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.
Double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies, such as GAIT, are the gold standard in determining glucosamine benefits. At the end of GAIT, researchers documented the following glucosamine benefits:
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.
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.
In most supplements marketed today, glucosamine is sourced from chitin, a substance found in the outer skeletons of shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster and some animals). Some people are allergic to shellfish, which can also worsen asthma symptoms.(4) In addition, shellfish is not suitable for vegetarians or those who follow a Kosher diet.
To attract a broader base of customers, several sources of vegetarian glucosamine are now formulated in joint health products. Plant-based form of the ingredient also meets an increasing demand for "green" products.
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) There is insufficient joint health evidence to claim that one glucosamine form is better than the other, or that shellfish-derived is better than vegetable-sourced glucosamine.
Glucosamine supplements are often combined with other substances, such as chondroitin and herbs like boswellia.
Formulated in a complex containing boswellia, the corn-sourced vegetarian glucosamine supplement we use, was introduced in 2011 by the #1 natural nutrition company in the U.S.. This new complex for joint health is backed by 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)
For more details on this product, please go to this best glucosamine supplement link and scroll the page..
Healthy joints operate like a well-oiled machine. Bones are cushioned by cartilage and joint fluids, allowing muscles and tendons to slide smoothly and limbs to move easily.
Who needs glucosamine?
Glucosamine comes in several forms, including glucosamine hydrochloride, glucosamine sulfate and others. Clinical studies show each form of glucosamine is metabolized by the body 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 the 'beyond organic' company whose supplement we recommend.
The 'company with a conscience' 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, 100 of them published in peer-reviewed journals, that prove the effectiveness of their products, joint health or otherwise.
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.
There is considerable controversy regarding absorption of chondroitin, which is 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. Bovine cartilage or cow trachea are the chondroitin sources commercially used most often in supplements. 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. Less than 10% of the smallest molecule of purified chondroitin is absorbed. A decided glucosamine benefit is its 98% absorption rate.(7)
We discovered the #1 natural nutrition company by answering 30 questions (modified somewhat over the years) that I listed years ago when trying to find the best nutritional supplement company for my family.
The joint supplement we’re featuring is one of three natural pain relief solutions manufactured by this company for arthritis and other painful conditions.
From other pages 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.
is they're always safe, always work, and always green. In keeping with that tradition, Advanced Joint Health Complex is:
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 nearly 30 years personal experience with the manufactuer and personal use of the joint product since 2003, including its reformulation in 2011, I confidently recommend Advanced Joint Health 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 http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Industry/Another-vegetarian-glucosamine-launched-in-US
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
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