Supplement of the Month: Chondro-Relief
Our supplement of the month for November is Chondro-Relief! Chondro-Relief is a high quality form of glucosamine chondroitin and is extremely helpful for stiffness and joint pain related to osteoarthritis. Many people as they age start noticing more stiffness and joint pain because the cartilage (the tissue that provides cushion between our joints) starts wearing away. Glucosamine is a natural component of cartilage, the supplement is made from extracting glucosamine from shellfish (so if you’re allergic to shellfish be sure to ask for the vegetarian version). Chondroitin is also naturally found in cartilage and works well alongside glucosamine. The Chondro-Relief supplement has some other ingredients in it as well including vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen synthesis, collagen can help rebuild cartilage. The supplement helps target joint health by regulating synovial fluid, supporting cartilage, and reducing inflammation.
What does the evidence say?
The evidence on glucosamine chondroitin has gone back and forth for years. It is a very well studied supplement but the results vary quite a bit. For every study that has a positive result there is probably one that has a non-conclusive or negative effect. Varying results are actually quite common in studies that evaluate effectiveness of supplements. There are many different factors (such as supplement quality, active ingredients, and patient population) and study limitations that must be analyzed with each of these trials to determine how well done these studies are. So while I can’t and won’t dismiss the negative findings just because positive findings are out there, I also know that research is only one part of the story. I must also consider patient presentation and clinical expertise to truly have an evidence informed approach. I know anecdotally I have gotten good results using Chondro-Relief with patients, they report less joint pain and stiffness while taking Chondro-Relief. I also know that Dr. Karls personally takes Chondro-Relief and reports that it helps her quite a bit.
A 2018 Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials looked at glucosamine chondroitin for osteoarthritis. The study looked at 30 trials and found the chondroitin was more effective than placebo for pain and physical function; it also found that glucosamine showed an effect on stiffness (Zhu, et al 2018). A 2016 Randomized controlled trial found that glucosamine and chondroitin was as effective in lessening pain and stiffness and improving function as celecoxib (also known as Celebrex a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory prescription medication) (Hochberg et al 2016).
But is it safe?
Chondro-relief is well tolerated and safe for most individuals, however, it is a good idea to check with your doctor before starting a glucosamine chondroitin supplement. It is also fairly inexpensive and for the month of November it is 10% off.
So should I take Chondro-Relief?
I like to give the power back to my patient when it comes to making health care decisions. I like to give them the most information as possible along with my professional opinion and recommendation but I also want them to know that ultimately their health care decisions are that of their own. I like to educate my patients (doctor actually means teacher) and help them make the decision that is right for them. If you have questions about Chondro-Relief ask us! I have found anecdotally and also through research that glucosamine chondroitin helps many (not all) and it is low risk and therefore I think it is worth trying if you suffer from osteoarthritis and stiffness. Joint pain is a major player in quality of life; I want my patients and family as they age to be happy, healthy, and ACTIVE, which is why I recommended this supplement to my own grandparents.
There are many glucosamine chondroitin supplements available for our furry friends! My dogs, Palmer and Ruby, get glucosamine chondroitin to help with their joints!
Hochberg MC, Martel-Pelletier J, Monfort J, et al.; MOVES Investigation Group. Combined chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine for painful knee osteoarthritis: a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, non-inferiority trial versus celecoxib. Ann Rheum Dis. 2016;75(1):37–44.
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Zhu X, Sang L, Wu D, Rong J, Jiang L. Effectiveness and safety of glucosamine and chondroitin for the treatment of osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Orthop Surg Res. 2018;13(1):170. Published 2018 Jul 6. doi:10.1186/s13018-018-0871-5
Brittany Schmidt, DC
**Educational only, not intended as medical advice. Always consult with a health care practitioner before starting any supplement.***