Glucosamine and chondroitin

The knee hurts: what to do?

Athletes engaged in weight training with weights, exactly like runners, often face the problem of pain in the knees and joints. In attempts to alleviate the condition, many resort to various sports supplements - first of all, glucosamine.

In this material, FitSeven will review five drugs that have shown clinical efficacy for joint pain. It is important to note that as of March 2015, preparations outside this list did not show effectiveness. Separately note that the review is not advertising.

For a better understanding of the topic:

  • FitSeven Guide: Sports supplements
  • Why is barefoot running more useful?
  • Vitamin D deficiency and bone weakness

1: Glucosamine

Glucosamine( glucosamine) is an additive for improving joint health derived from shellfish shells. Is one of the most popular in the market of sports nutrition. Unfortunately, the effect promised by advertising is overrated, especially at the standard dosage( 1).

Studies confirm the use of glucosamine for prophylactic purposes - the supplement reduces the collagen loss level, alleviating the symptoms of osteoarthritis - however, glucosamine is not able to treat existing disorders. Effective dosage: 3000 mg daily.

2: Chondroitin

In most supplements, chondroitin( chondroitin) is paired with glucosamine, implying an increase in the efficacy of the latter. Unfortunately, there is no unambiguous scientific confirmation of the use of chondroitin, and existing studies can be interpreted in different ways( 2).

Despite the fact that a significant number of people taking drugs with glucosamine and chondroitin content noted a reduction in pain in the knees, clinical tests could neither confirm nor disprove the allegations. Recommended dosage: 1000-1200 mg per day.

3: Curcumin

According to recent studies, Curcumin has a strong anti-inflammatory effect in ginger and turmeric, positively affecting both the slowing down of aging processes and helping to treat cancers( 3).

The downside of the supplement is that it is poorly digested from the intestine. To improve digestion, it is recommended to take curcumin with black pepper extract piperine. Recommended dosage: 8 g per day( dosages less than 4 g do not show effect).

4: Boswellia

Boswellia Serrata, known as Indian incense, has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda( the Indian doctrine of healthy life).Recent scientific evidence tends to confirm the effectiveness of the additive( 4).

Areas of application: boswellia is an anti-inflammatory drug, an ointment for muscles, joints and nerve endings. Interestingly, the positive effect of the supplement for osteoarthritis is significantly higher than the popular glucosamine. Recommended dosage: 2400-2600 mg per day.

5: S-Adenosylmethionine

S-Adenosyl Methionine( SAM) is the amino acid methionine associated with the energy molecule of ATP.In the body of a healthy person, the level of SAM is sufficient, but diseases such as depression or osteoarthritis significantly reduce the availability of methionine( 5).

There are 4 scientific studies confirming the effectiveness of the drug, but the mechanism of its action is not fully understood. The world is sold under the brands SAM, Naproxen, Adomet, Heptral, in Russia - Heptaral and Heptor( according to the prescription)( 6).Dosage: 600-1200 mg.

Joint pain: the final recommendation of

Given the availability of supplements with glucosamine and chondroitin, they can be recommended for their preventive use. However, carefully look at the immediate amount of the drug in the capsule - often manufacturers use the minimum dosage.

Boswellia is a rare enough drug, but if you manage to get such an additive at an adequate price, we recommend you try it. SAM products also have a strong evidence base, but an effective course will cost you not cheap.


It is necessary to separate the means for the prevention of arthritis and the remedy for its treatment. Most of the drugs available on the market are prophylactic, showing only moderate efficacy for pain in the knees. Treat the disease with additives clearly can not.

Scientific sources:
  1. Glucosamine, article at, source
  2. Chondroitin, article at, source
  3. Curcumin, article at, source
  4. Boswellia serrata, article at, source
  5. S-Adenosyl Methionine, article at, source
  6. S-Adenosylmethionine, article on Wikipedia, source