View Full Version : Glucos/Chond/MSM Question
I'll do my own research on this soon, but was hoping someone else may already know offhand:
I am planning on using glucosamine/chondroiton for my knees (no problems, just prophylaxis), and wasn't sure if there was real value to using the kind that has MSM added to it. Does anyone know if the MSM type has been tested against the non-MSM supplement?
Few, if any, controlled studies have been done. There is evidence that Glucosamine helps arthritis related to overuse injuries, mainly by improving function but not necessarily helping pain. There is a lot of marketing to sell you on additional supplements including shark cartilage, chondrotin, MSM and such.
If you plan on taking something in the absence of symptoms, I'd go as simple as possible. Try Glucosamine 1500 mg daily, stay cheap, listen to your body.
I'll do my own research on this soon, but was hoping someone else may already know offhand: I am planning on using glucosamine/chondroiton for my knees (no problems, just prophylaxis), and wasn't sure if there was real value to using the kind that has MSM added to it. Does anyone know if the MSM type has been tested against the non-MSM supplement? Thanks!
There are side effects to everything. At your age, 23, I would forget about such things. Eat wisely. Carry wise (reasonably light) loads. Hike wisely (i.e. build up slowly to the big miles) and your knees are very, very likely to be okay.
I take glucosimine daily. But I have one surgically reconstructed knee and another with 28 year of compensating for the other.
As far as preventive use, no. Don't. You may mask symptoms of other problems and damage yourself. Pain is the body's way of saying "DON'T DO THAT". Take care of yourself, prepare yourself (as Weary suggested) and you won't have to pop pills like the old folks.
The National Institutes of Health is just concluding a large phase III study of the effects of glucosamine alone, glucosamine with chondroitin or a placebo for osteoarthritis. The full results haven't been released yet, but the preliminary indication is that glucosamine is effective in reducing joint pain in everything BUT the knees. At age 23 it's unlikely that you have the type of damage that glucosamine is thought to repair. There is some anecdotal evidence though that there may be a prophylactic benefit to taking it. The NIH trial is probably the only one thus far that is likely to be favorably peer reviewed due to its size and test procedures. There have been no major studies done that I've been able to find that tested glucosamine with MSM.
NIH study or not however, I've been taking glucosamine sulfate for about a year now for arthritis and I personally think that it does help with knee pain. I also have arthritis in my neck, hands and shoulders. I was previously taking Vioxx until the military health care system decided it's too expensive and stopped prescribing it. That point is moot now, I guess. I've taken glucosamine sulphate by itself and glucosamine hydrochloride with chondroitin sulfate and MSM. The combinations were both tablet and liquid forms. For me, only the glucosamine sulfate works. The sulfate and chlorate are only supposed to be a carrier for the glucosamine and not have any actual effect. It may have been a better quality glucosamine that made the difference, I don't know. I take 750 mg twice a day and it takes 8-12 weeks before it shows ant benefit.
There's probably no harm in taking it as a preventative measure, but it ain't cheap. You'd probably find more benefit by strengthening the muscles that support your knee joints.
Glucosamine can be expensive and otherwise. For instance, Costco.Com lists some very reasonable prices for Glucosamine and other formulations including Chondrotin and others. Of course, they list some that are not so cheap. There is no indication that more expensive implies more value/quality.
I started taking glucosimine/condroitan (sp) 2-3 weeks ago. I paid $17 or so at Wally for "triple strength", 2 per day tablets (750 mg per). 80 in a bottle.
BJ's offers it for just over $9 per hundred in a 300 tablet bottle.
The National Institutes of Health is just concluding a large phase III study of the effects of glucosamine alone, glucosamine with chondroitin or a placebo for osteoarthritis. The full results haven't been released yet, but the preliminary indication is that glucosamine is effective in reducing joint pain in everything BUT the knees.
If anyone has a link when the final results are released, please post. I wonder why the knees are the single part of the skelatal system not to benefit.
If anyone has a link when the final results are released, please post. I wonder why the knees are the single part of the skelatal system not to benefit.Well, I'm not convinced about the knee part. I started taking it because of stiffness in my elbows that prevented my working out. One thing I noticed after a couple of months was consideable less knee aches. It might be coincidence or anything else, but the timing is such that I suspect cause and effect. If I really wanted to know, I suppose I could stop taking the pills and see if the knee pain returns, but I'm happy with things as they are.
I'm 57, and my joints feel it. At 23, you might not need something like this. Yet.
There is no indication that more expensive implies more value/quality.
As in most things, there is evidence that you get what you pay for. I'd have to do some digging to find it, but what this is what I recall. Most of the smaller studies that showed enough evidence of a benefit to taking glucosamine used glucosamine sulphate, which is the more expensive compound. These are the tests that prompted the NIH to conduct their larger, better controlled testing. When taking glucosamine became more popular as an alternative medicine for arthritis a lot of companies came out with the cheaper to produce glucosamine chlorate. I think that there is some evidence that it is not absorbed as well as the sulphate. From what I've seen around here, the cheaper pills, and ALL of the ones sold with chondroitin, are glucosamine chlorate. They simply did not work for me. YMMV.
As far as why it may not work as well on the knees, I don't know. I can't say that it has completely eliminated the pain in my knees, but it is greatly reduced. The arthritis pain and crepitus in my neck and other joints is gone though. Perhaps the knee is just such a big, heavily loaded joint that it's more than what the glucosamine can compensate for?
