Nutritional supplements marketed for relief of the symptoms of osteoarthritis include glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate. Both glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are sold in pharmacies and in health food stores. Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are not medications and people who choose to take glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate should be aware that nutritional supplements are not regulated in the same way that prescription medications are.
Glucoseamine and chondroitin are important parts of articular cartilage. Articular cartilage is the smooth coating at the ends of bones that acts to cushion and lubricate joints. In osteoarthritis, articular cartilage is broken down. Some people with osteoarthritis who have taken glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate have reported less pain and increased function. However, currently there is no evidence to suggest that any nutritional supplement will cure osteoarthritis.
Both glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate appear to be relatively safe but like any nutritional supplement there may be adverse reactions. One side effect that is commonly reported is stomach upset. People with an allergy to shellfish should be aware that some glucosamine and chondroitin preparations come from shellfish and can trigger an allergic reaction. Before starting any nutritional supplement a doctor and/or a pharmacist should be consulted.
To read more about osteoarthritis visit the links section of OA Health Info. Links have been provided to other websites on osteoarthritis.
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