Glucosamine Chondroitin: How Much Should You Take?

Learn the right glucosamine chondroitin dosage for you

The dose of glucosamine chondroitin you should take for osteoarthritis usually starts higher and gets lower once your symptoms improve. Collagen Without Fish

Glucosamine Chondroitin: How Much Should You Take?

Glucosamine chondroitin is a supplement with two ingredients: glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine is made from the shells of shellfish, while chondroitin comes from the windpipe (trachea) of cows.

This article will cover how much glucosamine chondroitin you should take if you have arthritis, as well as what you should know about the possible side effects and risks of glucosamine chondroitin supplements.

The starting dose for most glucosamine chondroitin supplements is typically 1,500 milligrams (mg) of glucosamine and 1,200 mg of chondroitin daily. If you start feeling better after one or two months, you can reduce your dose to 1,000 mg of glucosamine and 800 mg of chondroitin per day.

However, before you start taking glucosamine chondroitin for osteoarthritis, know that its benefits and dosing are still somewhat controversial.

A review study that evaluated the use of glucosamine and chondroitin for knee osteoarthritis did find that taking oral supplements of either one could reduce pain in the knee, but it also concluded that using both together did not seem to have an additional benefit.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons advises against using supplements like glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine hydrochloride to treat symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.

Glucosamine chondroitin and other supplements that are advertised to improve joint health can be confusing and misleading because these products do not have to go through the rigorous testing that pharmaceutical drugs do. This means that the “recommended” dose of a glucosamine chondroitin supplement is not backed up by as much research evidence as a prescription medication would be.

If you take too little glucosamine chondroitin, you will not get the potential benefits. If you take too much glucosamine chondroitin, you might be more likely to have side effects.

Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are made from animal sources but not ones that you typically eat.

The cartilage and bone marrow of certain animals—like the shells of shellfish and the windpipes of cows—are used to make glucosamine and chondroitin supplements.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are safe for most people as long as they are used according to the directions on the supplement label. 

Some people should not take a glucosamine chondroitin supplement, including:

Always ask your healthcare provider before trying a new supplement, even one that's something you can buy over the counter (OTC). There can be risks of taking supplements if you have certain health conditions or are taking other OTC or prescription medications.

Even if it's safe for you to take glucosamine chondroitin, you might still have side effects, especially if you're taking a high dose. Possible side effects of glucosamine chondroitin include:

There have been concerns that glucosamine chondroitin can cause more serious side effects, but the research has not been conclusive.

If you have been taking glucosamine chondroitin and experience sudden swelling in your legs, an irregular heartbeat, hives, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, or swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, call 911 or go to your nearest ER.

Glucosamine chondroitin supplements may help with osteoarthritis pain, but the evidence for their effectiveness is still controversial. It can be risky to take supplements because they are not regulated by the FDA and you can't always be sure of how much of the active ingredients are in a product.

If you want to try using glucosamine chondroitin, talk to your provider. They can make sure that it's safe for you to try and determine how much glucosamine chondroitin to take. Usually, people start taking glucosamine chondroitin supplements at a higher dose and reduce the amount once their arthritis symptoms start getting better.

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By Carol Eustice Carol Eustice is a writer covering arthritis and chronic illness, who herself has been diagnosed with both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

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Glucosamine Chondroitin: How Much Should You Take?

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