In the search for safer, longer-lasting solutions to arthritis pain, many natural approaches to joint health maintenance have been explored. Glucosamine Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM have long been at the forefront of Maximum Joint Health Benefits. Now, reports from the latest research with glucosamine and chondroitin are confirming the added value of using these and other joint nutrients in optimal combinations.
Drugs used to treat arthritis are designed to relieve symptoms, but not to reverse the underlying causes of the pain. These arthritis drugs may work for a while, but most of them have been linked to dangerous side effects.[1 ] In fact, researchers have found that many common arthritis drugs actually speed up the progression of arthritis! [2 ]
Choose Pain Relief That Heals and Maximum Joint Health Benefits
Joint cartilage must constantly repair and rebuild itself in order to function properly as a “cushion.” One of the main building blocks needed for making and maintaining joint cartilage is glucosamine. The two major forms of glucosamine sold as supplements are glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride.
Why Glucosamine Sulfate Is Superior to Other Forms
Glucosamine stimulates the manufacture of key structural components of cartilage (called glycosaminoglycans), but it is also necessary for the absorption of sulfur into the cartilage. The presence of sulfur in glucosamine sulfate appears to be the reason that it has consistently outperformed glucosamine hydrochloride in joint health research.
Used by millions of people worldwide, glucosamine sulfate has been the subject of more than 300 scientific investigations, and more than 20 double-blind studies. One of the key reasons why glucosamine sulfate is so effective is its small molecular size. The smaller molecular structure allows it to penetrate the joint cartilage quickly. Glucosamine can then be delivered more rapidly to the cartilage cells, providing joints with lubrication and shock absorption.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Enhance Each Other
Chondroitin is also a major component of joint cartilage produced by the body. Chondroitin serves to help absorb fluid into the cartilage, block harmful enzymes from breaking it down, and aid in production of new cartilage.
Chondroitin sulfate actually consists of repeating units of glucosamine. A chondroitin sulfate molecule is, therefore, 50-300 times larger than glucosamine sulfate. Although glucosamine sulfate is superior to chondroitin sulfate ineffectiveness, research has shown that both products work better when taken in combination.[3 ]
MSM Reduces Arthritis Pain
Moreover, the MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) is a sulfur-containing compound that helps support joints, tendons, and muscles. MSM is often referred to as organic sulfur, or “joint sulfur.” Sulfur is the fourth most abundant mineral in our bodies,[4 ] and medical studies over the years have found that arthritic joints have lower than normal sulfur levels. In one important study, the sulfur concentration in arthritic cartilage was discovered to be only about one-third the level of normal cartilage.[5 ]
MSM helps provide Maximum Joint Health Benefits with the abundant supply of sulfur needed for proper functioning and repair. Researchers at the UCLA School of Medicine conducted a double-blind study and found that patients taking MSM experienced an average 82 percent improvement in arthritis pain. In comparison, patients taking the placebo reported no more than a 20 percent improvement. The study’s author concluded that “MSM may offer a significant new nutritional substance for the control of arthritic pain as a safe, non-toxic method.”[6 ]
How Vitamin C and Manganese Maximum Joint Health Benefits
Vitamin C is essential for the building of collagen, cartilage, and joint tissue. It also has other important Maximum Joint Health Benefits. As an antioxidant, Vitamin C neutralizes unstable molecules called free radicals that damage and destroy cells. Free radicals are found in joint fluids of people with inflamed joints. Studies have shown Vitamin C also suppresses the release of certain proteins that promote inflammation such as occurs in arthritis.[7 ]
Manganese is an important mineral, vital to the formation of cartilage, collagen, and connective tissue. Without manganese, the production of cartilage grinds to a stop, even in the presence of substantial levels of glucosamine. Studies have shown that when added to joint supplements including glucosamine and chondroitin, manganese brought about additional improvements in arthritic patients. This important mineral seems to enhance the effectiveness of other joint supplements.[10 ,11 ]
Research indicates that the human body’s ability to utilize manganese declines with age. In addition, deficiencies of manganese have long been recognized in the veterinary community as a cause of joint and other musculoskeletal problems in animals. These findings point to a connection between declining manganese levels in aging cartilage and the development of osteoarthritis in the elderly.
symptoms, but not to reverse the underlying causes of the pain. These arthritis drugs may work for a while, but most of them have been linked to dangerous side effects. In fact, researchers have found that many common arthritis drugs actually speed up the progression of arthritis!