Articles

Chondroitin Sulfate

Introduction

While it is present in the walls of blood vessels, chondroitin sulfateā€™s main role is in keeping cartilage fluid and elastic. It is found naturally in the body where it is one of the critical compounds that makes up connective tissue. Connective tissue is responsible for building and supporting cartilage found in the joints and elsewhere.

There is no dietary source of chondroitin sulfate. As a supplement, it is manufactured from shark, pig, and cow cartilage.

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

200-2,000mg daily.

Most Common Dosage

600mg, 3 times a day, with meals.

For maintenance: 300mg, 2 to 3 times per day, with meals.

Dosage Forms

Tablets, capsules, and nasal spray.

Reported Uses

Because chondroitin is responsible for repair and maintenance of cartilage and connective tissue, it may be of special interest to the elderly. (1) With aging, the water content of cartilage decreases, causing problems with the mobility of joints. Chondroitin may limit the effects of such degeneration.

Chondroitin has been used to treat osteoarthritis. Studies suggest that chondroitin can enhance joint health and lower pain associated with the condition. (2) , (3) Chondroitin may inhibit enzymes that cause inflammation and damage the joints. (4) Other agents that also support joint and cartilage health like glucosamine and manganese are often used along with chondroitin for treatment of osteoarthritis.

The benefits of chondroitin supplementation may carry over to the treatment of joint-related sports injuries (5) and nasal sprays that contain chondroitin may also reduce snoring. (6)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines.

Pregnancy / Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

References

  1. View Abstract: Hickery MS, Bayliss MT, Dudhia J, Lewthwaite JC, Edwards JC, Pitsillides AA. Age-related changes in the response of human articular cartilage to IL-1alpha and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta): chondrocytes exhibit a diminished sensitivity to TGF-beta. Biol Chem. Dec2003;278(52):53063-71.
  2. View Abstract: Deal CL, et al. Nutraceuticals as Therapeutic Agents in Osteoarthritis. The Role of Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate, and Collagen Hydrolysate. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. May1999;25(2):379-95.
  3. View Abstract: Rovetta G, Monteforte P, Molfetta G, Balestra V. A two-year study of chondroitin sulfate in erosive osteoarthritis of the hands: behavior of erosions, osteophytes, pain and hand dysfunction. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 2004;30(1):11-6.
  4. View Abstract: Kelly GS. The Role of Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfates in the Treatment of Degenerative Joint Disease. Altern Med Rev. Feb1998;3(1):27-39.
  5. View Abstract: Uebelhart D, et al. Protective Effect of Exogenous Chondroitin 4,6-sulfate in the Acute Degradation of Articular Cartilage in the Rabbit. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. May1998;6(Suppl A):6-13.
  6. Lenclud C, et al. Effects of Chondroitin Sulfate on Snoring Characteristics: A Pilot Study. Current Therapeutic Research. 1998;59(4):234-43.