Glucosamine Benefits Proven
in Large Clinical Study--
Supplements Outperform Celebrex
The glucosamine benefits of significant pain relief and restored flexibility may put a spring in the step of knee arthritis patients who need it the most. Results of a 2006 government study showed dietary supplements glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate both actually work better than prescription Celebrex in effectively reducing moderate-to-severe pain from knee osteoarthritis. To top it off, glucosamine produced zero side effects in the study group.
The large, randomized, placebo-controlled six-month clinical trial of 1583 knee arthritis patients Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT) was conducted across the United States and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The primary results were published February 23, 2006 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and ancillary results published in 2008 and 2010 in two other journals.(1) GAIT was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).
For my husband and I the study confirmed what we had already experienced. In 2003 we began using the best glucosamine supplement we’ve found anywhere. Over time, it naturally reduced my neck arthritis pain and my husband’s knee pain from osteoarthritis, while it increased joint function and flexibility by reducing swelling and stiffness. It was reformulated in 2011 with clinical study claims that it now helps your joints feel better in less than 5 days.(2)
Use of glucosamine and chondroitin for osteoarthritis has exploded since 1997 and is a natural fit because glucosamine benefits include significant pain relief and support of cartilage growth in affected joints.
Studies confirm glucosamine benefits for osteoarthritis
he gold standard in determining glucosamine benefits is a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, such as GAIT. At the end of GAIT, researchers documented the following glucosamine benefits:
- Glucosamine slowed the progression of knee osteoarthritis compared to the placebo
- People in the glucosamine group had a significant reduction in pain and stiffness for moderate to extreme pain
- On x-ray, there was no sign of deterioration change or narrowing of joint spaces in the knees of the glucosamine group (in contrast, joint spaces of participants taking the placebo narrowed over the three years)
- There have been no significant supplement-drug interactions when using glucosamine.
- During the GAIT study, participants reported zero negative side effects from the use of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements.
- There have been no reactions in persons with shell fish allergies (most glucosamine dietary supplements are made from the shells of lobster, crab and shrimp).
- In the GAIT study 65.7% of the patients who reported moderate to extreme pain experienced relief when taking glucosamine hydrochloride alone. And 79.2% experienced relief and when taking glucosamine/chondroitin combination., For patients taking celecoxib [Celebrex], 69.4% experienced pain relief.
It should be noted that in the GAIT study, for patients with mild knee osteoarthritis pain, the glucosamine chondroitin combination was not significantly more effective than placebo.
What is glucosamine? Why is it important as we age?
Glucosamine is a natural sugar compound made from glucose and the amino acid glutamine found naturally in the body that plays an important role in the formation, maintenance, and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. But, its production slows with aging (3)--when people need it the most. Glucosamine benefits cartilage. It stimulates the production of molecules glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans, two essential building blocks of cartilage.
Glucosamine is available as a nutritional supplement in health food stores and many drug stores. In addition to nutritional supplements, glucosamine is also used in sports drinks and in cosmetics. Its effectiveness has not been proven in liquid glucosamine products.
Glucosamine benefits from nutritional supplement tablets or capsules have been cited in long-term clinical trials--by replenishing the body's diminishing supply the nutrient appears to help repair damaged cartilage.
In osteoarthritis, cartilage—the cushion between the joints—wears away or becomes damaged from overuse or trauma. This leads to pain, swelling, and loss of joint motion.
In rheumatoid arthritis, many of the symptoms are the same as osteoarthritis and glucosamine supplements are often suggested by health care professionals.
Glucosamine benefits – shellfish versus vegetarian
The glucosamine in most supplements marketed today is sourced from chitin, a substance found in the outer skeletons of shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster and some animals). Some people experience allergic reactions to shellfish or a possible worsening of asthma symptoms.(4) In addition, shellfish is not suitable for vegetarians or those who follow a Kosher diet.
