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Home > Nutrition > Other nutrients and supplements > Chondroitin

CHONDROITIN

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Important chondroitin facts

Chondroitin is found in connective tissue and specifically in the cartilage, which cushions joints from injury. The main benefit of chondroitin is its ability to attract water into the tissue, which allows nutrients in and makes the tissue more shock-absorbent.

Chondroitin also protects cartilage from deterioration by blocking enzymes that weaken it and by its water and nutrient attracting abilities.

Chondroitin is found abundantly in the skin and in heart tissue.

  • Chondroitin works even better if taken with glucosamine to repair cartilage in the body
  • Chondroitin helps cartilage retain water
  • Chondroitin naturally exists in the body, but it is worn down after years of usages, so older people have less than younger people
  • Chondroitin is found in cartilage in the body
  • Chondroitin is also found in shark cartilage.

Chondroitin and health

  • Osteoarthritis - several studies have shown that chondroitin significantly decreases joint pain and reduces inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. In particular, the NIH Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT) showed that about 70% of people taking the chondroitin and glucosamine supplement experienced significant pain relief

People who wish to take an acidophilus supplement should talk to a medical professional BEFORE taking it.

Chondroitin recommended intake

Dosage of chondroitin depends on the condition that is being treated. A medical doctor and/or alternative health care provider can advise on individual cases - this information is provided as a guide only:

Lifestage Age Amount (per day)
INFANTS 0-12mths Not recommended
CHILDREN 1-3yrs Not recommended
CHILDREN 4-8yrs Seek medical advice on dosage before taking it
CHILDREN 9-18yrs
Seek medical advice on dosage before taking it
ADULTS 19-50yrs
Osteoarthritis
400mg twice a day
SENIORS 51+yrs Osteoarthritis
400mg twice a day
PREGNANT   Not recommended
LACTATING   Not recommended

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Types of chondroitin supplements

Chondroitin supplementation is available in the following ways:

  • Capsules - chondroitin powder is added into capsules
  • Tablets - chondroitin powder is compressed and formed into a tablet
  • Soft gel Capsules - filled with chondroitin liquid
  • Powder - chondroitin is crushed and made into a powder
  • Gel - chondroitin gel for external use on joints

Chondroitin supplementation checklist

  • Take chondroitin with food to minimise stomach upset
  • Benefits of chondroitin are more noticeable when taken over a long period of time
  • Tablets are a convenient and quick way of getting chondroitin
  • Chondroitin powder can be taken if a more controlled or lower dose is required to start

Chondroitin works best with


Overdosage, toxicity and cautions for chondroitin

Generally chondroitin rarely has side effects if used at the recommended dosage. Some of the common (and mild) side effects that have been reported are:

  • diarrhoea
  • constipation
  • abdominal pain

Some rare side effects that have been reported - swelling of lower limbs, irregular heartbeat, eyelid swelling and hair loss.

No information on overdosage is available.

Cautions

  • People taking blood thinning medication - such as Coumadin or Warfarin should seek medical advice before taking a chondroitin supplement, as there may be bleeding complications
  • People with a blood clotting disorder - should seek medical advice before taking a chondroitin supplement as there may be bleeding complications

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Last reviewed 21 April 2019

References

  • Busci L, Poor G. Efficacy and tolerability of oral chondroitin sulfate as a symptomatic slow-acting drug for osteoarthritis (SYSADOA) in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 1998;6(suppl A):31-36
  • Groff J L, Gropper SS, Hunt SM, Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. West Publishing, USA, 1995
  • McAlindon TE, LaValley MP, Gulin JP, Felson DT. Glucosamine and chondroitin for treatment of osteoarthritis: a systematic quality assessment and meta-analysis. Journal of Americal Medical Association. 2000 15;283(11):1469-75
  • Reginster JY, Deroisy R, Rovati L, et al. Long-term effects of glucosamine sulphate on osteoarthritis progression: a randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Lancet 2001;357:251-6
  • Rovetta G, Monteforte P, Molfetta G, Balestra V. Chondroitin sulfate in erosive osteoarthritis of the hands. Int J Tissue React 2002;24:29-32
  • Thie NM, Prasad NG, Major PW. Evaluation of glucosamine sulfate compared to ibuprofen for the treatment of temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis: a randomized double blind controlled 3 month clinical trial. J Rheumatol 2001;28:1347-55