- Strengthens cartilages
- Enhances the flexibility of the connective tissues
In an ideal world, our cartilages would last until the end of our lives. But in reality, everyday load, bad eating habits, sports injuries and age all leave their traces on our joints. By lubricating the joints, chondroitin sulfate helps preserve the health and flexibility of cartilages so they can properly dampen impacts or vibrations.
Chondroitin sulfate is a compound of animal cartilages.
Impact on improving performance
Why athletes use chondroitin sulfate
Chondroitin sulfate is mostly used by athletes, people who lead an active lifestyle or osteoarthritis sufferers to recover damaged cartilages or preserve and enhance joint health.
How it enhances muscle gains and recovery:
- It enables water and nutrients to enter cartilages, so it makes them stronger and supports their recovery.
- It also enhances the strength and flexibility of the connective tissues (which is vital for joint health) by improving their structure.
Symptoms of chondroitin sulfate deficiency
There are no known deficiency symptoms.
Based on studies, chondroitin sulfate may be useful in the treatment of the following symptoms:
- Bone and joint problems
- Broken bones
Chondroitin sulfate has quickly become one of the most popular supplements to promote the strength and recovery of damaged cartilages. Cartilages are gel-like tissues. They consist mostly of water (in two thirds) and nutrients. By lubricating cartilages, chondroitin sulfate keeps them healthy and flexible so they can function as dampers to protect joints.
In an ideal world, our cartilages would last until the end of our lives. But in reality, everyday load, bad eating habits, (sports) injuries and age all leave their traces on our joints and wear our connective tissues. This will lead to joint pain, mostly in the elbows or knees.
What is it and how does it work?
Chondroitin sulfate or “glycosaminoglycan” is one of the main compounds of bones and cartilages. By enabling water and nutrients to enter the cartilages, It keeps them healthy. It also enables other molecules to enter, which is vital because there is no perfusion to the cartilages.
Luckily, even if a joint is damaged, studies have revealed that chondroitin sulfate can help rev up recovery by supplying the damaged areas with water and nutrients, making the connective tissues stronger and more flexible. For this reason, chondroitin is useful for athletes or people who lead an active lifestyle, because they are more likely to develop joint (cartilage) problems due to repetitive motion and impacts. Studies have shown that chondroitin even facilitates the recovery of broken bones or other bone damages.
In the case of osteoarthritis, the cartilages between joints are damaged, so the bones are grinding against each other, which makes movement painful or even impossible. Studies have shown that chondroitin sulfate stops premature cartilage damage and recovers the function and mobility of damaged joints, making motion almost painless.
In a three-month experiment, subjects who took chondroitin experienced significant improvement regarding their osteoarthritis symptoms compared to the placebo group. And in a one-year experiment, osteoarthritis sufferers (with knee problems) who took chondroitin also experienced significant improvement compared to the placebo group. The chondroitin group reported better mobility, less pain and greater stability at the end of the experiment. What’s more, for 6 patients out of 25, the cartilages became stronger, healthier and denser.
The impressive study results have shown that chondroitin sulfate can do more than just reducing joint pain and inflammation. It can actually help preserve the health of cartilages and rebuild them as well. Moreover, it can also support the recovery of damaged bones.
Indications for use
To ensure optimum recovery and support for the connective tissues and the joints, 250-500 mg were administered in most experiments, 3 times a day.
You may take chondroitin any time of the day: in the morning, early in the afternoon or even late at night. To ensure optimum absorption, it is best taken with meals.
Synergists of chondroitin sulfate
Studies imply that chondroitin with glucosamine (500 mg, three times a day) act synergically in the recovery and support of the connective tissues.
Nowadays, manufacturers add 500 mg of MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) to chondroitin supplements.
Chondroitin also works synergically with vitamin C (500 to 2000 mg a day). Together they facilitate the production and stabilization of collagen, which is a basic compound of the connective tissues.
Chondroitin sulfate may cause nausea if more than 10 grams are taken a day.
Toxicity of chondroitin sulfate
There is no known toxicity.
Contra-indication and restrictions
Andermann, G., and Dietz, M., "The Influence of the Route of Administration on the Bioavailability of an Endogenous Macromolecule: Chondroitin Sulphate (CSA)," Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet 7.1 (1982) : 11-6.
Morreale, P., et al., "Comparison of the Antiinflammatory Efficacy of Chondroitin Sulphate and Diclofenac Sodium in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis," J Rheumatol 23.8 (1996) : 1385-91.
Shankland, W.E., 2nd, "The Effects of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulphate on Osteoarthritis of the TMJ: A Preliminary Report of 50 Patients," Cranio 16.4 (1998) : 230-5.
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