In order to meet this market gap, a number of vegetarian sources of glucosamine have recently appeared in joint health products to meet the increasing “green” demand for plant-derived forms of the ingredient.
While some plant-based glucosamine is derived from fungi, such as aspergillus niger, vegetarian glucosamine is more often sourced from corn, supplying both hydrochlride (HCL) and Sulfate forms of the ingredient.(5) At this time, for joint health, there is insufficient evidence to claim that one glucosamine form is better than the other, or that shellfish-derived is better than vegetable-sourced glucosamine.
Vegetarian glucosamine with boswellia beats competition in study
Glucosamine supplements are often combined with other substances, such as chondroitin and herbs like boswellia.
A vegetarian glucosamine supplement containing boswellia, New Advanced Joint Health Complex, was introduced by the Shaklee Corporation in 2011 with clinical study claims that it outperformed three leading shellfish-sourced brands containing boswellia in head-to-head comparisons.
In the study (illustrated in this short video), the boswellia extract in New Advanced Joint Health Complex works in as few as five days—up to 28% faster than claimed by Osto Bi-Flex®, Nature Made® Triple Flex, and Schiff® Move Free®.(6)
In addition, participants in a 90-day clinical study were asked to rate their level of comfort and ease of motion before and after taking joint health products. Results showed that the boswellia extract in New Advanced Joint Health Complex scored significantly better in both categories than the boswellia extract in Osteo Bi-Flex® (45% better joint comfort, and 31% better ease of motion).(5)
Glucosamine benefits those with osteoarthritis and joint trauma
When your joints are healthy, they operate like a well-oiled machine. Cartilage and joint fluids cushion your bones, allowing muscles and tendons to slide smoothly and limbs to move easily.
Who needs glucosamine?
- Glucosamine benefits people with osteoarthritis (particularly knee arthritis).
- People with rheumatoid arthritis
- 87 million Americans over age 45 who face age-related slowdown of cartilage rebuilding.
- People who have had surgery to a joint, particularly arthroscopy of the knee
- People who have experienced trauma and sports injury to a joint, especially the knee joint
- People who participate in strenuous recreational activity.
- Those with job-related repetitive stress to joints—an increasingly common problem
- Glucosamine benefits those well above ideal weight, creating additional pressure on joints
- People who lift heavy objects daily (even mothers carrying babies).
Glucosamine benefits – hydrochloric versus sulfate
Glucosamine comes in several forms, including glucosamine hydrochloride, glucosamine sulfate and others. Clinical studies show glucosamine benefits the body by metabolizing each about the same. There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that one form is better than another.
Glucosamine hydrochloride is a more concentrated source and is bioavailable and sodium free. It is every bit as well absorbed as sulfate, yet does not use salt to stabilize the supplement as does the sulfate version.
Many people who need the benefits of glucosamine have low sodium restrictions for other health conditions, such as high blood pressure. Glucosamine hydrochloride is the formulation of choice by Shaklee, the number one natural nutrition company, whose supplement I’m recommending.
Why glucosamine chondroitin is not recommended
The Shaklee corporation is recognized as a scientific company. They have more scientists on staff (70) than any other nutritional company. Of more importance and without equal, Shaklee scientists have authored over 100 scientific papers, 90 of them published in peer-reviewed journals, that prove the effectiveness of Shaklee products.
From a purely scientific point of view, they've decided to use glucosamine in combination with plant-sourced boswellia but not in combination with animal-sourced chondroitin. Many other companies combine chondroitin with their glucamine supplements.
The source of most raw chondroitin is the meat packing industry, mostly imported from China. Chondroitin supplements are prepared from animal cartilage like bovine trachea, pig and shark cartilage.
Osto Bi-Flex®, Nature Made® Triple Flex, and Schiff® Move Free® all contain chondroitin in their glucosamine supplements.
