Effectiveness of Glucosamine & Chondroitin for treating joint pain..

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  1. hinazille profile image83
    hinazilleposted 10 years ago

    If you have ever suffered from creaky joints, or stiff joints, you will know exactly how debilitating it can be. Being a pharmacist, I regularly give NSAIDs (like Naproxen, Diclofenac & Ibuprofen) for swollen, inflamed, painful joints, but I also make sure I counsel the patients that there ARE natural alternatives available.

    Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM are increasingly being used for improving overall joint health - have you ever tried them? How effective do you think they are? How many tablets/capsules are you taking a day? Do you feel you need to know more about how to improve joint health?

    1. Shadesbreath profile image82
      Shadesbreathposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Do you feel that posts that have that many questions at the end are ultimately going to lead to a sales pitch, no matter how carefully veiled?

      1. hinazille profile image83
        hinazilleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Not necessarily - I am a Pharmacist & this is more what you could call 'field research'. Doctors and Pharma companies have been pushing the combination I mentioned above, so this makes me suspicious - the only time big pharma backs a product is if the profit potential is sky high, or a plethora of other reasons that are not always for the benefit of the people. Hence I always ask my patients how the alternative therapies are working so I can better advise future patients.

        For example, I asked the question of how many tablets a day they are taking and whether they feel the combination is effective because if a person is taking one tablet once a day for a few weeks, they arent likely to see much of a difference. I would advise them to take one tablet three times a day for atleast a month or two - it generally takes around 1-2 months to achieve noticeable improvements.

        I would also advise them to assess whether the supplements are providing marked improvements within 2 months. If no improvement is felt within this time, then the combination is not likely to work, so you can save money & not keep purchasing expensive Gluc. & Chond. supplements.

        My stance is not to sell stuff, but rather to inform people about it when they may be interested in trying the supplements out.

        1. donotfear profile image83
          donotfearposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Hey, I hear ya on this one!!  Big Pharma doesn't want a cure, they want to make $$$$$ at the expense of the health of others.  Just like the thousands of people with Lyme disease that are constantly being misdiagnosed with things like firbromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc. so they keep going back for more drugs to treat the symptoms.  Creates big profit for Big Chief Pharma!  So stuff Lyme Disease under the rug and don't tell the American public that it's an epidemic so they'll keep running to their specialists for more $$$$ in Big Chief Pharma's pocket.

          1. hinazille profile image83
            hinazilleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            its true! big pharma, the fda & the government as a whole is not concerned with public health as a main priority - instead corporate interests prevail!

      2. donotfear profile image83
        donotfearposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I didn't get the impression this was a sales pitch.  The poster is trying to get information on whether it really works or not.  Hey, if they have something that will work, I'll go for it!  Ever since I had Lyme Disease, my joints have gotten bad.  Migrating pain flares, creaky joints, tendonitis.

        Why not do a field test....

        1. hinazille profile image83
          hinazilleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          It really wasn't meant as a sales pitch... I wrote a hub a year ago on joints and 10 different natural alternatives you can try to decrease joint pain and stiffness & G + C is one of the most commonly prescribed & bought alternatives so I thought let me get some info from people who have actually used em.

          have you ever tried it?

      3. lorlie6 profile image79
        lorlie6posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Dearest Shades-why are you always right on the money?  Thin pitch, all right.

        1. hinazille profile image83
          hinazilleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          I have already explained that I am a Pharmacist & deal with these kind of issues & medications for joint pain on an HOURLY, not even a DAILY, basis. If you feel this is a sales pitch, then feel free not to involve yourself in the discussion. For me and for many others participating in this discussion, it is research & educational.


          1. lorlie6 profile image79
            lorlie6posted 10 years agoin reply to this

            Hello, hinazille-I get that you're a pharmacist and are doing some research here.  You are right in observing that my response to Shadesbreath's post was ill-advised.  At least I see that now.
            I have an Italian uncle who was a pharmacist in Italy when the War to End All Wars (WWII) broke out.  He came to the U.S. and had to re-study his specialty.  Poor man, he worked so very hard to support his 4 member household. He's retired now, has Alzheimer's-I think-and despite it all, is well loved.
            I am sorry, hinazille, for my reply that was indeed a bit premature. 
            Gotta love Shades, however!!!!

