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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Does Chondroitin Sulfate Protect You Against Osteoarthritis?

What is Chondroitin Sulfate?

Chondroitin sulfate is found in the connective tissues of the body, specifically in the cartilage around the joints of the body. It is manufactured from animal sources like shark and cow cartilage. Benefit of chondroitin sulfate is used for treating osteoarthritis. This supplement is usually used in combination with human manganese ascorbate, hyaluronic acid, glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, or N-acetyl glucosamine.

How Does Chondroitin Sulfate Work?

Chondroitin sulfate exerts its anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the synthesis of various inflammatory intermediates like nitric oxide synthase and prostaglandin E2. It also inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines production.

What are the Uses of Chondroitin Sulfate?

Chondroitin Sulfate may be quite effective for

  1. Cataracts

  2. Osteoarthritis


Chondroitin Sulfate-Uses

Chondroitin sulfate in cataract surgeries, Credits: pixabay

During cataract surgery, an injection that is a mixture of chondroitin sulfate and sodium hyaluronate seems to protect the eyes.

Some preliminary studies point that the combination and benefits of chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronate seems to reduce the eye pressure and improve overall eye health, once the cataract is removed.

The effect of chondroitin sulfate alone on cataract surgery is not validated clearly.


Chondroitin Sulfate-Uses

Chondroitin sulfate in Osteoarthritis treatment, Credits: pixabay

Chondroitin sulfate has been recommended in the guidelines published by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) for the management of knee Osteoarthritis.

Chondroitin sulfate via oral consumption (for up to six months) has been shown to improve joint pain and function in patients with osteoarthritis.

The specific products that are used to treat osteoarthritis include Chondrosulf (IBSA Institut Biochimique SA), Chondrosan (Bioibérica, S.A.), and Structrum (Laboratoires Pierre Fabre).

Other evidence demonstrates that this supplement also slows the progression of osteoarthritis when consumed for two years. Chondroitin sulfate is also used in combination with glucosamine to slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

In the Early Stages of Research

It has been shown that chondroitin sulfate is effective in certain other disease conditions. However, the studies are in the early stages and a clear conclusion cannot be drawn.

Dry Eyes

Chondroitin sulfate eye drops either alone or in combination with xanthan gum has been effective in treating dry eyes. The results are yet to be validated on large scale studies.


Chondroitin Sulfate Uses

Chondroitin sulfate against Gastritis, Credits: pixabay

Some studies point out that a liquid containing chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid reduces the abdominal pain in people with gastritis.

Kashin-Beck disease

This disorder affects the bones and joints, in people with selenium deficiency (Kashin-Beck disease). Some early evidence indicates that benefits of chondroitin sulfate with or without glucosamine hydrochloride can reduce pain in people with Kashin-Beck disease. The combination of these supplements is shown to slow joint space narrowing in people with this bone disease.

Heart Attack

Chondroitin Sulfate Uses

Chondroitin sulfate against heart attack, Credits: pixabay

Oral intake of chondroitin sulfate is shown to reduce the risk of a first or recurrent heart attack.

Urinary Tract Infections

Early stages of research show that administering a solution of chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid into the bladder through a catheter can reduce the number of urinary tract infections in women with a history of UTIs.

Chondroitin sulfate can also be partially effective for persistent heartburn, cholesterol, wrinkled skin, psoriasis, and urinary incontinence.

Dosage Recommendations of Chondroitin Sulfate

Chondroitin Sulfate-Dosage recommendations

Dosages of Chondroitin Sulfate, Credits: pixabay

Oral consumption

The dosage of chondroitin sulfate for osteoarthritis is 800 to 2000mg as a single dose or in two or three divided doses daily for up to three years.

Chondroitin sulfate cream for osteoarthritis

A cream containing 50 mg/gram of chondroitin sulfate, 30 mg/gram of glucosamine sulfate, 140 mg/gram of shark cartilage, and 32 mg/gram of camphor has been used as needed for sore joints for up to 8 weeks.

Muscle Injection

For osteoarthritis, chondroitin sulfate (Matrix) has been injected into the muscle daily or twice weekly for 6 months.


50 mL of a specific solution containing chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid (iAluRil, IBSA Farmaceutici), has been inserted into the bladder once weekly for 4 weeks, and then once or twice monthly for up to 5 months.

Side Effects of Chondroitin Sulfate

Chondroitin Sulfate-Side effects

Vomiting, Credits: pixabay

Oral consumption of chondroitin sulfate is shown to be safe for up to six years. Some of the side effects of this supplement include stomach pain, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headache, swollen eyelids, leg swelling, hair loss, skin rash, and irregular heartbeat.

Since chondroitin sulfate is manufactured from animal sources, care must be taken during the manufacturing practices and any contamination with disease animal tissues should be monitored clearly.


Chondroitin Sulfate-Contraindications

Chondroitin Sulfate-No to asthma patients, Credits: pixabay

Chondroitin sulfate should not be used by pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. In people with asthma, blood clotting disorders, and prostate cancer, this supplement is shown to worsen the disease and hence should be avoided.

If you are taking warfarin, you must not use this supplement as it can cause bruising and bleeding.

Take-Home Message:

Chondroitin sulfate can stimulate cartilage growth and may be used to treat osteoarthritis.

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