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You are here: Home > Arthritis Resource Center > Glucosamine Guide

glucosamine

The Consumers Guide to Glucosamine Products

Glucosamine is a very promising treatment for Arthritis and is backed by numerous double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. In these studies, Glucosamine has been shown to rehabilitate cartilage and reduce the progression of osteoarthritis, and significantly lessen pain from arthritis. However, one glucosamine product can be very different from another.

When your pain relief and health is at stake, you need to know how to choose between competing products and see through the marketing hype. There are six factors that you need to take into your decision before purchasing any glucosamine product. These are:

  • Amount of glucosamine per daily dose
  • Type of Glucosamine
  • Quality of Ingredients
  • Delivery System
  • Synergistic Ingredients
  • Price Per Day

  • It is very important to compare price per day and not price per product, as many companies try to fool you by providing 60 capsules or 32 oz. and not telling you untill after you purchased that you must use 6 capsules or 2 oz. per day. Be careful to always compare price per day.

Did you know that the absorption rate and bio-availability of the glucosamine in pills is significantly less than that when glucosamine is delivered in liquid form? The "claimed fact" that pills are the only and best way to obtain glucosamine is simply not true.

According to the Physician's Desk Reference "only 10 to 20% of vitamins and minerals in any pill form is absorbed by the human body." Furthermore, the National Advisory Board states that 100 MG consumed in tablet form translates to a minute stabilized 8.3 MG or 8.3% concentrated in the blood, as compared to 98% in liquid form.

Glucosamine provided in liquid form is absorbed more quickly, much more fully, and provides greater and longer lasting relief.

Due to this, we have given two ratings for the capsule products since we need to be comparing apples with apples. The overall rating is a rating that is compared to all products. The capsule rating is a rating as it stands among only products which provide glucosamine in pill form.

First we will review the leading liquid products...

  Syn-flex®

Syn-flex®

Amount of Glucosamine per daily dose: 1250 mg

Type of Glucosamine:
both Glucosamine Sulfate and Glucosamine HCL

Quality of Glucosamine:
Pharmaceutical Quality
Delivery System:
Liquid

Synergistic Ingredients:

Chondroitin Sulfate, Boswellin, Yucca Powder, Manganese Ascorbate, Bromelaine, Vitamin C, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, Omega 6 Fatty Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin E

Price per day:
$0.96

Rating Rationale:
A good amount of both forms of glucosamine delivered by liquid will ensure maximum absorption. The pharmaceutical quality glucosamine, and 10 synergistic ingredients that have all been shown to aid in the fight against arthritis combine to make a very good product.

Overall Rating:
recommended glucosamine product- 4 stars

Website: http://www.easysource.com/synflex/index.htm


  Corta-Flex™

Corta-Flex™
Amount of Glucosamine per daily dose: 100 mg

Type of Glucosamine: Glucosamine Sulfate

Quality of Glucosamine: not known

Delivery System: Liquid

Synergistic Ingredients:
100 mg. of MSM, 300 mg. of Mucopolysaccharides (a claimed source of Chondroitin)

Price per day: $.62

Rating rationale: A very, very low amount of glucosamine, unknown quality of ingredients, an unproven system of Chondroitin delivery. There is a reason why the price is low, because the product has very little in it besides fruit flavoring. The only thing this product has going for it is that it is in liquid form.

Overall rating: - 2 Stars

Website: http://www.cortaflex.com

  Arti-flex™

Arti-Flex™

Amount of Glucosamine per daily dose: 1500 mg

Type of Glucosamine: Glucosamine HCL

Quality of Glucosamine: not known

Delivery System: Liquid

Synergistic Ingredients:
1200 mg of Chondroitin Sulfate, 600 mg of MSM, 1.9 mg of Manganese, 500mg of Vitamin C, 20 mg of Yucca, 15 mg of Boswellic Acid

Price per day: $1.47

Rating Rationale: A good mix of ingredients with a good supply of glucosamine. However, the glucosamine is glucosamine HCL, which unlike glucosamine sulfate has not shown to be effective in any studies. There is too much MSM, which adds nothing to your pain relief, too little Manganese, and 833% of the RDA of Vitamin C, which may cause a severely upset stomach for many. Also lacking in this product is Bromelaine, the essential fatty acids Omega 3 and 6, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. The very high price will rule it out for most budgets, but if you can afford it, it may give you some relief seeing that it is in liquid form.

Overall Rating: - 3 Stars

Website: http://www.drinkartiflex.com

A note on MSM: There isn't a single piece of credible evidence that this substance is of any value. Worse yet, many MSM -containing products are contaminated with DMSO, a substance that should not be taken orally. Interestingly, the claim to fame for MSM is that it supplies the body with extra sulfur. Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate products contain plenty of available sulfur. Don't waste your money on MSM.

