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What Are the Benefits of Chondroitin?

By Madeleine A.
Updated May 17, 2024
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The benefits of chondroitin include its effectivenes in treating arthritis, high blood pressure, heart conditions, and certain types of anemia. The primary benefits of chondroitin are generally the result of its ability to relieve inflammation and pain. Not only is chondroitin commonly consumed to treat humans, it is also given to dogs to relieve symptoms of arthritis. For humans, the typical chondroitin dose is between 200 mg and 400 mg, which can be taken three times per day.

Arthritis is characterized by painful, swollen joints and can cause limited mobility, stiffness, and a decrease in range of motion. It can also limit mobility and even cause fever and flu-like symptoms. Although the benefits of chondroitin include relieving symptoms of joint disease, it may not be effective in combating systemic symptoms such as fever and fatigue. In addition, the benefits of chondroitin may include relieving pain in those who have osteoporosis, which is characterized by bone thinning. People with osteoporosis are at a higher risk for falls and fractures, and taking chondroitin may help by either strengthening the bones so they're not as likely to fracture, or relieving severe pain that may precipitate a fall.

Chondroitin is considered a safe dietary supplement and is available at pharmacies and grocery stores. Since it is a dietary supplement and not a drug, it does not go through the rigorous testing protocol required of medications. Therefore, it is important to discuss taking chondroitin and other dietary supplements with a health care provider prior to use. Supplements may not be recommended for people who have certain medical conditions, are taking certain medications, or are pregnant or nursing a baby.

People who have inflammatory conditions such as arthritis commonly take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and in those people, taking chondroitin may be risky. Combining these medications with chondroitin may increase the risk of abnormal bleeding in certain individuals. Although the benefits of chondroitin appear to be well documented, people should not stop taking their prescription medications and rely solely on dietary supplements to reduce their symptoms or prevent disease. Many supplements, including chondroitin, can be taken in conjunction with prescription and non-prescription medication, however, before combining them, the health care provider should be consulted to determine if those combinations are safe.

Taking chondroitin is generally well tolerated, however, adverse reactions can occur. These may include diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, and hair loss. In addition, palpitations, constipation, and swelling of the extremities can occur, however, these side effects are usually rare and typically resolve after chondroitin is discontinued.

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