Glucosamine Builds Healthy, Elastic Cartilage
I have used glucosamine in my practice for years -- a full 8 years before the January 26, 2001, issue of The Lancet, a prestigious British medical journal, heralded the 'news' that glucosamine sulfate slows deterioration of the joints. I was convinced in 1993 that it is one of the most effective therapies for long-term relief of joint discomfort and that still holds true today.
In fact, hundreds of studies have examined the effects of glucosamine on joint aches, and the vast majority have shown it to be effective in relieving discomfort and restoring flexibility. In a recent three-year study, 212 patients who were already experiencing joint discomfort in the knee received glucosamine or a placebo and their knees were X-rayed at one year and at three years. Researchers found that all the patients who had received the placebo developed joint narrowing, while those who had taken glucosamine showed no detectable changes. In addition, patients taking the placebo evaluated their aches and discomfort as worse, while those on glucosamine reported that their knees felt better.
Chondroitin Sulfate Promotes Cushioning Effect
Like glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate is abundant in your cartilage. It has a strong affinity for water and is able to attract and hold it within the cartilage. This is crucial to joint health, since water makes up 85 percent of cartilage and is what gives cartilage its resiliency and cushioning effect. Furthermore, it also helps to inhibit the enzymes that break down cartilage, giving the edge to the reconstructive process.
Studies of chondroitin sulfate support its therapeutic use in the treatment of joint aches. In a recent French study of 104 patients with existing knee discomfort, chondroitin sulfate reduced functional impairment by approximately 50 percent after one year. X-rays of the knee also showed improvement.
Nutrient recommendations in a nutshell...
- To relieve joint aches and rebuild cartilage, take 1,000-1,500 mg glucosamine daily in divided doses with meals. As you notice improvements, cut back to 500 or 1,000 mg. If your symptoms do not improve, you may take up to 3,000 mg daily, and back down later.
- Also add 200 mg of chondroitin sulfate, with meals. This can be increased up to 1,200 mg as symptoms warrant or reduced as symptoms improve.
If adding each of these supplements seems a bit overwhelming, you'll want to learn about Dr. Whitaker's specially formulated, targeted nutritional supplement that goes to the root of your joint discomfort. It combines two forms of glucosamine for better absorption and chondroitin sulfate along with six other joint enhancing nutrients into a single, comprehensive formula. Dr.Whitaker's patients are reporting excellent results.
Conrozier T. Anti-arthrosis treatments: efficacy and tolerance of chondroitin sulfates. Presse Med 1998 Nov 21;27(36):1862-5. Glucosamine reduces knee osteoarthritis. Reutershealth.com, Nov 15, 1999.