Chondroitin is a naturally occurring carbohydrate in humans and animals that is integral in the structure of cartilage, the connective tissue that cushions joints. As a supplement, it is sold as chondroitin sulfate, which is derived from cows, pigs, and marine life, mainly sharks.

Relief of joint symptoms from osteoarthritis and slows down osteoarthritis progression.

A recent meta-analysis (2019) concluded that supplementation of chondroitin sulfate is more effective than placebo in the management of osteoarthritis, with a moderate benefit for pain and a large effect on functional status. However, there was a high level of inconsistent results from trials. The reason for the inconsistencies was the risk of bias in the study design, the brand of chondroitin sulfate supplement used, and the study size.

Some points about the results were that pharmaceutical-grade chondroitin sulfate was better than over-the-counter supplements, and the benefits remained at three and 12-month follow-ups.

Larger studies suggest that there is no benefits for joint protection from chondroitin or chondroitin paired with glucosamine.

It’s safe to take, with only minor side effects reported.

A standard dose is 1000-1200mg daily in either one dose or two to three divided doses taken with food.

Where to find it
You can buy chondroitin sulfate supplements at pharmacies and supermarkets. It is usually sold in combination with glucosamine and has similar benefits taken alone or in combination.

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