If you’re looking for the best chondroitin supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Chondroitin Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Chondroitin Supplements
|#1||Doctor’s Best Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM||More Info|
|#2||Move Free Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM||More Info|
|#3||NOW Foods Glucosamine & Chondroitin with MSM||More Info|
|#4||Jarrow Formulas Glucosamine and Chondroitin and MSM||More Info|
|#5||Solgar Triple Strength Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM||More Info|
|#6||Dr. Tobias MSM Glucosamine Chondroitin||More Info|
|#7||VitaBreeze Glucosamine Chondroitin, MSM & Turmeric||More Info|
|#8||GNC Triple Strength Glucosamine Chondroitin||More Info|
|#9||Zenwise Labs Joint Support||More Info|
|#10||Thorne Research – Glucosamine & Chondroitin||More Info|
Chondroitin supplements are widely available over the counter for help with symptoms of aging, such as osteoarthritis, joint pain and function, and pain with inflammation.
Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, such as joint pain, can make life unbearable, but a natural supplement may help slow the process or make living with the symptoms more comfortable. Studies have shown chondroitin supplements to be safe for as long as three years (longer studies have not been reported).
What is Chondroitin?
Chondroitin is a naturally occurring building block of connective tissue in the human body. It is the element of tissue that helps build joint cartilage, which cushions bones at the joint, and is plentiful in youth but less available in aging adults.
This major component of vital cartilage breaks down over time, which causes pain and inflammation in the joints as the bones have less cushion and lubrication, reducing function and eventually leading to osteoarthritis. Chondroitin supplements are typically derived from animal sources such as shrimp and bovine, and they are readily available for purchase without a prescription.
Benefits of Chondroitin Supplements
Imagine bending down in the garden to pull weeds, playing a round of golf, or simply getting in and out of the car or your recliner without joint pain! Chondroitin supplements may help the joints retain water and block enzymes that can actually break down tissue as part of the aging process.
Chondroitin supplements may help cushion joints by enhancing collagen growth, acting as a shock absorber when you bend or twist. These cushioning effects may help reduce pain and inflammation in the joints, leading to a better quality of life without constant joint pain.
The supplements may reduce pain and inflammation as well as increase function in fingers, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, and toes, allowing for a fuller range of motion without pain. Chondroitin supplements may also be suggested for relieving symptoms of bone disease, coronary artery disease, psoriasis, bladder wall inflammation, frequent urination, and dry eye, though long term studies are not available and these are not common uses for the chondroitin supplement.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Chondroitin is shown to be likely safe for most people with normal health conditions, but may be discouraged or completely avoided by people with certain medical conditions. Those with shellfish allergies should avoid supplements that are comprised of shrimp or other shellfish components (check the label and choose a bovine-derived product instead).
Chondroitin supplements derived from bovine should be avoided only from countries where there may be instances of mad cow disease as the FDA has shown concern over the possibility of humans contracting mad cow disease from supplements derived from infected bovine.
Possible side effects include:
- Increased risk of bleeding for at-risk population – do not take chondroitin supplements if you take blood thinners such as coumadin. If in doubt, ask a pharmacist.
- Can worsen asthma symptoms in those who already have asthma – will not cause asthma in people who have normal lung function, but those with asthma who are being treated with asthma medications or inhalers should not take chondroitin supplements.
- May cause changes in heart rhythm and blood pressure – ask your doctor if you have a pacemaker, any kind of heart disease, have had heart surgery, or have any heart disorders or arrhythmia.
- Can cause irritation and sensitivities in people who have skin disorders – avoid chondroitin if you have eczema, rosacea, or other skin conditions as the supplement may cause itching, rash, sensitivity, and increased possibility of sunburn.
- May worsen effects of stomach problems in people who have ulcers or other stomach disorders – do not take chondroitin supplements if you have an ulcer, digestive problems, colitis or colon cancer, esophageal cancer, or are taking any medications for any stomach related issues.
- Can increase eye pressure and swelling in eyelids in people who have glaucoma – do not take chondroitin if you have glaucoma or have had eye surgery as eye pressure and swelling could occur.
- May increase risk of viral infection in people who are immune compromised – do not take chondroitin supplements if you have an autoimmune disorder or have weakened immunity due to illness, disease, surgery, or medications.
- May cause headaches in people with nervous system disorders or elevated euphoria in people with mental illness – do not take chondroitin supplements if you are on any medications for nervous system disorders or mental illness as chondroitin can affect mood.
- Can promote spread or recurrence of prostate cancer – do not take chondroitin supplements if you have or ever have had prostate cancer.
- May cause changes in levels of liver enzymes – do not take chondroitin if you have a liver disorder or liver disease or if you have been drinking alcohol.
How to Take Chondroitin
For regular use to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis or joint pain and swelling, take 200-400 mg 2-3 times per day, or 800-1200 mg may be taken once daily. The smaller doses several times per day may be gentler on the stomach and easier to remember if taken regularly with meals.
To use chondroitin for treating bone disease, take 600 mg once daily for six months under the guidance of a medical professional.
For coronary artery disease, treatment should be supervised by a doctor at a high dose for several years.
To help symptoms of psoriasis, take 400-800 mg twice a day for two months under the supervision of a dermatologist and use sunscreen when outdoors.
Bladder related treatment is by catheter and administered by healthcare professionals only.
For dry eye, chondroitin is administered as an eye drop prescribed by a physician.
What to Look for In a Good Chondroitin Supplement
A good chondroitin supplement should have a very clear label with the manufacturer name and location, country of origin, and source of chondroitin.
A good supplement will dissolve completely within one hour (test it in a glass of water) and have very few filler or inactive ingredients (some are necessary for the composition of the pill, palatability, ease of digestion, and the capsule material), and absolutely no metal fragments whatsoever. A good supplement will be from a major retailer with a known, trusted brand or generic name. When in doubt, research the supplement company on the label or ask your pharmacist about the manufacturer.
A good brand won’t have any recent recalls or be under investigation by any agency. However, a brand name doesn’t always equal a superior product, so don’t overlook store brands or generics. Pay more attention to the ingredients, amount of active ingredient, and dosing instructions. Any instructions on the label should closely follow what you can find in this report or from your doctor’s advice.
Look for single ingredient supplements that are only labeled for the use you are considering. Don’t buy into multi-symptom supplements that claim to aid a host of ailments with several different active ingredients. Only buy exactly what you need, even if it means you may have to take more pills.
Combination pills may have decreased effectiveness or drug interactions you may not be aware of. Buy the lowest dose pills available so you can adjust your dosage as needed. For example, if two pills are a little rough on your stomach you might want to reduce the dosage to one pill until your body gets used to it.
Chondroitin is a naturally occurring substance derived only from animal sources, so you should expect to see the animal source listed on the bottle. If the label does not clearly state the origin, do not buy it. There is no synthetic chondroitin, so you may not want to use this supplement if you are vegan.
Do not buy bovine derived chondroitin pills from a manufacturer in a country with mad cow disease. Stick to local sources whenever possible.