Glucosamine absorption 98%; chondroitin absorption only 10%
There is considerable controversy regarding absorption of chondroitin—simply “gristle” found around joints and in leaner cuts of meat. We already get chondroitin from our diet. It’s found in most animal tissue. The chondroitin used most often commercially for supplements is bovine cartilage or cow trachea. Some use chondroitin sulfate, which is a cartilage extract.
Chondroitin is too large a molecule to be absorbed whole. It is broken down and digested as it passes through the intestinal tract. Even with the smallest molecule of purified chondroitin sulfate, less than 10% is absorbed. Glucosamine benefits include that it’s up to 98 percent absorbed.(7)
Featured supplement: glucosamine benefits boosted with Boswellia herb and more
We discovered Shaklee Corporation from the answers to 30 questions (modified somewhat over the years), I came up with years ago when trying to find the best nutritional supplement company for my family.
The supplement we’re featuring is one of three natural pain relief solutions manufactured by this company for arthritis and other painful conditions.
From another page on this site you may be aware that my husband and I both have osteoarthritis. We no longer use prescription or non prescription drugs of any kind to manage arthritis symptoms. Frankly, we've achieved surprisingly good results through natural herbal supplements alone. We're getting our money’s worth without compromising our health from drug side effects.
The difference in Shaklee products is they're always safe, always work, and always green. In keeping with that tradition, New Advanced Joint Health Complex is:
- 100% shellfish free
- 100% vegetarian
- gluten free and
- contains no artifical flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.
- 1500 mg. Glucosamine hydrochloride per serving size (only 2 caplets daily)
- 100 mg Boswellia Extract per serving size (only 2 caplets)
- Improves joint comfort in as few as five days.
- Up to 28% faster joint comfort than claimed by Osteo Bi-Flex®
- 45% more effective at improving joint comfort than Osteo Bi-Flex®
- No chondroitin for better glucosamine absorption.
- Includes a specially designed combination of key joint health nutrients: zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamin C—each playing a unique and critical role in building healthy connective collagen and cartilage.
- Recyclable bottle
- No bisphenol-QA used in packaging
My husband and I believe we’ve found the best glucosamine supplement available. We don’t have to worry about ingredient purity and potency or side effects--we’ve chosen the right company with an ironclad guarantee (if it doesn't work, get your money back).
From more than 20 years personal experience with the manufactuer and personal use of the product since 2003, including its reformulation in 2011, I confidently recommend New Advanced Joint Health Complex for glucosamine benefits.
1. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT), 2006 primary and 2008/2010 ancillary study results (links to three journal abstracts) http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/gait/
2. Product page, New Advanced Joint Health Complex, Shaklee Corporation http://arthritisrelief.myshaklee.com/us/en/products.php?sku=20281
3. Wong, C. Glucosamine for Natural Arthritis Relief, About.com September 26, 2011 (updated).
4. Dahmer S et al. Glucosamine. Am Fam Physician. 2008 Aug 15;78(4):471-6. PMID: 18756654
5. Heller, L., Another vegetarian glucosamine launched in U.S., Jan. 25, 2008
6. Product bulletin, New Advanced Joint Health Complex, Shaklee Corporation, http://www.shaklee.net/pws/library/products/20281_jointhealthbulletin.pdf
7. Benedikt H. Chondroitin sulfate: the new arthritis therapy. Nat Pharm . 1997;1(8):1,22.
Glucosamine Benefits Disclaimer: Health statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease
Herbal Pain Relief. Herbal pain relief supplements are popular complementary or alternative treatments used effectively for all symptoms of various types of arthritis. Click here for more on herbal pain relief.
Arthritis Products Three safe natural products scientifically designed to fight pain and reduce dependency on pharmaceutical medicines. Each is unique for rapid relief and joint health …. Click here for details
Boswellia. This ancient herb has natural benefits similar to arthritis pain relief medicines but without harmful side effects. Click here for more on boswellia
Menthol. In an arthritis pain cream, menthol replaces the pain message with a cooling sensation in order to provide temporary relief from localized pain. Click here for more details
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