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Stephen_Ramsey

glucosamine?

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Is anyone out there taking glucosamine on a daily basis, to manage pain from damaged cartilege, and curtail further damage? Seems like the jury is still out on the effectiveness of this supplement for arthritis and related ailments... maybe some climbers out there are taking it to deal with climbing-related injuries? (I'm going to ask my doctor too, but wanna hear from climbers who are taking this stuff).

 

Thanks,

Steve

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I'm taking 2000-2500 mg a day for about 6 months for a bad finger and disk degeneration in my neck. I have no way to assess whether it helps or not, but there seems to be little downside (other than expense).

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I've been taking it for about three years now, time and lifestyle have not been kind to my knees, and I think the glucosamine helps. I can feel the difference it I skip it for a while.

 

Thom

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I have been taking Glucosamine for six years to help with osteoarthritus in lower back. For the first five of those it also had chondroitin. It helped noticabley. I recently quit the chondroitin as I understand it is difficult to absorb and I have a malabsorption problem already. I don't seem to notice any change.

I badley broke a foot in a fall many years ago. The glucosamine seem to help with that also. I still have that ankle get quite sore when the barometer changes quickly.

Over all I would give glucosamine thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

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I take the "Move Free" formulation of glucosamine/chondroitin for relief from a comminuted fracture of the talus [ankle] in which the inferior-lateral portion of the joint surface crumbled away. I am pain-free unless I miss taking "Move Free" for several days, then it starts to ache. The stuff works really well for me. thumbs_up.gif

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I had a nasty bouldering fall and screwed up my ankle pretty bad about 1.5 years ago. Had 1 surgery to remove a bone spur that had formed, and remove some loose material that had broken away. However, I was still in pain and getting worse about 1 year after the surgery. I took glucosamine and chondroitin everyday for about 6 months during my recovery (based on my dr. friends recommendation that it had shown noticeable difference in older people with back problems), but I didn't notice any difference. Only ibuprofen really helped the pain/swelling. Currently recovering from surgery #2 where bone was grafted from knee to ankle to fill in a cyst on my talus that was developing becase my cartilage was blown away from the fall and was not healing. My 2 cents: glucosamine may help if you're condition isn't too severe, if your condition is a result of slowly decaying cartilage, or as a placebo. If there is something run amok in there, you should probably do the orthopede thing. Just make sure you go to a sports orthopede, not an everyday one. Makes a BIG difference. Hope you get well. Joint problems suck.

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there have been a few other threads here on this topic. One of them mentioned something about (I think) Chondroitin possibly being linked to higher cholesterol levels. something to look into.

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I think it has helped me. When I was working at a gym and bouldering way to much my weak carcass had lots of twings, twangs, and pops. When I went on the max dose, the twangs quieted somehwhat.

 

Take it with food.

Take the max dose every day.

Ibuprofen can be dangerous, there is no harm in glucosimine.

 

Jens Klubberud

 

 

 

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My understanding is that glucosamine is good for cartiledge, period. So it can help with some joint issues. It is not designed to be a substitute for ibuprofen - i.e., it is neither a pain killer nor an anti-inflammatory. everyone may already know this, but it wasn't clear to me from the thread.

 

I know some older athletes who swear by G.

 

Jimmy

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what is the chondroitin supposed to do? is it another joint suppliment, or it is for somethign else entirely. i see these two paired up quite regularly.

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A consumer group did a survey of glucosamine/chondroitin products sold in places like GNC and found that many formulations did not contain the advertised amounts of the active ingredients. Perhaps the FDA doesn't check up on such products if they're sold as "supplements". I'd do some research before rushing out to Costco or whatever and picking up a 55-gallon drum of the cheap brand.

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I've been taking Glucosamine with chondroitin for aboujt 5 years now. I had my left knee scoped in 91 or 92 for a meniscus tear and the same procedure on the right knee in 98 following a partial MCL tear and torn meniscus. I started taking it right after the 98 surgery. I began running and hiking about 3 - 4 weeks after taking the supplements. I swear I could feel the difference in the left knee immediately.

 

I currently take 1500 mg of a brand I buy at Csotco called "Triple Flex". This is the second brand I've used and there was nothing wrong with the other, it's just easier to get it at Costco with the rest of the crap we get there.

 

I highly reccomend it for anyone with slightly arthritic knees or other joints. I understand that there is some anecdotal evidence that Glucosamine promotes new cartlidge growth. Anyone else hear of this?

