Concerns about Glucosamine and Chondroitin Use
Tens of millions of people worldwide have successfully used glucosamine and chondroitin supplements to safely treat their osteoarthritis.
Nevertheless, any substance which can have an effect on the body can theoretically have an adverse effect.
Though the supplements have not been directly linked to any serious health problems, including death (unlike the drugs are designed to replace which caused over 45 deaths per day just in the US alone), here is a list of potential, theoretical concerns:
Shellfish Allergy - Glucosamine
used in supplements is usually extracted and purified from shells
and shellfish skeletons. To this site, to date, no one has reported a true analphylactic reaction (impaired breathing, blood pressure drop, etc.) to
glucosamine, even if they have such reactions to eating shellfish. People with shellfish allergies
are usually allergic to the flesh component of the seafood. No
one usually eats the shells. Nevertheless, those concerned should
consider a completely vegetarian source of glucosamine.
Diabetes - The single most
important factor in controlling (and preventing) adult-onset diabetes
mellitus is exercise. Exercise is #1 for weight loss and weight
control. Perhaps more important, however, exercise improves insulin
sensitivity (a major problem in diabetes). People hampered by
arthritis generally don't exercise enough. Using The Arthritis
Cure treatment program may get them back on track. An aside: since
diabetics often develop kidney problems, taking anti-inflammatory
pills (NSAIDs) for arthritis may be risky since NSAIDs themselves
are a known cause of kidney disease in some users. Concerns about
glucosamine products raising blood sugar levels has not been substantiated.
Consider increasing the frequency of blood glucose monitoring
when starting the supplements. If the sugars elevate, check to
see if stopping the supplements returns the blood sugar levels
Inert Ingredients - Many companies will add fillers, binders and other packing
materials to their supplements. One agent commonly used, methylcellulose,
is a type of (indigestible fiber) that is used to prevent caking
of the powders on the pill-pressing or capsule-filling machines.
Oftentimes, fibers can lead to gastrointestinal upset, such as
indigestion, constipation or diarrhea. The majority of side effects
from taking any supplement, including glucosamine/chondroitin are mild gastrointestinal distress. Fortunately, in controlled, clinical studies, the incidence of side effects is the same with the supplements compared to those taking a placebo.