Using Glucosamine Chondroitin and Vitamin C

In the past people often obtained the building blocks of cartilage by chewing meat down to the bone, eating gristle attached to meat, or by making soups with bones. Boiling the bones in water releases glucosamine and chondroitin, which are consumed as part of the soup. Research has shown that these substances migrate after digestion to cartilage tissues in people.

The two principal forms of glucosamine in supplements are glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride, and both appear to be equally effective. There is evidence suggesting that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are synergistic, with glucosamine enhancing the production of new cartilage and chondroitin slowing the breakdown of cartilage. Many supplements contain both, and people with osteoarthritis should consider taking 1,200 to 1,500 mg of glucosamine and 1,200 mg of chondroitin daily. As part of an osteoarthritic regimen, 500 to 1,000 mg of vitamin C should be included. Although some of the described studies used manganese ascorbate, this type of vitamin C is difficult to find. Any form of vitamin C should suffice.

In general, it would be worthwhile for every person to consume a minimum of 500 mg of supplemental vitamin C. The recent recommendation of 90 mg daily was based on studies of young, healthy men and women. Older people and those with medical conditions very likely will require far more. A far better dosage would be 2,000 to 5,000 mg daily. Robert Cathcart III, M.D., a leading expert in the clinical use of vitamin C to fight infections, developed the "bowel tolerance" method of determining the ideal individual dosage. Using this method, divide your total daily vitamin C dosage into three or four doses over the course of a day, such as with each meal and before bed. Then increase each of the dosages until your stools soften. At that point, reduce your dosage slightly. The dosage will vary from person to person, on average between 1,000 mg and 10,000 mg (10 grams) daily, and your tolerance of vitamin C will increase when you are sick.

In this chapter we have explored the roles of glucosamine, chondroitin, and vitamin C in the body's production of cartilage and collagen, pro teins that form a large part of our physical structure. While many nutrients are needed for health, these three nutrients stand out for their roles in reversing osteoarthritis and other inflammatory diseases. In the next chapter you will learn about a variety of other nutrients that also have anti-inflammatory properties.

Arthritis Joint Pain

Arthritis Joint Pain

Arthritis is a general term which is commonly associated with a number of painful conditions affecting the joints and bones. The term arthritis literally translates to joint inflammation.

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