[Effects of Chondroitin Sulfate] From Pain and Swelling to Improved Mobility, 3 Benefits of Chondroitin for Osteoartheritis

[Effects of Chondroitin Sulfate] From Pain and Swelling to Improved Mobility, 3 Benefits of Chondroitin for Osteoartheritis

Dec 03, 2023KimSunhyo

[Effects of Chondroitin Sulfate]

From Pain and Swelling to Improved Mobility,

3 Benefits of Chondroitin for Osteoarthritis

Chondroitin Sulfate
Chondroitin Sulfate Can Help Improve Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
This content is health information about ingredients and not directly related to a specific product.
Effects of Chondroitin Sulfate
1. Improves pain and function for osteoarthritis patients.
2. Reduces joint swelling for osteoarthritis patients.
3. Enhances exercise capability for osteoarthritis patients.

Hello, I am Jinny, a pharmacist.

When it comes to ingredients with the highest recognition in the field of joint health in South Korea, 'chondroitin' stands out. Chondroitin is a type of glycosaminoglycan that makes up tissues such as skin and cartilage. Specifically, chondroitin in the form of chondroitin sulfate (CS) is one of its components, also known as chondroitin sulfate or CS.

Chondroitin sulfate is a bioactive substance found in joints and cartilage, known to supply nutrition to joints and cartilage, inhibit cartilage-degrading enzymes, and promote the formation of new cartilage[1]. The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) strongly recommended the intake of chondroitin sulfate for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis as early as 2003[2].

As a result, the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety recognizes the joint and cartilage health functionality of some ingredients containing chondroitin sulfate. One prominent ingredient is 'mucopolysaccharide-protein,' which combines chondroitin sulfate and protein.

Now, let's explore the benefits of taking chondroitin sulfate, why it is recommended as an adjunct therapy for osteoarthritis, and how it is recognized for its functionality by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

[1] Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biochemical Encyclopedia, "Chondroitin Sulfate."

[2] Uebelhart, D. (2008). Clinical review of chondroitin sulfate in osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 16, S19-S21.

1. Improves Pain and Function for Osteoarthritis Patients.

Degenerative joint diseases, also known as osteoarthritis, are the most common inflammatory joint diseases and are characterized by progressive damage to the joint cartilage, which absorbs shock between the bones in the joint. Secondary damage can occur in the bones, joint membranes, and surrounding ligaments due to gradual wear and tear or degenerative changes in the joint cartilage, leading to pain, deformity, and functional impairment[3].

Osteoarthritis occurs without any specific cause and can be influenced by factors such as age, gender, genetic factors, obesity, and specific joint areas. It primarily affects the knees, hands, and hips, with over 60% of individuals aged 65 or older experiencing it. The main symptom is joint pain, which significantly impacts the quality of life. Despite being a common condition, there is currently no definitive medication for preventing or treating osteoarthritis[4].

[3,4] Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Health Information Portal, Medical Information, "Osteoarthritis"

Because of this, researchers are exploring various possibilities, and chondroitin sulfate has been extensively studied as a component that may help with osteoarthritis. In 2019, Honvo and researchers conducted a comprehensive review of 18 studies involving a total of 3,791 subjects to evaluate the impact of chondroitin sulfate intake on osteoarthritis. The results of these studies suggest that chondroitin sulfate intake may be superior to a placebo in managing osteoarthritis and may help improve pain management[4].

"The intake of chondroitin sulfate for 3 and 12 months had a positive impact on both pain and functional status in patients with osteoarthritis. This benefit was maintained even when used in combination with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, chondroitin sulfate showed greater effectiveness when used alone, and its benefits in pain improvement may be more powerful than those reported in previous studies."

Reference :  Honvo, G., Bruyere, O., Geerinck, A., Veronese, N., & Reginster, J. Y. (2019). Efficacy of chondroitin sulfate in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a comprehensive meta-analysis exploring inconsistencies in randomized, placebo-controlled trials. Advances in therapy, 36(5), 1085-1099.
2. Reduces Joint Swelling for Osteoarthritis Patients.