  Joint Juice™

Joint Juice

Amount of Glucosamine per daily dose: 1500mg

Type of Glucosamine: not stated

Quality of Glucosamine: not stated

Delivery System: Liquid

Synergistic Ingredients: 16 mg Vitamin C

Price per day: $1.19

Rating Rationale: A good supply of glucosamine and vitamin C, however, besides those, there is nothing in this product except fruit juice. These guys are spending a lot to get their product out there, even signing an Olympic athlete, but that doesn't mean they have a quality product. All they have is an expensive and bulky novelty drink that may give some relief, but certainly not very much.

Overall Rating: - 2 Stars

Website: http://www.jointjuice.com

The Capsule Products

Reminder: Glucosamine provided in liquid form is absorbed more quickly, much more fully, and provides greater and longer lasting relief.

Due to this, we have given two ratings for the capsule products since we need to be comparing apples with apples. The overall rating is a rating that is compared to all products. The capsule rating is a rating as it stands among only products which provide glucosamine in pill form.

  Osteo-Bi-Flex

Osteo-Bi-Flex™

Amount of Glucosamine per daily dose:
1500 mg

Type of Glucosamine: Glucosamine HCL

Quality of Glucosamine: not stated

Delivery System: capsule pill

Synergistic Ingredients: 1200 mg of Chondroitin Sulfate

Price per day: $.50 (varies slightly depending on retail outlet)

Rating Rationale: A good amount of glucosamine, however, it is glucosamine HCL, which unlike glucosamine sulfate has not shown to be effective in any studies. There is a good amount of Chondroitin, however there are no additional ingredients. Furthermore, in pill form, the glucosamine HCL and chondroitin sulfate will not be absorbed very well. This at best, would provide partial relief, but no where near the full pain relief and cartilage rehabilitation a quality liquid glucosamine formula with plenty of synergistic ingredients could provide.

Overall Rating: - 2 Stars (among all products)

Capsule Rating: - 3 Stars (among pill products only)


Website: http://www.osteo-bi-flex.com


  Cosamin DS™


*no picture provided


Amount of Glucosamine per daily dose:
1500 mg

Type of Glucosamine: Glucosamine HCL

Quality of Glucosamine: claimed "high purity"

Delivery System: pill

Synergistic Ingredients: 1200 mg Chondroitin Sulfate, 15mg Manganese, 198 mg Ascorbate

Price per daily dose: $.55 (varies slightly depending on retail outlet)

Rating Rationale: A good amount of glucosamine, however, it is glucosamine HCL, which unlike glucosamine sulfate has not shown to be effective in any studies. There is a good amount of Chondroitin, but 750% of the RDA of Manganese, which can be harmful and cause a high intensity of basal ganglia. Furthermore, in pill form, the glucosamine HCL and chondroitin sulfate will not be absorbed very well and provide less than optimal pain relief.

Overall Rating: - 2 Stars (among all products)

Capsule Rating: - 3 Stars (among pill products only)


Website: http://www.cosamin.com



The below capsule products are not recommended because they:

  • Failed independent testing
  • Contain a mixture of herbs not known to be safe
  • Put consumers at risk for lead/mercury contamination
  • Contain unproved substances

The below products are not recommended and have been given - 1 Star

Capsule Prodcuts to Avoid:

  • Glucosamine Plus
  • Joint Care
  • Pain Free
  • Joint Fuel
  • Joint Rescue
  • Osteo-Joint
  • Can-Do

The Creams

There is no evidence that glucosamine can be actually absorbed through the skin and no evidence to suggest that glucosamine in a cream will have any impact whatsoever on arthritis. Here are some topical (rub them on your skin) glucosamine/chondroitin products we think are just plain silly.

Joint Flex
Relevamine GS

Summary

In summary, we recommend products that contain pharmaceutical grade, high quality, liquid glucosamine sulfate or a mixture of both glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine HCL. The best products are also combined with ingredients that work synergistically with glucosamine to help rebuild cartilage, stop pain, reduce inflammation, and increase mobility. These include:

  • Chondroitin Sulfate
  • Boswellin
  • Yucca Powder
  • Manganese Ascorbate
  • Bromelaine
  • Vitamin C
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acid
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acid
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E

While the majority of research to date has been done on pill products, liquid products provide greater absorption and greater availability meaning greater pain relief for osteoarthritis sufferers. Overall, the product that came closest to these recommendations is Syn-flex®. The second best product (if you can afford it), is Arti-Flex, however it does not contain many of the arthritis-fighting ingredients in Syn-flex®.

For more information on Syn-flex®, you may visit http://www.easysource.com/syn_info.htm

As far as capsule products are concerned, we recommed Osteo-Bi-Flex and Cosamin DS, however we suggest you try the above recommended liquid product first.


References:

1. Syn-flex® product information: http://www.easysource.com/syn_info.htm
2. Corta-Flex product information: http://www.cortaflex.com
3. Arti-flex product information: http://www.drinkartiflex.com
4. Joint Juice product information: http://www.jointjuice.com
5. Osteo-bi-flex product information: http://www.osteo-bi-flex.com
6. Cosamin DS product information: http://www.cosamin.com
7. Interview with Yoshiaki Saito, M.D: http://www.prescription2000.com/experts/cardiacfunction.htm
8. Products To Avoid: http://www.drtheo.com/badguys.html








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