Chains of alternating glucuronic acid and N-acetylgalactosamine molecules make up chondroitin sulphate. The number of simple sugar molecules in this chain may exceed 100. The name “chondroitin sulphate” suggests that the sulphate ion and chondroitin chain form a salt. A proteoglycan is created when chondroitin sulphate is joined to a protein.
As an example, it is a crucial element in cartilage that enables the cartilage to resist compression. When chondroitin sulphate units are packed closely together, they become strongly charged, which gives rise to this feature. Additionally crucial to maintaining tissue integrity, chondroitin sulphate is a component of the extracellular matrix. Large proteoglycans, or lecticans, are most frequently found performing this role.
Extracellular matrices in the brain contain lecticans in significant quantities. The chondroitin sulfate’s sugar molecule chains aid in stabilizing the perineuronal nets’ neural synapses. When the central nervous system is damaged, this property is beneficial.
The main commercial source of chondroitin sulphate comes from animal cartilage, particularly from the trachea, nose, and ears. Chondroitin sulphate is also made using fish, birds, and sharks cartilage. Since chondroitin sulphate isn’t a particular chemical, the precise makeup of supplements containing it varies greatly.
The body naturally produces the chemical chondroitin. It makes up a sizable portion of cartilage, the tough connective tissue that cushions joints. Commercial chondroitin is made either synthetically or naturally from shark and bovine cartilage. By absorbing liquid, particularly water, into the connective tissue, chondroitin maintains the health of the cartilage. Along with giving the body the raw materials to create new cartilage, it may also inhibit the enzymes that break down cartilage.
Chondroitin may be a helpful osteoarthritis treatment, according to several research studies (OA). A type of arthritis known as OA is defined by the eventual breakdown and loss of cartilage, which can occur due to injury or regular wear and strain. As people age, it frequently happens. Chondroitin supplements have been shown in several studies to lessen OA discomfort. Experts are divided on whether chondroitin is effective in treating OA, and it is unclear why the research’ contradictory findings exist. Though not every research is encouraging, some have found no benefits to chondroitin supplementation.
According to multiple well-designed scientific trials, chondroitin supplements may be a successful treatment for OA, particularly OA of the knee or hip. However, a recent analysis of several studies indicated little benefit from using chondroitin alone. These research results generally indicate that chondroitin:
#1 Lessens OA pain
#2 Helps persons with hip or knee OA become more functional
#3 Decreases swollen and stiff joints
#4 Provides OA symptom alleviation for up to 3 months following the end of treatment.
The 2006 Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Experiment (GAIT), funded by the National Institutes of Health, was the largest clinical trial to date but its results were conflicted and puzzling. Glucosamine and chondroitin did not appear to lessen pain across the board in the research of over 1,600 individuals with knee OA, but it did appear to do so among those with moderate-to-severe OA. The study has prompted new research-related issues. The effect of chondroitin alone cannot be determined because glucosamine and chondroitin were mixed in this study. Researchers are also investigating whether glucosamine and chondroitin could benefit people with more severe OA.
In 2008, a second study phase examined certain participants who had remained in the trial for an additional 28 months. They underwent tests to see whether the cartilage loss in their knees was delayed by glucosamine or chondroitin (either combined or alone). However, less cartilage was lost in all groups those taking the placebo, those taking both supplements, and those taking just one supplement.
The results are still inconsistent. Smaller trials tended to discover that chondroitin was beneficial, whereas larger, more comprehensive investigations tended to show that it was not, according to a review of several studies.
Though you may see some improvement sooner, most studies show that people must take chondroitin for 2 to 4 months before experiencing advantages. In addition to NSAIDs, glucosamine and chondroitin can be used to treat OA.
Invasive chondroitin therapy, which involves rinsing the bladder with chondroitin, has been linked to a reduction in interstitial cystitis symptoms, according to one study. One further small study discovered that chondroitin may help lessen the signs and symptoms of an overactive bladder when taken orally.
Chondroitin has also been recommended as a treatment for osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, several malignancies, including colorectal and breast cancer, and preterm labor. But no research has examined these assertions.
Dosage and management
People who want to consume chondroitin must take supplements because there aren’t many significant dietary sources.
A trace mineral required for strong bones is manganese. In pills or tablets, chondroitin is frequently offered as chondroitin sulphate. It frequently mixes with glucosamine and occasionally with manganese as well. There shouldn’t be more than 11 mg of manganese per day in combined foods and supplements; however, many glucosamine, chondroitin, and manganese combination pills for arthritis are more than that. Consider choosing a supplement without manganese if you carefully read the labels.
Children should not take chondroitin. The safety of using it on children has not been researched; it is mainly used to treat osteoarthritis (OA), a disorder that primarily affects adults.
Signs That Chondroitin Sulfate May Be Required
One of the most prevalent symptoms of chondroitin sulphate supplements. This symptom is more prevalent in the early stages of osteoarthritis. Chondroitin sulfate may be helpful for people with bone problems that are characterised by shrinking joint spaces. Chronic skin inflammation and bladder inflammation may benefit you.
A meta-analysis of studies using chondroitin sulphate to treat gonarthrosis lacked specific information on joint space narrowing. Thus, conclusions could not be made about the benefit of chondroitin sulfate for the prevention of radiographical progression of gonarthrosis. On other outcomes, such as the Lequesne index, visual analog pain scales, mobility, and responsive status, chondroitin sulphate was successful. A meta-analysis was done to evaluate chondroitin sulfate’s effectiveness, involving 20 trials with 3,846 participants. The effect size was -0.03 (95% CI -0.13 to 0.07), according to the scientists’ analysis of three large sample size trials that used intention-to-treat analyses. There was significant variability amongst the trials. Larger effects supporting the use of chondroitin sulphate were seen in smaller studies with uncertain concealment of allocation and those not assessed using the intention-to-treat principle.