Glucosamine is derived from shellfish shells and is available in different forms such as glucosamine hydrochloride, N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG), and glucosamine sulfate.
Also known as chitosamine, Glucosamine is a form of sugar that is believed to be able to help with the formation and repair of cartilage.
On the other hand, Chondroitin is obtained from tracheas or shark cartilage and is also available in several forms such as chondroitin sulfate, chondroitin sulfuric acid, and chondroitin sulfate.
Chondroitin is part of a large protein molecule known as proteoglycan and is used to help give the cartilage elasticity.
It also prevents enzymes in the body from disintegrating the building blocks of the cartilage.
Health Benefits Glucosamine and Chondroitin are recognized as being able to help with osteoarthritis, which is a disorder that affects around 10 million Americans.
Osteoarthritis is a disorder wherein there is a deterioration of the cushioning cartilage between the joint bones.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin are known as being able to restore cartilage and help slow down osteoarthritis by forming and repairing cartilage, promoting water retention and elasticity, and at the same time stopping enzymes from disintegrating the cartilage.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin are also said to be able to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis by alleviating joint pain, in addition to protecting joints and tendons from injury, and decreasing inflammation.
Studies have shown that the use of Glucosamine and Chondroitin are similar to the effects of pain relievers such as aspirin and ibuprofen, but with less side effects.
Currently, Chondroitin is being investigated for a possible remedy in serving as anticoagulants by preventing blood clots.
When Not to Use Do not take Glucosamine if you are allergic to shellfish, since Glucosamine is derived from it.
People who are diabetic should also check their blood sugar levels regularly when taking Glucosamine, being that they are amino sugars and may raise the body's sugar level.
Meanwhile, when taking Chondroitin at the same time with blood-thinning medications, be sure to check your blood clotting time regularly.
Chondroitin is a bit similar to the blood-thinning drug heparin, and so taking it alongside a blood-thinning medication can cause bleeding in some people.
Side Effects Side effects of Glucosamine and Chondroitin include mild gastrointestinal complaints such as heartburn, nausea, intestinal gas, and softened stools.
Generally, taking Glucosamine and Chondroitin are safe and have no extreme side effects.