such as after riding in the car; the stiffness goes away when you move the joint.
While there is no cure, there are osteoarthritis treatments that can ease the pain and improve function. A treatment plan can involve:
- Medicines (see Osteoarthritis Medication)
- Exercise (see Arthritis and Exercise)
- Alternative therapies (see Acupuncture for Osteoarthritis or Natural Cures for Arthritis)
- Other pain-relief options
- Surgery (see Hip Replacement or Knee Replacement).
(Click Living With Osteoarthritis or Diet for Osteoarthritis to learn more information about managing your osteoarthritis.)
Glucosamine and chondroitin might be an attractive option for many people, as it is unlikely to cause severe side effects and has the potential to actually slow down the progression of the disease. However, there is significant controversy about whether or not glucosamine and chondroitin actually works (see Does Glucosamine Work? and Does Chondroitin Work?).