Natural Health Products

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Chondroitin Sulphate

General Information

Chondroitin sulfate can be found in cartilage, which is a cushion that surrounds the joint in your body. It can also be made from animal sources such as cow or pig cartilage.

Common Name(s)
chondroitin sulfate
Scientific Name(s)
chondroitin 4-sulfate, chondroitin 4- and 6-sulfate
How is this product usually used?

Chondroitin sulfate is usually taken by mouth, with the total daily dose ranging from 800 mg to 1,200 mg. It is often used in combination with other supplements such as glucosamine and manganese.

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Chondroitin sulfate has been used to relieve joint pain in people with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis where the cartilage in the joints breaks down over time. It can be used to relieve pain in people with osteoarthritis of the knee.

Studies of chondroitin in osteoarthritis have been inconsistent. Overall, it appears that chondroitin may be useful for people with osteoarthritis of the knee, although the effect may not be very big. Combination products (i.e., chondroitin and glucosamine) may be better than chondroitin sulfate alone.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

Chondroitin should be used for at least 3 months before the full benefits can be seen. If symptoms of osteoarthritis worsen, you should contact your doctor.

Chondroitin does not appear to have any serious side effects when used in recommended amounts. Common side effects reported include mild stomach pain and nausea.

Since chondroitin comes from animal sources, there are concerns about the safety of these products. There have been no reports of product contamination with animal diseases and this risk is thought to be low. In Canada, chondroitin must come from the cartilage of healthy animals that can be used for food by humans.

Higher doses of chondroitin in combination with glucosamine may increase the effects of warfarin, a medication used to slow blood clotting. Consult your health care provider for more information.

Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should consult a health care practitioner prior to using chondroitin. A health care practitioner should also be consulted if symptoms persist or worsen.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.

Source(s)
  1. Chondroitin sulfate (monograph). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. © 2009Accessed 6 June 2014.
  2. Health Canada. Licensed Natural Health Products Database. Chondroitin sulfate. http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=66&lang=eng. April 10 2017.
  3. Natural Standard- the Authority on Integrative Medicine. Chondroitin sulfate ©2014 accessed 6 June 2014.

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