Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are natural substances found in and around the cells of cartilage. Glucosamine is an amino sugar that the body produces and distributes in cartilage and other connective tissue, and chondroitin sulfate is a complex carbohydrate that helps cartilage retain water.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative, debilitating disease with symptoms and risk increasing with age.It is estimated 1 in 12 Americans will suffer from this disease. As the joint cartilage breaks down, the bones come closer together with increasing pain to the sufferer.Osteoarthritis is most prevalent in the hands, hips and knees. Elite athletes are also prone to this disease due to intense training and stress on their joints. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)are the standard treatment for osteoarthritis, but they tend to treat the symptom and not the cause.Therefore research is increasing in the use of glucosamine to help in rebuilding the cartilage in joints as well as lubricate around damaged areas.
Chondroitin sulfate is safe for most, but people who have asthma, blood-clotting disorders, and prostate cancer should use caution when taking it.