Chondroitin: Forgotten hero
If you use a joint supplement for osteoarthritis then stop reading, get the bottle and check the amount of chondroitin sulphate (CS) in the daily dose. Most olderstyle formulas will have up to 20 per cent CS in the formula, typically about 200mg in a daily dose. Chondroitin is a structural component of cartilage adding strength and resistance to compression.
The study that changed it all for me was published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases (Wildi et al, 2011) the study title is: Chondroitin sulphate reduces both cartilage volume loss and bone marrow lesions in knee osteoarthritis patients starting as early as six months after initiation of therapy: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study using MRI.
Eighty people with similar grades of knee OA were chosen. Half the participants were given 800mg of CS as 400mg twice daily for six months. The other group was given a placebo.
The two groups were then compared after six months. The group using CS had much less cartilage loss.
The next phase then gave all the participants 800mg of CS for another six months. The same results occurred.
Those who had been on the placebo showed a reduction in cartilage loss while the group that had continued with CS now for 12 months continued with much less cartilage loss.
As a consequence I re-formulated my joint support formula and lifted CS to the levels used in the study. I also added a potent anti-inflammatory 95 per cent curcumin (from turmeric) extract.
Even joints that show signs of degeneration can improve. As an example one man I have been helping noticed significant improvements in mobility and comfort after only a few months and is now even able to ski again.
I have no doubt that the correct dose of high grade CS is the number one natural compound to help stabilise joints affected by osteoarthritis.
I have been helping a man with osteoarthritis in both knees. The pain levels had become quite debilitating. We started with a booster dose of 1600mg of high grade chondroitin with the same amount of glucosamine and 400mg of high potency curcumin (from turmeric). After three months the pain level had significantly reduced and is now mobile again.
More recent research from the British Medical Journal (May 2017) compared high grade Chondroitin with common anti-inflammatory medication and found that 800mg of CS was beneficial. Researchers commented: “This compelling benefit-risk profile, in light of the known clinical risks associated with chronic usage of NSAIDS and paracetamol, underscores the potential importance of pharmaceutical-grade [chondroitin sulfate] in the management of knee [osteoarthritis], especially in the older population requiring long-term treatment,” write the researchers. The question is how can it help? What does it do to arthritic joints? Researchers have found that CS has multiple benefits. It helps regulate inflammatory processes within the joint capsule.
Secondly it helps specialised cells that reside in cartilage called chondrocytes. CS improves the ability of chondrocytes to secrete and repair cartilage.
I have worked with so many people with osteoarthritis that I am genuinely surprised if we cannot get an improvement within three months.