I take glucosamin,chondroitin,MSM and don't think i could live
well without it.With regard to the knees-there's a host of good
braces on the market;mine is johnson&johnson brand and is
made out of rubbery latex and velcro.Works like a champ when i need
it which,thankfully,is seldom.It will be in the pack though.
Another little secret to living with pain is called Capsacin-P.Use only a TINY
amount! As you begin to "work" the afflicted muscle or joint and notice a little
perspiration you are going to get a warmth that may overpower any minor pain
you may be experiencing ie,knee burning like heck so i dont notice the lower back
or shoulder so much-heheh.
Works for me.
Another little secret to living with pain is called Capsacin-P.Use only a TINY amount!Isn't this the stuff the make bear spray out of?
I have been using glucosamine/chondroiton for years, I MUST use it, at least it seems to help. I don't have arthritus in my knees (yet), so can't really offer an opinion on that area, but then again, I take 3 tablets a day anyway, so maybe it helped on my last trip. All I know is: Without a daily dose of G & C I cannot use my hands & my elbows hurt like hades, using it daily, I am nearly normal.
As a preventitive, perhaps you should reconsider, or at least talk with your doctor. I have heard "Horror stories" about someone taking too much. Sound a bit too much like urban legends to me but,,,,,,
Well ...the vote is still out on chondriotin, but there is a lot of proof that glucosamine helps repair and rebuild cartilage. I had the beginnings of knee problems (clicking and grinding) prior to my thru-hike. I went on 2000 mg of glucosamine sulfate/day and finished my thru-hike without a single knee or ankle related problem. To this day I remain "clickless and grindfree".
Can't comment on the MSM, since I've never used it and haven't done a lot of research on it.
One thing I've noticed after taking glucosamine, in addition to no more knee pain while hiking, is that my knees no longer "pop" like when you crack your knuckles. They used to, especially when stretching my legs. But no more. Wonder if that "popping" noise is related to cartiladge loss?
If anyone has a link when the final results are released, please post.The results of two major studies regarding the effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin for knee pain caused by osteo arthritis are being released in November. They are the GAIT study by the National Institutes on Health from the U.S. and GUIDE done in Europe. GAIT compared glucosamine alone, chondroitin alone, glucosamine and chondroitin together, Celebrex and a placebo. GUIDE compared glucosamine and acetaminophen.
I can't find much on the results of the GUIDE study, the authors have decided not to pre-release much information. They have said that it did show benefit to using glucosamine and that it worked better than the acetaminophen. The dosage used was 750 mg glucosamine sulphate twice a day.
NIH has released an abstract on the results of the GAIT study. The dosages used were 500 mg glucosamine hydrochloride three times a day, 400 mg chondroitin sulphate three times a day or 200 mg Celebrex once a day. Patients were divided into two pain stratum – moderate and severe.
The patients taking Celebrex experienced a 70% response rate in both pain groups. Patients in the moderate pain group had a 63-66% response rate with the glucosamine and/or chondroitin. Patients in the severe pain group had a 79.2% response for the combined glucosamine/chondroitin. Either separately was 61-65%.
Patients in the severe pain group taking the placebo had a significantly lower response rate (54%). Those in the moderate pain group had a 61.7% response which is not statistically significant compared to the glucosamine and chondroitin.
Baseline characteristics of the patients were: mean age 58.6 years, BMI 31.7 kg/m2, OA symptoms 10 years, 64% female, 78% were in the moderate pain group as measured on the WOMAC pain scale. In part 1 of the study changes in pain and function were measured after six months of treatment. Part 2 (to be completed in 2006) will be to perform x-ray analysis of the knees to see if there is a measurable change in the gap of the joint.
Adverse side effects were considered mild and evenly distributed among the groups.
After the start of the study it was found that taking the supplements all at once instead of split up through the day was probably more effective.
As a side note, a review of the medical history of the participants showed that people who had taken glucosamine for at least three years had a 75% lower rate of joint replacement surgery. (The protocol permitted people to have taken glucosamine and/or chondroitin prior to the start of the study.)
As a side note, a review of the medical history of the participants showed that people who had taken glucosamine for at least three years had a 75% lower rate of joint replacement surgery. (The protocol permitted people to have taken glucosamine and/or chondroitin prior to the start of the study.)===========================================
I read all (or most) of the available literature before starting on my own regimen of Glucosamine. I also work in the orthopedic/sports medicine environment so I tapped that source as well. My results are by no means "scientifically validated" however I am a big believer in actual experience ...and my experience to date with 2000 units of Glucosamine/day have been excellent. Can't provide numbers or any means of measuring the results but I am pain/symptom free of knee pain/grinding after about 3 years. I take the Glucosamine Sulphate compound (2 x 1000 unit capsules once a day in the morning with breakfast).
It's made a believer out of me ...
I've been taking Glucosamine almost daily since my knee melted down in my first section hike of about 67 miles.
After some initial playing around with other formulations, I have gone with plain glucosamine sulfate, 2 grams (2000 mg) per day and increase this to 2 grams twice a day when hiking.
I think there is a tendency to not take enough of the supplement to do much good, and since it is cheap and non-toxic, I take a bit more than most people recommend.
I get my glucosamine at Sam's Club, $10 for a bottle of 240 1 gram tablets.
I look forward to seeing the results of the NIH study.
Online, the best prices I've found for Glucosamine, Chondroitin with MSM has been at Doctor's Trust.
They also have good deals on other supplements...
Doctor's Trust (http://www.doctorstrust.com/)