For years the best joint supplement was considered a combination of glucosamine, an amino sugar, and chondroitin, a carbohydrate. Glucosamine has been sold alone as glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine hydrochloride. It has also been sold in both forms with chondroitin added. Chondroitin has also been sold as a standalone supplement. Many physicians believed that the combination of the two was the best joint supplement for those suffering from osteoarthritis. However, recent studies have cast doubt on the theory, showing that glucosamine-chondroitin is in fact, not the Best Joint Supplement. Studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health in 2006 and 2007 had disappointing results.
On top of research findings of minimal to nonexistent improvements in pain or joint function, other studies and findings further show that this combination is not the best joint supplement for osteoarthritis as some previously believed. Consumer Reports and Consumer Labs both tested commercially available over the counter glucosamine and chondroitin. While most over the counter glucosamine tested positively for having the amount listed on the label, 2 out of 2 chondroitin products tested and 6 out of 13 combination glucosamine-chondroitin products tested less chondroitin than listed. Obviously, a dietary supplement cannot claim to be the best joint supplement if it does not even contained the stated amount of compound. Although this is not the only reason glucosamine-chondroitin combinations are no longer viewed as the Best Joint Supplement.
In terms of the best joint supplement for osteoarthritis, the studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health clearly show chondroitin as useless in terms of improving joint function or reducing pain. However, other studies have shown some anecdotal success with pain relief from glucosamine sulfate. While those study results are not significant enough to deem it as the best joint supplement in terms of osteoarthritis, they do cloud findings of other studies. Although, the well designed studies have determined glucosamine, whether hydrochloride or sulfate, scores a negative in terms of the best joint supplement.
In spite of the studies available, many people profess that glucosamine chondroitin combinations are indeed the Best Joint Supplement. Many reviewers claim that they have obtained considerable relief from their osteoarthritis symptoms, and therefore tout the combination as positively the best joint supplement glucosamine chondroitin they have tried. However, keep in mind not all reviewers are at the same stage of osteoarthritis, nor are they all sufferers of osteoarthritis. In short, the only way to determine the best joint supplement for your personal situation is to find what gives your relief and stick with it.