            1. hinazille profile image83
              hinazilleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              Lorlie, I appreciate you taking the time to respond - i was maybe a little too abrupt with my reply. But yes, going to the US and UK requires retraining... i graduated and worked in the UK initially, and now I am in the Caribbean, but require no retraining as my qualifications are significantly higher than local standards....

              I will check out some of your hubs - they seem interesting!

              1. lorlie6 profile image79
                lorlie6posted 10 years agoin reply to this

                Why thank you, hinazille!  No worries about chiming in too prematurely!  I appreciate moving to the U.S. can be challenging-from the UK to Italy-as in my uncle's case-but retraining is always difficult.

                Thanx again!
                PS: I'll be checking out your hubs, too, soon!

    2. homesteadbound profile image83
      homesteadboundposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Although I have long had joint pain, about a year ago, I started having severe joint pain in my knees. (I was heavily involved in sports in my younger years.)  I still have issues with the pain, but 5 months ago stairs were becoming increasingly difficult and I could not sit normally (knees bent at 90 degrees) without the occurrence of severe and intense pain. After doing some research on the topic, I found a recommendation to take Glucosamin Sulfate (without the chondroiton). Now I am able to going up the stairs without severe pain, and occasionally I can even go down. This was not possible 5 months or even 1 month ago. And I do not have to take high doses - just one 100mg tablet a day. It really has make a huge difference in my pain levels.

      1. hinazille profile image83
        hinazilleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        wow this is very interesting! 100mg of glu is such a low low dose, but if its working for you thats great...have you ever tried the combination though? i wonder if the combination would work any better than the glu by itself?

      2. hinazille profile image83
        hinazilleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        ...also have you experienced any side effects with it like stomach upset, etc.?

        1. homesteadbound profile image83
          homesteadboundposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Years ago when the pain was less I did try the combination, but I do not believe I gave it enough time before I stopped taking it. And I have not had any side effects.

    3. drmiddlebrook profile image90
      drmiddlebrookposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I am allergic to shellfish (used to make Glucosamine, Chondroitin). I have used the vegetarian brand, and I'm not sure if it works as well as the other one or not. I haven't used the other one, but the plant-based version does work. I feel less pain in my joints when I use it (I drink the liquid version of the product, called Elations). I also get relief from taking OTC pills, such as Aleve and Advil.

    4. artist101 profile image62
      artist101posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      My mother has osteo, she takes shark cartilage. She says that it does help. The only problem I've seen thus far, is that it thins thins blood too much. She is now bruising easily.  What is the name of the plant-based version that you use, as I have not seen that particular one.

    5. artist101 profile image62
      artist101posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      My husband swears by the glucosomine combo. He takes extra strength. I have tendinitis, most effective for me, is red tart cherries, and magnesium.

  2. profile image54
    Robertr04posted 10 years ago

    Hey guys. Sounds like toxic condition of the body. Arthritis,painful and swollen joints can be caused by acid and waste matter in the body, which eventually become solidified and lock joints cause inflammation etc. These conditions are caused(other than sprains or falls) are caused and aggravated by improper diet. Some of the worst intakes are eggs,bread,milk,meat,refined salt and sugar etc. because they cause arthritic calcification. You really need to cleanse the bowel and start drinking plenty of water(distilled) to flush the system. Actually a good body cleanse (lmyphahtic,blood,liver cleanse)would do wonders. After about 6 days of the cleanse, 8-10 organic alfalfa capsules 3 times/day,6days straight, 7th day off, just might do it for you. Yeah, you heard me right, 8-10, you can do that with the real stuff without any side effects, only intended effects. Alfalfa is good for the pituitary gland,soaks up uric acid,nutitive,chlorophyll,arthritis,alkalizes the body rapidly and detoxifies the body and liver etc. All this and more with zero side effects. You got anything like that in those bottles, haha. Ok just having a little fun. Now if you know how to apply a fomentation you probably can get this matter cleared up even faster. You will need mullein,knitbone(comfrey),lobelia and cayenne. That's fomentation not fermentation. Ahhhright, I'll tell you how. Bring 16oz of boiling water and pour over 1oz of each dry herb,let it steep for 15-20min, strain and add 1tbls of cayenne, stir a little. Take a turkish towel or guaze or similar material and soak it in the hot tea, wringing lightly(just enough so the liquid will not run off the body)and place over the affected area as hot as possible without blistering.By wrapping with plastic wrap you can keep it moist and warm. Keep it damp and change periodically(3 times/day leaving on over night). Hot apple cider(with mother) vinegar alone will often take the pain out, done with the same procedure. We have had great success with this. Give it a try.

