Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM: Synergy & Benefits
If you’ve ever sought joint pain or arthritis relief from alternative medicine, you’ve probably taken to the internet in search of something that will help ease your discomfort. With any amount of research, you’ve probably come across glucosamine, and its pain relief cousins, chondroitin sulfate and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), somewhere in your travels. With good reason – they are safe and effective options to support mobility and joint health. If you’ve ever wondered if or how glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM could help you, wonder no more and keep reading!
What is Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM?
Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally occurring substances found in the connective tissues in the body. They are especially dense in the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones that form joint surfaces. Glucosamine sulfate is a building block for the large cartilage molecules that give it its slippery, rubbery texture. Chondroitin sulfate, like glucosamine, another important ingredient in cartilage tissue that helps maintain joint fluid and flexibility. MSM is a sulfur compound found naturally in the human body that contributes to many critical bodily functions. When taken together, they have a powerful synergistic effect. (1, 2, 3)
What is Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM Used For?
Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM uses center largely around supporting joint health. People typically find glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and MSM good for reducing pain from osteoarthritis, protect joint and bone health, ease general joint pain and stiffness, and support collagen production and repair.
But glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM benefits extend beyond just joint health. Many people utilize the anti-inflammatory effects of this combination to address the symptoms of a variety of inflammatory and degenerative health conditions.
What Does Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM Do?
While research on glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM health benefits is ongoing, it boasts some pretty impressive results.
Inflammation is the root of many chronic and degenerative conditions that plague our society today. Is glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM an anti-inflammatory? You bet!
Taking chondroitin and glucosamine together have been studied and used to address the symptoms of a variety of inflammatory disorders. Research has shown that they significantly reduce biomarkers for systemic inflammation – the kind that makes you sick in the long run. (4)
The anti-inflammatory effects of MSM have also been well-documented. It reduces the body’s production of pro-inflammatory cytokines linked to chronic systemic inflammation. MSM supports increased levels of glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant which is crucial for effective methylation and inflammation regulation. (5, 6)
Supports Healthy Joint Structures
Back, joint, and knee pain are some of the most common complaints seen at doctor’s offices across the country. Both can be debilitating and severely impact quality of life. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM support and enhance all facets of joint health.
Glucosamine products promote the creation of healthy new cartilage tissue and healthy viscous synovial fluid within joints to help maintain and rebuild healthy joints. It also reduces collagen break-down in the joints when under stress. MSM prevents breakdown of cartilage tissue and has been shown to decrease back pain and stiffness when combined with glucosamine and chondroitin. (7, 8, 9, 10)
Eases Arthritis Symptoms
Is glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM good for arthritis? Doctors and scientists around the world will tell you “yes”.
Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM for osteoarthritis is one of the top ways to effectively address the pain associated with this condition without prescription medication. Multiple studies, especially for osteoarthritis of the knee, show significant improvement in pain management, protection of joint tissues, and slowed and even reversed disease progression with the use of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM for arthritis. This dynamic combination of ingredients is truly synergistic as they each enhance and support the beneficial properties of the others. (9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
The benefits for arthritis symptoms don’t stop with osteoarthritis. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM has also shown promise for addressing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It does this by reducing inflammatory markers associated with rheumatoid arthritis and protecting the joint tissues from damage caused by autoantibodies. (16, 17)
Increases Glycosamineoglycan Levels
Conditions like interstitial cystitis and inflammatory bowel disease may be helped with glucosamine supplementation. Glucosamine is a precursor to glycosaminoglycan. A deficiency in this compound is a factor in the presentation of these conditions. By supplementing with glucosamine, levels of glycosaminoglycan are thought to increase. Increased glycosaminoglycan along with the potent anti-inflammatory effects of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM could have a positive effect on the symptoms of these debilitating diseases. (18)
Supports Gut Health
Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM have proven to be helpful in repairing digestive health and restoring healthy gut function. It helps heal the intestinal barrier to prevent the leakage of undigested food molecules into the bloodstream where they can cause inflammation and disease. One of the reasons bone broth is so good for gut health is because it is a rich source of glucosamine that soothes the gut.(19)
Does Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM Really Work?
Does glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM work? It’s hard to argue with science. As you can see, there is significant research to back up glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM effectiveness. This is particularly true for its anti-inflammatory and joint support benefits.
The quality of the supplement you use can have a significant effect on its effectiveness. To get the best quality glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM, be sure you source it from a reputable company with a focus on purity that stands behind their product. There is an important synergy found in the combination of glucosamine with chondroitin, so finding a dietary supplement with the two combined is suggested.
Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM can typically be found in oral or topical form. Oral forms include gel caps, capsules, liquid, and even chewable pills. Topical forms typically come in gels, creams, ointments, and patches, like our Glucosamine and Chondroitin Topical Patch.
How Much Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM Should I Take?
Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM dosage can vary by person and their unique needs. The recommended dosage for glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM by oral administration is typically around 1,500mg per day divided up throughout the day. Topical glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM are highly bioavailable and reach tissues fast, making them an excellent choice. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM daily dosage for topical application is usually similar to that of oral administration but with faster results.
How Long Does It Take for Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM to Work?
How to take glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM to work depends on administration route. When taken orally, it can take up to six weeks for it to start working, but many people experience improvement sooner than that. Oral products can be taken divided throughout the day for more consistent levels.
One of the biggest advantages of topical glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM is how fast it works. Studies show impressive results within just a few hours from topical application. And you can use it any time of day with great results. (19)
Who Should Take Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM?
Systemic inflammation is at epidemic levels. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM provides a safe and effective alternative to reduce inflammation levels effectively. If you struggle with inflammation, which many of us do, you would probably benefit from a supplement.
Our joints degrade with age, so the protective effects of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM makes it a good addition for just about anyone to support the longevity of their bones and joints. Mobility is a very real challenge for many seniors, and simple additions like this can make a big difference to joint function. Back pain is another common complaint that this dietary supplement could benefit from.
If you have a shellfish allergy or are vegan, ensure your glucosamine is sourced from fungi rather than from shellfish.
Of course, it’s best to get as much of your glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM from dietary sources as possible. Bone broth is a fantastic source of glucosamine. Sulfur-rich foods for MSM include eggs, seafood, meat, and sulfuric vegetables. Seafood is also a good source of chondroitin. But few of us could get enough of these compounds from diet alone to have a real therapeutic effect.
Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM Side Effects
Glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM nutritional supplements are generally regarded as safe and are well-tolerated by most people. In the case of a glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM overdose, digestive complaints including nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping have been reported.
Very early research into the effects of glucosamine supplementation suggested a link between glucosamine and increased blood sugar levels. There were concerns that this would lead to poor blood sugar control for diabetics and cause high blood pressure. More recent and reliable research has disproven this connection, but you should seek medical advice before taking glucosamine.
Glucosamine supplements are often made from the shells of shrimp, lobster, and crabs. Those with allergies to shellfish may wish to avoid glucosamine supplements from these sources and look for glucosamine sourced from fungi instead.
Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM drug interactions and contraindications include anticoagulation medications and certain anticancer medications. Glucosamine can enhance the effects of anticoagulation medications increasing the risk for serious bleeding. It is also believed to reduce the effectiveness of some medications used to slow cancer growth. If you have an underlying medical condition, please seek medical attention before starting a glucosamine supplement. (20)
There have not been any long-term side effects of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM reported.