These days, it seems as though everyone is taking some sort of dietary supplement. Supplements can be used to fill in nutritional gaps or to support a specific part of your body. For arthritis sufferers, the right joint support formula can be a godsend. While a joint support formula can keep your joints moving easily and painlessly, there are many inferior products on the market. Finding the perfect support formula will involve time and research. You should also talk to your doctor before choosing a joint support formula to make sure that there are no negative interactions or harmful side effects. In general, look for a joint support formula that includes chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, and MSM (Methyl-sulfonyl-methane).
The first essential element of a good joint support formula is chondroitin. Chondroitin sulfate is a natural part of your cartilage and other connective tissues. Researchers believe that chondroitin prevents cartilage breakdown and increases the shock absorption of collagen. When taken with glucosamine, chondroitin can slow down and even reverse the loss of cartilage caused by arthritis. While early studies showed that chondroitin is effective when taken alone, more recent research shows inconsistent results. A joint support formula works best when it has both chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine.
Glucosamine forms another key ingredient in the perfect joint support formula. Glucosamine is another naturally occurring cartilage component that appears to stimulate cartilage repair. The combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate appears to halt the progression of arthritis in some cases. Most studies that showed significant improvement have been dismissed because they were poorly designed. However, more recent clinical trials, such as the Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT) and Glucosamine Unum In Die Efficacy (GUIDE) show significant pain relieving properties. A joint support formula containing glucosamine provided more pain relief than acetaminophen (Tylenol) in the GUIDE study, while GAIT showed a significant benefit over placebo. It appears that arthritis sufferers with mild pain do not receive the same benefit, however.
The last essential part of a great joint support formula is MSM, or methyl-sulfonyl-methane. MSM is not a cure for arthritis or other joint conditions, but it seems to be a powerful pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. Although MSM is a natural sulfur compound found in various foods, the type that is sold in dietary supplements is synthetic. The most effective joint support formula will contain sufficient amounts of MSM, chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine. These key ingredients support joint health and prevent or treat arthritis pain.