    1. hinazille profile image83
      hinazilleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      interesting perspective. one that i am somewhat familiar with as living in the Caribbean, there is great emphasis on giving natural, local remedies precedence as opposed to conventional medications...

  3. habee profile image93
    habeeposted 10 years ago

    I've tried G and C, with no results. My mom and uncle didn't get any joint pain relief from G and C, either. It seems to work for some people, though.

    I have no cartilage in my right knee. Injections of hyaluronic acid helped some.

    1. profile image54
      Robertr04posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      habee, it's not going to work. If you have a health store you have got to try Knitbone(comfrey) extract internally and externally. This is what it can do for you. Old bones, broken bones,old flesh,and damaged flesh are REPLACED with new by virtue of the fact that Knitbone feeds only the best body cells and encourages thorough, rapid growth of healthy new cells, hence the title of "cellulae proliferant".  Healing is swift when taken in sufficient quantity. It is high in protein and is easily digested for any bodily repair. Knitbone is a most remarkable healer in the regeneration of nerve and brain tissues and all other soft tissues and bones. Hence its common name, knitbone. May be taken in large quantities as it is a nutritive, a food especially good for delicate digestive systems.  Its chief ingredient(allantoin) is very soothing to any irritation,internal or external. It as well as Rose Hip is indeed body glue to prevent and correct  wrinkling and aging. Enjoy it and live well.  With Knitbone and the procedure I gave earlier you have a 80% chance of regenerating new cartilage. Think about it , pain free. You must  cleanse the body,lymphatics, blood, liver, and bowel for optimum results. A healthy body regenerates itself every 120 days. A healthy body regenerates itself every 120 days. A healthy body regenerates itself every 120 days.

    2. hinazille profile image83
      hinazilleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Habee, you are right - although it works for some people, it doesn't work for all. in fact what the pharma companies nor the docs tell you is that if you take the maximum strength (1500mg Glu + 1200mg Chon) three times daily for 3 months, and it does not work - its not likely to work.

      i had patients coming in to nearly all of the pharmacies I have worked in telling me they have been taking G + C for over 6 months, and their health professionals keep telling them to stick with it!

      any ways! have you tried anything else with regards to natural therapies?

    3. rmcrayne profile image92
      rmcrayneposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      There are some evidence-based articles on the efficacy of G and C.  But you have to have some healthy cartilage to potentially make healthier.  So in the case of your right knee, it would not be expected that G and C would help.

      1. habee profile image93
        habeeposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        That makes sense. I had wondered about that.

        1. profile image54
          Robertr04posted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Hi hinazille.  Cancers, fibromyalgia, congested arteries, thyroids, high blood pressure, diabetes, liver , kidney, heart, bowel. We have treated these and much more over the years with great success. There is no physical conditions that cannot be corrected thru natural means. If you cleanse the body naturally (lymphatics, blood, liver, and bowels) and maintain that along with an organic eating regimen, proper water intake(distilled), exercise, rest, you will be able to regain and maintain optimum health. If you are ill, you must cleanse the body before healing begins. A toxic condition of the body will not allow healing to happen, that's a fact.  Natural means are a slow safe way of HEALING, not masking of symptoms with poisons and creating side effects that could result in more damaging conditions. The body does not create disease, we do.

  4. habee profile image93
    habeeposted 10 years ago

    I think my family members all have "strange" bodies. lol. Tylenol has never had any effect on us, but aspirin works well.

    1. hinazille profile image83
      hinazilleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      well aspirin is an antiinflammatory med which means it decreases inflammation, swelling, pain & fever...whereas tylenol (acetoaminophen) is purely to decrease pain and to reduce fever so its not likely to help much with joint type pains...

      1. profile image54
        Robertr04posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        tart cherries as been proven to be 10x more effective than aspirin in decreasing swelling & inflammation.

  5. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 10 years ago

    I know that you can't, legally, make therapeutic claims about it.  So I would guess that would apply to a pharmacist?

