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Glucosamine and MSM, when taken together, are shown to have double the joint comfort relief than either alone

We already know that invasive studies directly examining cartilage degeneration in experimental models of osteoarthritis have shown efficacy with glucosamine and chondroitin alone, but they are even more effective when used in combination. For this reason, most popular joint formulas include combinations of glucosamine (1,500 mg) and chondroitin (1,200 mg) daily taken together. Adding MSM to the combination can make for an even more effective formula. However, what if chondroitin was removed from the formula. Would the results be as favorable?

If the results proved favorable, it could have significant benefits for those looking for a more economical formula since chondroitin is one of the more expensive ingredients in a combination formula, about 5-10 times more expensive than glucosamine. An effective, economical joint formula might be glucosamine and MSM, either separately or together, without chondroitin sulfate. This idea is promising since the joint health research supporting glucosamine is very good, MSM is good, while chondroitin is somewhat weaker than the others. 

To test this theory, researchers conducted a 12-week double-blind clinical trial on 118 patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis. The trial showed excellent results despite the absence of chondroitin sulfate. Three times a day, one group took 500 mg of glucosamine sulfate, one group took 500 mg of MSM and one group took both. In the glucosamine-only group, pain scores fell from 1.74 to 0.65; in the MSM only group, pain scores fell from 1.53 to 0.74; and in the combination group, pain scores fell from 1.7 to 0.36, equaling about twice the level of improvement in pain and inflammation compared to either glucosamine or MSM alone. 

While the results did not test chondroitin head-to-head against glucosamine and MSM, it did show that one could achieve significant benefits with taking a daily amount of 1,500 mg of glucosamine and 1,500 mg of MSM together, without chondroitin. You could save about 40-50% compared to a formula that included chondrotin.

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