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Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM

The Facts Put Simply

Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM... Powerful Joint Protection Provided by Mother Nature.

Subject matter Quick Links for this page…

1) What is Glucosamine?
2) Why are Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM so often combined?
3) What is Chondroitin Sulfate?
4) What is MSM?
5) Chondroitin Sulfate Benefits
6) Glucosamine Benefits
7) MSM Benefits
8) How to Evaluate Glucosamine Joint Pain Remedies
9) Recommended Glucosamine Joint Pain Products

What is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a form of amino sugar that is found naturally in the body and that plays a key role in cartilage formation and repair. The human body produces a certain amount of Glucosamine but as people grow older, their bodies lose the capacity to manufacture enough Glucosamine. Having sufficient Glucosamine is essential to producing the nutrients needed to stimulate the production of synovial fluid which lubricates cartilage and maintains healthy joints.

What Glucosamine does is work to stimulate joint function and repair. It has been clinically proven in countless scientific trials and has been found to be effective in easing joint pain; rehabilitating cartilage; renewing synnovial fluid; and, repairing joints that have been damaged by osteoarthritis. When there is a deficiency in glucosamine, joint cartilage deteriorates. The cartilage then hardens and can forms spurs or result in deformed joints. Mobility of the affected joint then begins to become an issue.

Glucosamine is sold as a dietary or nutritional supplements. It is a naturally occurring ingredient that is derived from crab, lobster or shrimp shells.

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Why are Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM so often combined?

While each ingredient has proven to have beneficial properties unto itself, research and real life results have shown that these three ingredients when combined into one product have a synergistic effect on each other that makes the resulting product greater that the sum of its individual components. Studies have reported pain relief at a level similar to that of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen.

Additionally; the research indicates that they might also slow and even reverse cartilage damage in some people with osteoarthritis. Definitive results about the effects of these supplements are outlined in the GAIT Study and GUIDE Trial.

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What is Chondroitin Sulfate?

Chondroitin sulfate is a naturally occurring component of several tissues in the body, including tendons, cartilage, bone, intervertebral disk, cornea and heart valve. It aids in both the lubrication and cushioning of joints. Chondroitin also provides structure, elasticity and flexibility to your joints.

Chondroitin sulphate is sold as dietary or nutritional supplements. It is a naturally occurring ingredient that is derived from animal cartilage, such as tracheas, bovine or shark cartilage.

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What is MSM?

MSM is short for – Methylsulfonylmethane. MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur compound that can be a safe and effective natural remedy against the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and gout, not to mention allergies.

When we include fresh, unprocessed plants in our diet, we reap the health benefits of MSM. Unfortunately, the typical North American diet includes many highly processed foods, which lack MSM and the benefits of MSM.

MSM helps to maintain the integrity and elasticity of connective tissues and tendons. Our cell and cell membranes require MSM to assist in the strengthening of proteins, which reinforce the framework of connective tissue. By strengthening this connective tissue, we help prevent pain caused by wear and tear. MSM benefits hair, skin and nails, as well, because it is a vital component of these proteins.

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Chondroitin Sulfate Benefits

Chondroitin Sulfate Benefits the body because it supplies building blocks for making structural substances known as glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in joints. These glycosaminoglycans attract water into joints, which act as a shock absorber as well as a nutrient transport system.

Chondroitin sulphate also inhibits enzymes that break down cartilage, while stimulating those involved in the production of structural substances such as proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans and collagen.

It has also proved beneficial in the treatment of: Arthritis and Joint repair: Numerous studies have shown that chondroitin sulfate is useful in the treatment of osteoarthritis, when compared to placebo and other standard anti-arthritis medications.

A recent meta-analysis showed efficacy in osteoarthritis patients.

Chondroitin sulfate is normally secreted by platelets as part of the body’s normal control of clotting. It is felt with age, production of chondroitin sulfate by platelets does decrease and is replaced by other less effective glycosaminoglycans. Because of this, chondroitin sulfate has been investigated with regard to its anti-atherosclerosis effects felt to occur by way of increasing circulation to the tissues by this mechanism.

Kidney Stones:
Glycosaminoglycans also have been suggested to affect how the body processes oxalate, which is a substance linked to kidney stones. There have been studies suggesting supplementation with chondroitin sulfate may decrease the risk of kidney stone formation.

Recommended dosage:

The studies showing effectiveness consistently in osteoarthritis symptoms utilized 1200 mg. per day in divided doses. The sulfate form of chondroitin should be used. It is felt to be complementary to glucosamine in its chondroprotective effect in joints and recommended to be used with glucosamine as well as the other nutrients shown to be helpful in inflammation and arthritis such as the anti-oxidants, Vitamins C, D and E, and some of the anti-inflammatory herbs.

Side effects:

There are no toxicities or drug interactions reported, and it is generally well tolerated. Most of the side effects documented with chondroitin sulfate have been related to the unpurified forms and are felt more to be related to the impurities in those preparations. Nausea may occur at higher doses.

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Glucosamine Benefits

Glucosamine benefits the body, because it occurs naturally in human tissues, making it a viable alternative to the synthetically derived drugs that have infiltrated the market in past years. Like glucosamine, these drugs known as NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can help relieve the discomfort associated with arthritis; however, they work in vastly different ways.

The problem with NSAIDs, such as the now infamous Vioxx, is that they can increase the risk of heart attacks and gastrointestinal bleeding, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration. The FDA even targeted non-prescription NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen by advising manufacturers to revise their labeling and provide more specific information about the potential cardiovascular and gastrointestinal risks of their individual products. Glucosamine side effects are minimal in comparison.

