Principal Proposed Uses
Chondroitin sulfate is a naturally occurring substance in the body. It is a major constituent of cartilage—the tough, elastic connective tissue found in the joints.
Based on the evidence of preliminary double-blind studies , chondroitin is widely used as a treatment for osteoarthritis , the typical arthritis that many people suffer as they get older. However, the supporting evidence for this use is weak.
Chondroitin is not an essential nutrient. Animal cartilage is the only dietary source of chondroitin. (When it's on your plate, animal cartilage is called gristle.) Unless you enjoy chewing gristle, you'd do best to obtain chondroitin in pill form from a health food store or pharmacy.
The usual dosage of chondroitin is 400 mg taken 3 times daily, indefinitely. Two studies (mentioned below) used an "on and off" schedule of chondroitin (taking it for 3 months, going off of it for 3 months, and then taking it again). Other studies involved taking chondroitin daily. Regardless of which way you use it, be patient! The results are thought to take weeks to develop.
What Is the Scientific Evidence for Chondroitin?
Reducing Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Many but not all double-blind, placebo-controlled studies indicate that chondroitin can relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis.
It has been suggested that chondroitin, like glucosamine, may primarily appear effective in studies funded by manufacturers of chondroitin products.
How Does Chondroitin Work for Osteoarthritis?
Scientists are unsure how chondroitin sulfate works (if indeed it does).
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are using drugs that impair blood coagulation, such as warfarin (Coumadin), heparin , aspirin , clopidogrel (Plavix), ticlopidine (Ticlid), or pentoxifylline (Trental), do not use chondroitin except under physician supervision.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -