The two ingredients play an important role in joint health and have been shown to be as effective when taken together as the powerful ant-inflammatory drug celecoxib in treating osteoarthritis of the knee.
Glucosamine is vital for the building and repair of cartilage. This is the tissue that cushions joints, but ageing and injury can cause the amount produced to decline causing Osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms such as swollen, stiff and painful joints. It’s also needed for ligaments, tendons and lubricating synovial fluid in the joints. Chondroitin is made by the body and is also a vital part of cartilage.
Dr Sarah Brewer says: ‘ChondroMax® combines 1,500mg glucosamine and 1,200mg chondroitin which are the optimum doses used in clinical trials. The Optiflex® glucosamine provides 40 per cent more glucosamine than standard glucosamine and the chondroitin sulphate is a premium 90 per cent grade.’
What does ChondroMax® do?
Cartilage becomes thinner, stiffer and flakes away as our joints age. The theory is glucosamine supplements may influence biological signalling, triggering the production of new cartilage and an anti-inflammatory action.
Chondroitin sulphate’s main job in the body is to absorb water to keep the cartilage spongy and hydrated and the joints cushioned.
Around 8.75 million people in the UK have sought treatment for OA and one third of people aged 45 and over are affected.
OA can affect all joints but the weight-bearing hips and knees are the most common places to experience the symptoms of pain, swelling and stiffness.
A 2015 review of 54 studies, involving a total of 16,000 OA sufferers, concluded using chondroitin and glucosamine together for knee OA had a comparable effect to celecoxib, a powerful non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
Getting glucosamine and chondroitin from your diet
Although glucosamine is found in shellfish and corn, it’s not possible to get significant amounts from dietary sources. Glucosamine is made in the body but some people top up their levels with supplements. Some glucosamine supplements are made from chitin, the hard, outer shells of prawns, crabs and oysters, but Optiflex® glucosamine used in ChondroMax® is made from vegetable sources.
There are no major dietary sources of chondroitin sulphate (although it is found in meat gristle, you are unlikely to eat this regularly), so supplements could help. Taking chondroitin combined with glucosamine supplement can help improve its effectiveness.
Most of the side effects reported with glucosamine are minor but include wind, bloating, heartburn and skin rashes. Taking supplements with food can reduce these. Glucosamine can also interfere with the effects of the blood-thinning drug warfarin, so always inform your doctor.
Chondroitin sulphate used in ChondroMax® is well tolerated but side effects reported include stomach upsets, headaches, intestinal gas, leg swelling, diarrhoea and rashes.
If you take anticoagulants, chondroitin might increase your risk of bleeding, so always check with your doctor. Chondroitin may also make breathing worse in asthma. The effect of chondroitin on pregnant and breastfeeding women has not been studied, so it’s best avoided by them.
There’s no recommended RDA for glucosamine or chondroitin. However, most scientific trials use a dose of one 500mg glucosamine tablet taken three times a day (a daily total of 1,500mg). Optiflex® glucosamine HC1 provides 40 per cent more glucosamine than standard glucosamine.
A daily upper safe limit for chondroitin has not been set. Most trials have used a daily dose of 1,200mg taken as three 400mg tablets. Chondromax® uses 90 per cent chondroitin sulphate, whereas most supplements only contain 20 per cent grade.
Chondromax® combines a 1,500mg a day glucosamine with 1,200mg of chondroitin in just three tablets a day, so it is economical and more convenient to get the doses recommended by experts.
Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn't possible, supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.