So, how exactly is glucosamine, an amino sugar, different from NSAIDs and what are the proven glucosamine benefits?

Instead of tricking the body into not receiving pain signals, glucosamine goes straight to the cause of the disease. Studies indicate that glucosamine benefits tender joints by stimulating the production of proteins, which aid in the building and repairing of connective tissue in the body. As we grow older, our body’s ability to produce glucosamine decreases, and our structural system pays the price. Because osteoarthritis, in particular, is often caused by age and wear, glucosamine benefits the body by possibly slowing or even reversing the progression of the disease.

Recommended dosage:

The studies showing effectiveness consistently in osteoarthritis symptoms utilized 1500 mg. per day. You can try the supplements along with your current medications for six to eight weeks. If you don't experience any difference in your symptoms within a few months, you probably will not get any relief from using the supplements.

Side effects:

Too much of any nutrient, vitamins and minerals included, can be harmful.

Possible glucosamine side effects include intestinal gas, nausea, diarrhea, heartburn, drowsiness, skin rash, and headache. If you continue to experience these problems, you might want to try another supplement brand before you stop using them altogether.

Be sure to contact your doctor if you notice any unusual or new symptoms while you are taking them.

Additional cautions:

• Children, women who are pregnant, and women who could become pregnant should not take these supplements. They have not been studied long enough to determine their effects on a child or on a developing fetus.
• Because glucosamine is an amino sugar, people with diabetes should check their blood sugar levels more frequently when taking this supplement.
• If you are taking chondroitin sulfate in addition to a blood-thinning medication or daily aspirin therapy, have your blood clotting time checked more often. This supplement is similar in structure to the blood-thinning drug heparin, and the combination may cause bleeding in some people.
• If you are allergic to shellfish, consult your doctor before deciding to take glucosamine. In most cases, however, allergies are caused by proteins in shellfish, not chitin, a carbohydrate from which glucosamine is extracted.

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MSM Benefits

The health benefits of MSM are numerous, and as such it has become a very popular natural treatment for arthritis and related ailments.

Many health experts and doctors confirm MSM benefits. They assert that, because MSM is such an effective pain remedy, doctors are often able to lower the dosage of medication they prescribe for patients. Furthermore, MSM is free of the side effects that are frequently caused by prescription pain medications.

These synthetic pain medications, also known as NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can ease pain and inflammation by blocking prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that act as chemical messengers communicating pain and inflammation throughout the body. Instead of tricking the body into not receiving pain signals like these drugs, MSM goes straight to the tissues to help rebuild them.

In addition to being an effective alternative to conventional pain medications, many allergy sufferers are singing the praises of MSM and the health benefits of MSM. MSM strengthens membranes and tissue in the body, which makes mucus membranes better equipped to fight allergens that cause inflammation and irritation.

Many health experts believe that the health benefits of MSM also include boosting the immune system, scavenging free radicals, and supporting optimal intestinal function. MSM can be taken orally or applied as a lotion to painful or inflamed joints.

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How to Evaluate Glucosamine Joint Pain Remedies

Glucosamine compounds have proven to be a fantastic option for people that suffer from arthritis joint pain. There is nothing new about the use of Glucosamine as a way of easing arthritic pain as it has been used for many years in Asia and Europe, but the North American medical community has been very slow to embrace it due to the prevalence of pharmaceutical drugs. That said; there are some great products on the market now and informed customers have never had more options. With more options however, comes the obligation to do your research and to be very careful when making your Glucosamine product selection.

Your selection should be based on the following factors.

• Choose products sold by well-established companies that have a track record of satisfied customers as demonstrated by testimonials and that offer a no questions asked 100% money back guarantee.

• Consider the quality of Glucosamine, Simply put, the higher quality of Glucosamine you purchase, the greater your relief will be. Many companies use medium grade Glucosamine so you must be careful to look for the highest quality. You need to look for pharmaceutical quality Glucosamine if you want the fastest and fullest relief and healing.

• Method of delivery of the Glucosamine into the body. The method of delivery can make a huge difference in the degree of results you achieve. Most products produced after the breakthrough news of the 1999 Lancet medical journal Glucosamine study, were rushed to the market. In this haste, these companies did not take any time to do tests on their product. They simply assumed pill form would be the most effective. The latest research however, has shown that Glucosamine in liquid form is much more effective at being rapidly absorbed into the body and better utilized at the joint sites. Without a doubt; when selecting a Glucosamine product, be sure to choose one that is liquid form.

• Additional Synergistic ingredients should be present in the product. Crucial to the effectiveness of the product are other ingredients that are included in the preparation. To maximize your benefits, you need to use a product that takes a holistic approach and combines a number of arthritis fighting ingredients into one powerful product. You should look for a product that aside from Glucosamine Sulfate and Glucosamine HCL, also contains arthritis-fighting ingredients such as chondroitin, boswellin, bromelain, omega 3 & 6, yucca, manganese ascorbate, and vitamins A, C, and E.

• Cost. When evaluating cost, you must take care to determine exactly how much supply you are purchasing. To figure this out you need to be clear on the recommended dosage per day, the size of the package and the cost of that package. You would then divide the size of the package by the daily dosage to determine how many days worth of supply you have. Then you would divide that figure into the cost of the package to determine your cost per day. Generally, a fair price for a quality liquid Glucosamine product with many of the above ingredients synergistically combined is around $30 or $1 per day.

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Recommended Glucosamine Joint Pain Products

After much comparative research of the products on the market today, we are pleased to recommend the following comprehensive joint supplement product - Synflex - which delivers a comprehensive array of synergistic supplements as the best option for people suffering from joint pain caused by arthritis.

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