Arthritis is a general term that refers to joint inflammation. An estimated 40 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint condition, is the most common and affects approximately 16 million people. If you have arthritis, see a doctor. Also consider supporting your joints with glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM.
Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are two natural supplements that have been proven in numerous clinical studies to benefit joint health. In comparison to aspirin and anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS), which have been shown to actually accelerate joint destruction, glucosamine and chondroitin both go to the root of the problem and help rebuild joints. MSM is a dietary sulfur shown to benefit pain and inflammation.
Glucosamine plays an important role in the biosynthesis of numerous compounds that form many of the body's tissues. Normally, the body generates glucosamine sulfate from glucose. However, factors that inhibit its production -- such as age, trauma or faulty glucosamine metabolism -- can result in a deficiency that impacts cartilage, ligaments, tendons, mucous membranes, synovial fluid, blood vessels and more.
Glucosamine is also a necessary ingredient in the cushioning material of connective tissue, the synovial fluid. It helps maintain the thickness and elasticity of synovial fluid in joints and vertebrae. Without it, joints can become damaged. Bones and cartilage can scrape against each other, while bursa, the cushioning sacs in joints, can rub against bone, increasing cartilage erosion and causing problems in joint mobility and flexibility. The same can occur in the spine. Yet, the lack of joint cushioning in the spine can place pressure on nerves which can compromise nerve function.
Numerous studies of glucosamine have shown remarkable results and have lead physicans around the world to recommend glucosamine sulfate for joint problems.
In one controlled study, 30 patients suffering from chronic joint problems were divided into two groups. One group received glucosamine sulfate injections for 7 days, followed by oral glucosamine sulfate supplementation for 14 days (1,500 mg/day). The other group received daily injections of a commonly prescribed arthritis drug for 7 days and a placebo for 14 days.
In both groups, symptoms improved during the initial phase of injections. But improvements were more significant in the glucosamine group. After 21 days, the total symptom score of the glucosamine group had improved by 71%, while the placebo group showed little change.
Chondroitin sulfate is commonly taken in conjunction with glucosamine and may work synergistically with glucosamine sulfate. Chondroitin sulfate is a fundamental component of cartilage. It is a proteoglycan found in tissues throughout the body and is part of the matrix of collagen and elastic fibers that help retain water and maintain cartilage resistance and elasticity.
Several clinical studies in the U.S. and Europe have demonstrated significant therapeutic benefit from oral administration of chondroitin sulfate on joint health.
In one meta-analysis of 7 randominzed, double-blind trials, patients with osteoarthritis in the hip or knee were treated with chondroitin sulfate for at least three months. Patients taking the supplement reported a reduction in pain and required less NSAIDs compared with those taking a placebo.
MSM is a biologically active sulfur that is abundant in nature and found naturally in the human body. It plays an important role in the formation of all tissues and is a major ingredient in amino acids. MSM supplies the body with the sulfur needed to maintain cartilage integrity within the joints. Yet many Americans suffer a deficiency of sulfur due to the way we grow and prepare food.
Because sulfur is needed in the formation of connective tissue, it has been studied for the treatment of various types of arthritis. Sulfur concentration in arthritic cartilage has been shown to be about 1/3 the level of normal cartilage. One double-blind study of patients with degenerative joint problems showed an 82% decrease of symptoms of pain after 6 weeks on a 3-times-a-day dosage of MSM compared to 18% for placebo.
With glucosamine and chondroitin, long term positive results have been seen, usually within one month. Experts suggest the best combination of glucosamine/chondroitin is in a ratio of 5 to 4 (1,500 mg/1,200 mg) for a 120-200 pound person. To gain benefits, only the sulfate forms should be used, not the less expensive HCl form. MSM has been show to be beneficial at dosages ranging from 1-8 grams.
4 Capsules Provide:
This maximum-strength formula combines the expert-recommended ratios of two of the most effective joint support ingredients, plus MSM. Just take four easy-to-swallow capsules a day.*
Glucosamine and chondroitin are the building blocks of healthy joints and tissues. We use the sulfate forms in a preferred 1500 mg to 1200 mg ratio, the same amounts used in clinical studies demonstrating their benefits. Our glucosamine is potassium (2KCl) stabilized to reduce unwanted sodium. Then we add 1,000 mg of MSM, a source of sulfur, which is an abundant mineral found in connective tissues. It's an ideal formula for all joints including wrists, hands, neck, back, hips, knees, ankles and feet!*
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