Glucosamine and chondroitin - researched?

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Ouabache

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Astronuc said:
Also, take care of your joints, especially hip, knee and shoulder. As one gets older, injury or damage to these joints can be problematic. Once you get much beyond 40 yrs of age, healing takes much longer.

There are some who recommend "glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate" for joints. I still have to research these.
I read Astronuc's note and also recall hearing glucosamine is supposed to be a building block of bone joint cartilage and chondroitin is supposed to reduce the normal degradation of cartilage. I wonder if these claims have been scientifically proven? Or are they just another snake oil treatment.

If they are both ingested (pill form), how do they arrive at the point of need (bone joints)? Wouldn't molecules of their size be broken down? If they do make it into the circulatory system, are they in sufficient concentration to be of benefit? :uhh:
 

iansmith

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Pubmed is always a good source of research information

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15846645&query_hl=4

This update includes 20 studies with 2570 patients. Pooled results from studies using a non-Rotta preparation or adequate allocation concealment failed to show benefit in pain and WOMAC function while those studies evaluating the Rotta preparation show that glucosamine was superior to placebo in the treatment of pain and functional impairment resulting from symptomatic OA. WOMAC outcomes of pain, stiffness and function did not show a superiority of glucosamine over placebo for both Rotta and non-Rotta preparations of glucosamine. Glucosamine was as safe as placebo.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15641100&query_hl=6
CONCLUSION: Clinically relevant dosing of glucosamine HCl in this large monogastric animal model results in serum and synovial fluid concentrations that are at least 500-fold lower than those reported to modify chondrocyte anabolic and catabolic activities in tissue and cell culture experiments. We conclude that the apparent therapeutic benefit of dietary glucosamine on pain and joint space width in humans and animals may be secondary to its effects on nonarticular tissues, such as the intestinal lining, liver, or kidney, since these may be exposed to much high levels of glucosamine following ingestion.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14960396&query_hl=8
The efficacy of fish oils (e.g. cod liver oil) in the diet has been demonstrated in several clinical trials, animal feeding experiments and in vitro models that mimic cartilage destruction in arthritic disease. In addition, there is some evidence for beneficial effects of other nutraceuticals, such as green tea, herbal extracts, chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine. However, in most cases, there is little scientific evidence at the cellular and molecular levels to explain their mechanisms of action.
 

brewnog

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I can't give a scientific evaluation, but I'm definitely a sceptic when it comes to 'snake oil' treatments.

I took glucosamine and chondroitin supplements a few years ago when I had horrific knees (physio suspected a touch of OA), and rode mountain bikes a lot. It definitely reduced the pain after having taken them (relatively high doses, I recall) for a few months. Whether or not this was coincidence, or some kind of placebo effect going on I don't know (or care). The pain was definitely reduced, to the point where after about 6 months, I was able to go skiing for a fortnight with no pain whatsoever, something which would not have been possible previously.
 
I would not take glucosamine.

Boosting glucosamine will screw up cell signaling. I used to do research in this area (effects of N-acetylglucosamine on cell signaling related to diabetes and cancer).

Also, we have observed that the kidneys of animals fed glucosamine become screwed up.
 

Ouabache

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Thanks iansmith for mentioning PubMed.
They do have some compelling research on both compounds. :rolleyes:

