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Chondroitin Sulfate

What is Chondrotin Sulfate?

Chondroitin sulfate is a chemical that is normally found in cartilage around joints in the body. Chondroitin sulfate is manufactured from animal sources, such as cow cartilage.
Chondroitin sulfate is used for osteoarthritis. It is often used in combination with other products, including manganese ascorbate, glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, or N-acetyl glucosamine. Research from a couple of decades ago showed that chondroitin sulfate helped arthritis pain when taken with conventional medicines, such as aspirin, for pain and swelling. 
Some people use chondroitin sulfate for heart disease, weak bones (osteoporosis), and high cholesterol. Chondroitin sulfate is also used in a complex with iron for treating iron-deficiency anemia.
Chondroitin sulfate is available as an eye drop for dry eyes. In addition, it is used during cataract surgery, and as a solution for preserving corneas used for transplants. It is approved by the FDA for these uses.
Some people with arthritis use ointments or skin creams for pain that contain chondroitin sulfate, in combination with glucosamine sulfate, shark cartilage, and camphor. But as far as we know, chondroitin sulfate isn’t absorbed through the skin. That would mean that any benefit from these creams and ointments is due to some other ingredient.
There is great variability among chondroitin and chondroitin plus glucosamine products. Some products contain no chondroitin despite label claims, while others contain more chondroitin than the label shows. Price isn’t always a guarantee of quality. Low-cost chondroitin products (less than $1 per 1200 mg chondroitin) seem to contain little chondroitin, but some higher-priced products may also contain less chondroitin than claimed.
Usage of Chondroitin Sulfate
Reducing pain from a type of arthritis called osteoarthritis, when taken by mouth. 
Osteoporosis (weak bones).
How does it work?
In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the joints breaks down. Taking chondroitin sulfate, one of the building blocks of cartilage, might slow this breakdown.
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Chondroitin Sulfate


Study finds chondroitin improves pain and function in patients with arthritis

Sunday, 16 October 2011

A prescription-grade formulation of chondroitin sulfate (Condrosulf) helped improve pain and function in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the hand, according to a single-center randomized study of 162 patients who had been suffering from OA for more than six years.

MedPage Today reports, ”The study was sponsored by Institut Biochimique SA, the manufacturer of the proprietary product used in the trial.”

The study found that “hand pain decreased significantly in patients receiving chondroitin sulfate” (CS) while “the effects of chondroitin seemed to be greater on function than pain.”

Researchers also noted that the results were similar to “earlier short-term trials evaluating drugs such as ibuprofen for hand OA.”

However, since chondroitin sulfate (CS) is significantly more expensive that glucosamine sulfate (GS), I usually recommend the latter first.



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Chondroitin Sulfate Improves Hand Function, Relieves Morning Stiffness Caused by Osteoarthritis, Study Finds

Sep. 7, 2011 — New research shows that chondroitin sulfate significantly decreased pain and improved hand function in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the hand compared with those in the placebo group. Results of the clinical trial available in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), also show that chondroitin sulfate improves grip strength and relieves morning stiffness.

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The ACR estimates that OA -- the most common form of arthritis -- affects more than 27 million adults in the U.S., causing joint pain and stiffness. Approximately 10% of the world population, 60 years and older, have symptomatic osteoarthritis according to the Global Burden of Disease 2000 report from the World Health Organization (WHO). Prior studies have found that 20% to 30% of adults have OA of the hand, with the prevalence rising to more than 50% after 60 years of age.


"Although hand OA is highly prevalent among adults and can significantly impact the quality of life for suffers, therapeutic options are still limited," said Cem Gabay, M.D., with University Hospitals of Geneva in Switzerland and lead investigation of the Finger osteoArthritis Chondroitin Treatment Study (FACTS).

 "There are few trials examining therapeutic approaches specific to hand OA and much of the available evidence has been extrapolated from studies investigating other forms of OA."


The single-center, placebo-controlled FACTS trial included 162 patients with radiographic hand OA who met inclusion criteria -- spontaneous hand pain on the visual analogue scale (VAS) of 40 mm (scale 0-100) or more and Functional Index for Hand OA (FIHOA) level of 6 (scale 0-30). Participants received either 800 mg of chondroitin sulfate (80 patients) or placebo (82 patients) once daily for 6 months.


Results showed that patients in the chondroitin sulfate group had significant decrease in global hand pain compared with the placebo group, reflecting an 8.7 decrease on the VAS. Hand function also improved significantly for those taking chondroitin sulfate, decreasing more than 2 points on the FIHOA. Researchers also reported significantly improved hand function and reduction in morning stiffness for participants taking chondroitin sulfate versus placebo.


"Our findings show chondroitin sulfate is a safe and effective treatment for patients with hand OA," concluded Dr. Gabay. "Alternative therapies, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), provide similar pain reducing effects, but with considerably more long-term toxicities." Chondroitin sulfate is a naturally occurring molecule and a main component of joint cartilage. The chondroitin sulfate agent used in this study (Chondrosulf®) is licensed as a drug in Europe and not as a nutripharmaceutical; in the U.S. chondroitin sulfate is sold as a supplement and often paired with glucosamine.

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