Do Joint Supplements Work?

Posted by Eman Talei on

Joint problems are common for a wide range of the population. According to the CDC, "About one in four adults with arthritis—15 million people—report experiencing severe joint pain".  Joint pain is often associated with an aging population as the condition if found to be "higher among women (29.2%) than men (22.7%), and highest among adults aged 45 to 64 years (30.7%).

Joint Pain Causes

Deteriorating joint health is often associated with the joint diseases associated with the aging process that can cause a breakdown and reduction of cartilage between joints. This chronic condition can result in joint pain, stiffness, or swelling. But, joint pain can also be a secondary condition from primary medical issues such as gout, bursitis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. And other causes of knee pain include high impact or strain to the joint while running or playing sports that involve quick pivoting or jumping. Tennis, basketball, football, and soccer are just some sports that can negatively impact your joint health.

joint pain

The body's connecting joints are crucial for movement and to support our body's structure and good posture.  A study showing what was most important to people when it comes good joint health - 62% preferred lifestyle and self-management such as keeping active, weight loss, and nutrition were key, while only 38% preferred medical intervention therapies such as a joint replacement.

If you experience joint pain and/or stiffness, there are medications can help reduce the pain. But, there are also natural supplements that provide extra relief and health benefits that drugs can't. Here we will explore two of the most common medical conditions that can affect joint health and quality of life, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, along with the medical research that supports the benefits of glucosamine hydrochloride to reduce pain and increase the health of the natural compounds that make up joint cartilage.

Benefits of Glucosamine

  • Supports the healthy development of the tissues between your joints
  • Glucosamine works in disease treatment to reduce joint inflammation
  • Often used to treat disease progression associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis
  • Other uses include treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), multiple sclerosis (MS), and glaucoma

Do Joint Supplements Work for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

RA  is a common autoimmune disease where the body's immune system attacks its own tissue by mistake causing joint damage within 2-3 years of onset. If left untreated, RA will get worse over time and present increasing joint pain and swelling. RA typically starts when the membrane that surrounds parts of the joint (the synovial membrane) becomes swollen and inflamed.

This condition will continue to progress and eventually destroy the joint's cartilage - which is the tough tissue that provides cushion between joints. Good joint cartilage is responsible for the smooth, lubricated surface that enables us to enjoy low friction articulation.

A glucosamine supplement such as glucosamine hydrochloride is a natural alternative and when used with nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) have been proven to improve pain and functioning of knee joints.  Glucosamine is an amino sugar that is already naturally produced by the human body naturally. When glucosamine is manufactured for supplements, it is taken from the shells of shellfish like shrimp and crab.

According to The Arthritis Foundation,

"...a comprehensive long-term study—the Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT)—compared the combination of glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin, both supplements individually, celecoxib (Celebrex) and a placebo (inactive pill) in nearly 1,600 people with knee osteoarthritis...found it did help those with moderate-to-severe knee pain. In follow-up results of the study released in 2010, these supplements improved pain and function..."

Glucosamine and the Treatment of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a medical condition that can cause bone joints to deteriorate and become brittle and weak. An elderly person with osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative arthritis) will experience knee joint problems such as tenderness, stiffness, pain, swelling and sometimes a grating sensation while flexing the knee joint.

Typically, old bone and cartilage are constantly being replaced with new cells. But, a person with osteoarthritis will have a dramatic increase in cartilage and bone loss versus cartilage and bone regeneration. In the latter stages of osteoarthritis, the breakdown of cartilage tissue is so extensive that it will lead to an inflammatory response which can cause blood vessels to leak fluid into surrounding tissues and cause major swelling.

Symptoms and Treatment of Osteoarthritis

  • Joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Bone spurs
  • Joint stiffness
  • Grating sensation

According to NCBI, "in two dependent studies, to prevent the joint space narrowing observed at the femorotibial compartment in patients with mild-to-moderate knee osteoarthritis...glucosamine affected a 50 % reduction in the incidence of osteoarthritis-related surgery of the lower limbs during a 5-year period".

A whole body approach to osteoarthritis pain is often recommended as an alternative to surgical methods and may include:

joint pain supplements
  • Losing weight if you're obese to reduce the strain on joints
  • Regular exercise to strengthen the muscles that support joints
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements to rebuild cartilage
  • An anti-inflammatory diet that is high in omega-3 fatty acids

Glucosamine supplements are also promoted as a preventative treatment for osteoarthritis to reduce the thinning of the cartilage that lines the surfaces of joints and are prone to wearing thin. This is what causes the pain and inflammation - when the bones start to rub on each other. Glucosamine hydrochloride  and glucosamine sulfate supplements also promote  anti inflammatory effects that can reduce the side effects and symptoms of osteoarthritis

Glucosamine supplements are available as over-the-counter medication to help those that suffer from osteoarthritis with the benefit of preserving the joint structure. Choose a supplement in the form of glucosamine that decreases the enzymes responsible for breaking down the cartilage that cushions knee joints.

Also, The amount of glucosamine that is available in the body (or the dosing) appears to be an important factor. You will have different types of glucosamine  such as glucosamine sulphate, glucosamine hydrochloride, or crystalline glucosamine sulfate. Each formulation may be different, but 1000mg is recommended for Glucosamine Sulfate.

If you're looking for the best in joint health with glucosamine supplement, visit us online at Eden Formulations and learn more about our proprietary formulation of glucosamine to battle arthritis and other joint conditions.

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