Chondroitin Sulfate And It's Benefits
Chondroitin sulfate is one of the major constituents of cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate consists of repeating chains of molecules called mucopolysaccharides. It is a primary part of cartilage. Classified as a type of glycosaminoglycan, chondroitin sulfate is rich in sulfur and is a relative of glucosamine . Animal cartilage is the only significant food source of Chondroitin sulfate.
Chondroitin sulfate is an important element in the creation of cartilage, the tough yet flexible connective tissue found in the joints, where it acts as a cushion, and in other parts of the body, such as the tip of the nose and the outer ear.
Chemically, chondroitins belong to a group of substances classified as glycosaminoglycans (also referred to as mucopolysaccharides), which are complex types of carbohydrate molecules. Glycosaminoglycans in turn attach to proteins such as collagen and elastin, forming even more complex substances designated proteoglycans, which are a vital component of cartilage tissue. Chondroitin sulfate attracts water to the proteoglycans and holds it there, which is important for maintaining healthy joint cartilage. It can also protect existing cartilage from premature degeneration by blocking certain enzymes that destroy cartilage and prevent nutrients from being transported to the cartilage for repair.
Taking supplemental chondroitin sulfate, usually derived from powdered shark cartilage or cow-trachea cartilage, has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Many times it is used in conjunction with glucosamine for even more effective therapy. The supplements are usually taken together in pill form. Neither chondroitin sulfate nor glucosamine has shown any toxic effects but there are potential side effects for certain people. The Arthritis Foundation recommends exercising caution in taking these supplements for treatment of osteoarthritis. You should let your physician know you are taking these supplements, and discuss any allergies or potential reactions.
Use caution in taking chondroitin sulfate if you are taking anticoagulants (blood-thinners) or daily aspirin, as it is chemically similar to the blood-thinner heparin. Pregnant women should not take these supplements, as there has not been sufficient study regarding their safety and potential side effects during pregnancy. Twinlab manufactures a number of good products containing chondroitin sulfate. Glucosamine Chondroitin Sulfate from Only Natural, Inc. is a good combination source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate
Benefits of chondroitin sulfate
Dosage and Side effects
The recommended dose of chondroitin sulfate is 1,200 mg per day. Side effects that have been reported are mostly of the mild gastrointestinal variety, such as epigastric distress, nausea and diarrhea.
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