    1. hinazille profile image83
      hinazilleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Actually, pharmaceutical companies are not legally permitted to make conclusive claims about a product unless there has been comprehensive clinical trials carried out to substantiate said claims. Pharmacist's do not come into this scope, but a good, ethical pharmacist will never recommend a medication (be it natural, herbal or conventional) unless the benefits are proven benefits.

      Glucosamine and Chondroitin are both standardised preparations, and have been approved in the UK to be prescribed by Doctors for the treatment of a number of joint complaints.

      1. psycheskinner profile image82
        psycheskinnerposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        In the USA they have not gone through these trails and are not FDA-approved. In fact such a request was made and denied based on a lack of appropriate third party clinical trials.  So you couldn't make such claims on a hub.

        I don't know the UK situation but I guess it is different in terms of regulated statements. It looks like the NHS would fund these treatments though. The meta-analysis isn't good enough, I guess?

        1. hinazille profile image83
          hinazilleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Of course I can mention in a Hub herbal, natural remedies that have been proven to work. The NHS has approved its use in the UK, and the fact that the FDA has not approved it means nothing.

          I mean if you want to go based on what the FDA approves, then you will really be at a loss. the FDA approved the export of infected Aspirin to third world and European countries - with no moral or ethical conscience - so what they do or don't approve really carries no weight.

          Additionally, most of the vaccinations the FDA approves have been untested or insufficiently tested, so again their approval carries little weight.

          In any case, I am free to make whatever claims I would like so long as they have been substantiated, and back to the topic at hand, Glucosamine and Chondroitin has been shown to be effective in improving joint health. It has drastically less side effects than NSAIDs and DMARD's, both of which have been approved by the FDA.

          1. psycheskinner profile image82
            psycheskinnerposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            Hubpages is probably covered by US law.  If that is the case you can't make therapeutic claims that promote dietary supplements.  That is not a matter of commonsense, just law.

            In the US a substance not passed as a drug cannot be promoted as having therapeutic benefits other than for diseases of nutrient deficiency.  It cannot be 'prescribed' although a doctor can certain suggest you take it.

            FDA sends out cease-and-desists to websites about this daily. (A matter I got involved in via the velvet antler industry).

      2. profile image54
        Robertr04posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        And neither am I. In practice we use disclaimers. On this forum I sometimes forget what I am free to say.

        1. hinazille profile image83
          hinazilleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          this is a forum question, i asked for opinions, hence you are free to say whatever you would like. i wont hold you to it, promise!

          1. profile image54
            Robertr04posted 10 years agoin reply to this

            OK thanks.

  6. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 10 years ago

    My mother took Glucosamine 500mg combined with 400mg Marine Chondroitin for about 3 to 4 years (I just asked her) and she swears by it and said it really helped take the pain away from her arthritic and swollen fingers.
    My Dad says that since she stopped taking them, her warfarin had to be increased on an almost daily basis, so there is some suggestion there that Glucosamine/Chondroitin can thin the blood.

    As there seems to be a house full of unopened medication bottles, I am going to start taking them myself. With a broken back and 'degenerative changes' taking place, there are some days when I can barely move, so its worth a try, right?

    Will let you know how it goes, if you are interested.

    1. hinazille profile image83
      hinazilleposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      i am happy to hear that your mother got some relief out of the Gluc & Chon whilst she was taking them - what caused her to decide she was going to stop?

      You mentioned that since stopping, her Warfarin doses have had to increase - it may not be that Gluc and Chon is acting as a thinner, more so that it may be promoting the breakdown of warfarin in some way, hence leaving it in the system for a shorter duration of time...

      A word of warning though, if you take Gluc/Chond for 3-6 months on a three times a day basis, and you feel there are no noticeable benefits within that time, it is unlikely to work...

      i would love to hear how you get on -- best of luck!

      1. profile image54
        Robertr04posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Must be loosing my grip. Try Alfalfa capsules for joint pain. Maybe 8-10 3x /day.

  7. relache profile image73
    relacheposted 10 years ago

    If you want to relieve joint pain, you'd do best to take an analgesic (a pain reliever). 

    If you want to slow the deterioration of joint cartilage, then you might take glucosamine and/or chondroitin.

  8. SpryHealth Pharma profile image61
    SpryHealth Pharmaposted 6 years ago

    There is good scientific evidence on the use of these glucosamine combo in promoting joint support and function over a long duration of time. To relieve the immediate joint pain and inflammation, drugs like ibuprofen and its likes come in handy


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