They say there was no appreciable joint-space loss (where cartilage resides) after three years, in those taking glucosamine compared to those on placebo (who lost of 0.31 mm). ref1
.. As assessed by WOMAC scores, symptoms worsened slightly in patients on placebo compared with the improvement observed after treatment with glucosamine sulphate.... The long-term combined structure-modifying and symptom-modifying effects of gluosamine sulphate suggest that it could be a disease modifying agent in osteoarthritis.
Here's another that look at long term clinical studies (minimun 1 year) with benefits of glucosamine ref2
..Glucosamine sulfate was more effective than placebo in delaying structural progression in knee OA (osteoarthritis)...The available evidence suggests that glucosamine sulfate may be effective and safe in delaying the progression and improving the symptoms of knee OA.
This study point's to beneficial effects of chondroitin; including reducing inflammation, increasing viscosity of synovial liquid (lubrication between bone joints) ref3
CS - chondroitin sulphate
CS are inhibitors of extracellular proteases involved in the metabolism of connective tissues. In addition to their anti-inflammatory effects, CS in vitro stimulate proteoglycan production by chondrocytes; they also inhibit cartilage cytokine production and induce apoptosis of articular chondrocytes. CS increase the intrinsic viscosity of the synovial liquid. 4) In vivo in experimental arthritis, the number and severity of articular symptoms decreases after CS administration. In bones, CS accelerate the mineralization process and bone repair. CONCLUSIONS: All these data suggest that CS play a role in articular and bone metabolism by controlling cartilaginous matrix integrity and bone mineralization
 
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Is MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) somehow related to glucosamine and chondroitin? Because manufacturer claims on improving OA seem similar..
 

Ouabache

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brewnog, you've had some great results using both supplements.
I have two family members who also report positive results (reduction of joint pain, increased range of motion). When I packpack on steep trails, especially downhill, I invariably will feel pain in the knees. They say shock-absorbing http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/hiking/expert/exp010004.htm are helpful in transferring the weight off the knees. I will try that and also do my own clinical trial with these supplements.

Perhaps there are some others who can describe their experiences.

quetzalcoatl9, i'll bear in mind your thoughts on adverse effects of n-acetyl glucosamine. But that is a different molecule compared with glucosamine-HCl or glucosamine-sulfate. As I recall from mycology and entomology; the n-acetylated form is also a building block of chitin, synthesized in the cell walls of fungi and exoskeletons of insects and shellfish. So n-acetylglucosamine is rather ubiquitous.

ref
glucosamine sulfate is produced by combining glucose with glutamine to form glucosamine through the action of the enzyme glucosamine synthetase. n-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) is also produced this way. However, for NAG there is one more step: it is then acetylated to form n-acetyl glycosamine.

Over 20 double-blind studies have been conducted on glucosamine sulfate. NAG has not been nearly as rigorously tested. Glucosamine sulfate is a glucosamine molecule attached to a sulfur molecule. The sulfur molecule helps glucosamine metabolism. Glucosamine sulfate has a 98% absorption rate and when absorbed is distributed directly to join tissues. NAG, quite a different molecule, is not as easily absorbed and handled quite differently by the body. Glucosamine is a very small molecule compared to NAG. It’s like swallowing a flaxseed versus a whole grapefruit. Glucosamine sulfate is the preferred form because the sulfur molecule helps to metabolize any extra glucosamine and it links to other sulfur molecules in the joints which increases cartilage strength.
 
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Ouabache

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Jikx said:
Is MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) somehow related to glucosamine and chondroitin? Because manufacturer claims on improving OA seem similar..
It is a different molecule but as you found, but is also taken for treating pain associated with OA. Here is a http://www.usgyms.net/glucosamine.htm giving an overview of all three.
 
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quetzalcoatl9, i'll bear in mind your thoughts on adverse effects of n-acetyl glucosamine. But that is a different molecule compared with glucosamine-HCl or glucosamine-sulfate. As I recall from mycology and entomology; the n-acetylated form is also a building block of chitin, synthesized in the cell walls of fungi and exoskeletons of insects and shellfish. So n-acetylglucosamine is rather ubiquitous.
glucosamine will increase flux through the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway, thereby boosting levels of the n-acetylglucosamine protein modification. this has significant effects on cell signaling. we did our work on human brain cells.

here is a good review article:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14568619&query_hl=1

Hart could possibly win a nobel prize for this work. This modification is an intense area of study now.

Some of the older researchers stopped taking their glucosamine supplements after seeing the effects of treating our cell cultures with glucosamine, and also after seeing the kidneys turn to mush upon surgery of animals being fed glucosamine.

so, whatever floats your boat, just thought i'd toss this out there. just because it's ubiquitous doesn't mean it's harmless.
 
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