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S.H. Chondroitin is the "other half" of many joint maintenance products. Glucosamine is part of the cartlidge building process and is supposed to help in maintaining healthy cartilage it is extracted from shellfish. Chondroitin is part of a protein that lends the springy quality to cartilage it is extracted from either cow trachea or shark cartilage. Most of the studies I have seen that show great results with chondroitin were using the injectable product. I used both for a while and believe they work very well. The tablet form of chondroitin is dificult to absorb as it is a very large molecule, I have other medical issues that make it not so viable and so I quit taking it. The best results are from maintaining 1500mg. of Glucosamine and 1200mg. Chondroitin per day.

As already mentioned several manufactures were tested a while back and many did not do so well. None of the chondroitin only products contained what was listed on the label. There were several of the glucosamine only and combination tablets that passed. There was a pretty good write up in the Oct. 2000 Nutrition Action Healthletter. You may also find some good info about the function of the chemicals at: www.cspinet.org/nah/arthritis.html

 

If you can't get hold of the healthletter PM me and I will get a list of the ones that passed the test. They can't list the ones that failed so it only lists the good ones. It may also have changed since 2000.

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My own opinion about why glucosamine works is that it stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid . HA is a high molecular weight polymer with viscoelastic properties that serves to lubricate joints. It also serves as a shock absorber.

 

Picture a layer of HA solution sandwiched between the cartilege surfaces of your knee joint. When you land on your foot, large forces are transmitted through the bones in your leg. The HA layer is forced outward from the joint, tending to thin the layer. But because of its viscoelastic properties, it resists this flow and acts almost like a spring. When shear rate is very high it acts like a spring, but when shear is low it acts like a viscous fluid- a lubricant.

 

So this HA layer is very important to your joints. To maintain it you should also maintain hydration levels. I've heard anecdotal reports that people who are dehydrated suffer more joint pain. This stands to reason since presumably, the HA layer would thin from lack of fluid.

 

Here's another article I found interesting. I is sort of a combination clinical study report and review.

 

http://www.drshankland.com/glucos.html

Edited by catbirdseat

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CBS, I tend to agree with your assumption. I have maladjusted my ankles by climbing and falling, and my back from having more muscle than brains when I was young. Now my experience is much like you said. If I dehydrate then the pain increases. Usually I don't notice it right away. But One week I can spend a couple hours on a rock with no problem, the next I am real sore the day after. Joint agravation seems to be the issue, I had not specificlly looked at hydration levels. I do tend to stay well hydrated on hot sweaty days, but slack off on days that are less hot sometimes too much.

Thanks for the hint, I'll pay attention to that next time around.

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CBS: I paroused your article, and found a passage (about 1/2 way through the article) that likely explains why my ankle injury wasn't being helped by the glucosamine: "This fibrous covering (referring to fibrocartilage) of the articular surfaces of the most complex joint in the human body has the ability to undergo repair, which is not the case with hyaline cartilage." The cartilage that coats the mating surfaces of most joints in the body(including the knee and ankle) is hyaline cartilage, which is much smoother and (apparently) doesn't heal well when damaged, hence the rationalization for surgery when the hyaline cartilage has extensive damage, as mine was from my fall. Interesting stuff.

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I think skiing is fun and all but I am rather afraid to get too involved in it with the attendant risk of destroying my joints. It doesn't seem worth it to risk a lifetime of climbing enjoyment to get a few cheap thrills.

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rollo said:

CBS: I paroused your article, and found a passage (about 1/2 way through the article) that likely explains why my ankle injury wasn't being helped by the glucosamine: "This fibrous covering (referring to fibrocartilage) of the articular surfaces of the most complex joint in the human body has the ability to undergo repair, which is not the case with hyaline cartilage." The cartilage that coats the mating surfaces of most joints in the body(including the knee and ankle) is hyaline cartilage, which is much smoother and (apparently) doesn't heal well when damaged, hence the rationalization for surgery when the hyaline cartilage has extensive damage, as mine was from my fall. Interesting stuff.

 

I believe that the glucosamine/chondroiten also helps nourish the hyline cartilage. Yes it doesn't heal well b/c it is avascular so the nutrients are absorbed via diffusion. The more you increase the concentration outside the cartilage, the more it will absorb into the cartilage. In short, i think it does promote cartilage repair.

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I am optimistic that medical technology will progress to the point where joint replacements will become a thing of the past. People will be able to grow new cartilege as good as that with which they were born.

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