I mentioned earlier that there is a lack of a definite drug for preventing or treating osteoarthritis. However, many people who have osteoarthritis are prescribed medication, most of which are aimed at reducing pain and relieving inflammation caused by osteoarthritis. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a common example of such medications. However, there can be concerns about the long-term use of these medications.

Therefore, in the field of research, there are efforts to design studies that compare substances that are presumed to be helpful in improving osteoarthritis with NSAIDs. Among these studies, one of the most significant and large-scale studies is GAIT.

In this study, 1,583 patients with knee osteoarthritis were evaluated for the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, as well as the NSAID celecoxib. The study reported that among patients who had joint swelling initially, the group taking chondroitin sulfate showed a significant improvement in swelling compared to the placebo group.

The group taking chondroitin sulfate showed a significant improvement in joint swelling compared to the placebo group. Exploratory post-analysis results suggest that patients in the relatively early stages of osteoarthritis may have a higher likelihood of benefiting from chondroitin sulfate supplementation.

Reference :  Hochberg, M. C., & Clegg, D. O. (2008). Potential effects of chondroitin sulfate on joint swelling: a GAIT report. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 16, S22-S24.
3. Enhances Exercise Capability for Osteoarthritis Patients.

The major symptom of osteoarthritis is localized joint pain, but there can also be other symptoms such as a reduced range of motion in the joint and swelling. Additionally, when cartilage is lost and degenerated, the joint surface can become irregular, leading to the sensation of friction when moving the joint. Muscle atrophy can also occur, so strengthening the muscles and restoring the range of motion in the joint are important for reducing joint stress.

However, as the symptoms of osteoarthritis make exercise increasingly difficult, it is important to consider how much impact a substance that may help improve osteoarthritis can have on the ability to exercise.

Chondroitin sulfate is one such substance that has been evaluated for its potential impact on the exercise ability of osteoarthritis patients. In a study by Uebelhart and colleagues (1998), the effects of chondroitin sulfate supplementation on exercise ability in 42 patients with knee osteoarthritis were evaluated, and it was reported that chondroitin sulfate intake led to an overall improvement in exercise ability.

In this study, it was confirmed that chondroitin sulfate has excellent safety, significantly improves pain, and increases overall exercise ability. These results suggest that chondroitin sulfate intake is effective and safe for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, and it is a slowly acting ingredient.

Reference :  Uebelhart, D., Eugene, J. M. T., Delmas, P. D., Chantraine, A., & Vignon, E. (1998). Effects of oral chondroitin sulfate on the progression of knee osteoarthritis: a pilot study. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 6, 39-46.

Today, we have examined the research findings from the academic community regarding chondroitin sulfate, an effective component of chondroitin, which is drawing attention as a joint health ingredient. Chondroitin has been extensively tested over a long period in osteoarthritis patients, and most studies have consistently confirmed its benefits. Therefore, it is considered a component worth considering as an adjunctive therapy for those with osteoarthritis.

Additionally, Morreale and colleagues (1996) evaluated the effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and chondroitin sulfate on 146 patients with knee osteoarthritis. They found that the effects of NSAIDs were immediate and clear, but when discontinued, the effects diminished. In contrast, the group taking chondroitin sulfate experienced a slower improvement in symptoms but maintained this improvement for up to three months after discontinuation [5].

[5] Morreale, P., Manopulo, R., Galati, M., Boccanera, L., Saponati, G., & Bocchi, L. (1996). Comparison of the antiinflammatory efficacy of chondroitin sulfate and diclofenac sodium in patients with knee osteoarthritis. The Journal of rheumatology, 23(8), 1385-1391.

Considering these factors, it is believed that chondroitin sulfate may offer long-term benefits as an adjunctive treatment rather than immediate effects. Furthermore, it's essential to ensure that products contain "chondroitin sulfate" when purchasing them, as all the studies mentioned today have tested chondroitin sulfate specifically, not just any chondroitin. As mentioned earlier, "Mucopoly saccharide·protein" is a functional ingredient with verified chondroitin sulfate content, so checking if the functional ingredient name includes "Mucopoly saccharide·protein" can be a simple way to confirm the content.

I hope you have a healthy day both physically and mentally. This was Jinny.

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