For a person suffering with osteoarthritis and joint pain in the knee, chondroitin sulfate could be a possible treatment.
Chondroitin refers to a part of connective tissues found in bone and cartilage in humans, according to the Arthritis Foundation
For its supplements, the chondroitin sulfate is extracted from the cartilages of other animals, such as cows, pigs, and sharks, Arthritis Research UK stated
. The result is a complex sugar.
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So far, studies show the substance decreases cartilage breakdown by blocking enzymes that attack it as well as help it to hold water, according to the foundation. Additionally, chondroitin exploits collagen’s ability to absorb shocks.
it may have an anti-inflammatory response, decrease swelling, and decrease the speed of cartilage from being destroyed.
Research of the supplement’s effectiveness in combating the symptoms of arthritis is inconsistent, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Some studies conclude chondroitin can help people with osteoarthritis in the knee. Others say it must be taken with glucosamine, a component of joint cartilage. Still other studies show it had no effect on joint pain.
Harvard Health Publications
said those with more severe pain in the knee experienced more relief than those with less when the supplement combined with glucosamine.
Chondroitin can be taken as a powder, tablet, or capsule from between 800 mg to 1,200 mg split between two to four times a day, the foundation recommends.
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The University of Maryland Medical Center reported
some supplements do not contain the amount of the chondroitin as advertised. The center recommends patients speak with their doctors for a recommendation or select a brand they trust.
The supplement contains manganese, which is dangerous for long periods of use, the foundation warns.
Many are also from bovine products so it could contain mad cow disease, according to the foundation.
Some, however, are made from algae, the University of Maryland Medical Center noted.
Taking these with blood-thinning medications may increase the chance on bleeding, the foundation reported. Side effects include diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pains.
According to the University of Maryland, side effects are not common, though not much testing has been performed to assess the safety of chondroitin. For this reason, it recommends women who are pregnant or breast-feeding mothers do not take chondroitin.
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