How Glucosamine and Chondroitin Supports More Than Joint Health – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 292
Glucosamine and chondroitin
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
We’ve all heard that part of the aging process is that you’ll probably get sore and achy joints, but you just have to deal with it. I certainly disagree with that outlook and I recognize that there are many things that we can be doing as we get older to maintain the health of our joints.
Certainly, there are several different nutrients that we can look at just starting with our diet, knowing that there are many foods that can be beneficial to the way that our joints age. Activity, trying to stay physically active, is important. There are studies out there showing that people who have arthritic joints actually improve upon their symptoms when they do physical activity, even though it is genuinely quite uncomfortable in the beginning for many people, but the more we can keep that motion going within that joint, the better off we are. We also talk oftentimes about different nutrients that come from our diet as well as supplementation that can be very supportive of healthy joint function. But have we thought about it in the setting of actually preserving the joint structure itself? Not just maintaining and trying to ease the inflammation and discomfort, but actually taking the steps to preserve the joint structure and to support the cartilage.†
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What are Glucosamine and Chondroitin?
I want to talk about two different nutrients that are commonly combined called Glucosamine and Chondroitin. They are the major components that make up our joint structure. When we think about the components of cartilage, we know that Chondroitin helps to retain water in the body naturally and it certainly does a lot in terms of the proper function and movement of the joint.†
Glucosamine is like Chondroitin. It is a natural compound found within healthy cartilage and particularly in the fluid around the joints. We know that Glucosamine has many different properties to it, even more so than Chondroitin. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and it even has been shown to help cartilage regenerate itself.†
When we think about endogenous things in the human body, there are so many of them and they all play such critical roles. When we look at Glucosamine and Chondroitin, we recognize that if we have insufficient levels of these, this can lead to further destruction or more rapid destruction within the joint spaces. Also, we now realize that if we’re lacking that Glucosamine, we can actually drive up more significant amounts of inflammation.†
Research on the benefits of Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Both Glucosamine and Chondroitin are naturally-occurring in the body, but it seems that Glucosamine really packs an extra punch to it. I want to talk about how researchers have now recognized the way that Glucosamine is actually working in the body. It’s really quite novel.†
There have been some interesting studies that have come out and one that I want to point out to you is from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This was back about a decade ago. Researchers at University of Washington School of Public Health, along with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, were looking at how there was a lower risk of death from all causes among folks who used supplements for arthritis. The primary supplements that they were using were Glucosamine and Chondroitin.†
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They assessed over 77,000 men and women between the ages of 50 and 76 years old and within this group that they tracked over a period time, they started to see a trend. They were looking at their dietary intake, exercise and different lifestyle choices, but they also did a questionnaire on dietary supplementation use. The one area that really popped out to the researchers was that those who took Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplementation had an associated 8% lower risk of dying. For those who used Glucosamine and Chondroitin on a regular basis, like every single day, the researchers found that they had closer to a 20% lower risk of dying.†
Learn more about research demonstrating the benefits of Glucosamine and Chondroitin by tuning into the full podcast episode.
When we think about joint health, we all want our joints to feel good. We don’t want to get up and feel like our joints are stiff and it takes us a while to get going. We want to be able to enhance the flexibility, mobility and stability within the joint. Both Glucosamine and Chondroitin play a really critical role in this, but we now recognize that it is beyond that of just preserving that joint structure.†
Do you currently use this supplement for joint discomfort? Leave a comment below to join the discussion!
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