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What Is Liquid Chondroitin?

Dan Harkins
Updated May 17, 2024
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When osteoarthritis strikes, many turn to supplements with both glucosamine and chondroitin to alleviate pain and even stop the spread of this degenerative condition of the joints. Though other drugs are more likely to be recommended by a doctor, such as pain relievers, corticosteroids and even a fake joint fluid, studies have verified the efficacy of pill or liquid chondroitin and glucosamine supplements for relieving joint pain and helping the body contain the damage. These compounds are typically derived from animal or seafood cartilage or shells. A vegetarian option exists for glucosamine users, but that option does not appear available for liquid chondroitin.

Through aging and overuse of the body's joints, osteoarthritis can occur to the cartilage in the joints, causing excessive rubbing of bone on bone. This can cause not just localized pain but actual nodules to grow at the joints with the most damage. As of 2011 this condition is irreversible, but physicians have a range of options to help alleviate the symptoms. Physical therapy, exercise and anti-inflammatory drugs from aspirin to acetaminophen, and corticosteroids are the most common prescriptions. Though daily supplementation of liquid chondroitin — most often commercially paired with another cartilage-derived compound, glucosamine — is gaining more traction as complementary therapy.

Pill or liquid chondroitin, or chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine both are usually obtained from the cartilage of animals like shellfish, sharks and cows. For glucosamine, a vegetarian option derived from corn also is available. There appears to be no vegetarian option, however, for chondroitin.

Though these separate compounds are most often paired for optimum effectiveness, it is unknown whether one supplement alone or both in concert works best to grease the joints and ease pain. The Mayo Clinic states at its Web site that doses as high as 2,000 mg a day, often split up into three or more doses, would not be unusual and appear to be effective and devoid of side effects. Sometimes doctors even inject liquid chondroitin sulfate into a particularly painful joint, such as a hip that has also been broken, in doses of up to 100 mg daily.

It is possible to have an allergic reaction to liquid chondroitin and glucosamine though. This is especially true for those with an allergy to shellfish. The common symptoms of this interaction is a rash, respiratory difficulties, hives and swelling above the shoulders. Several clinical trials have proven this form of supplementation safe for as long as three consecutive years, though those with prostate cancer as well as pregnant or breastfeeding women are urged to abstain.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Harkins
By Dan Harkins , Former Writer
Dan Harkins, a former military professional, brings his diverse life experiences to his writing. After earning his journalism degree, he spent more than two decades honing his craft as a writer and editor for various publications. Dan’s debut novel showcases his storytelling skills and unique perspective by drawing readers into the story’s captivating narrative.

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Dan Harkins

Dan Harkins

Former Writer

Dan Harkins, a former military professional, brings his diverse life experiences to his writing. After earning his...
Learn more
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