What is it?
Chondroitin is a component of the cartilage found in the joints of bones. Chondroitin supplements are usually derived from cow’s cartilage. When combined with glucosamine and manganese, they are used to treat osteoarthritis. It works by slowing down the breakdown of joint cartilage since it is a component of the cartilage.
When used as eye drops, it can help relief dry eyes. When made into cream/tablet, it helps in osteoarthritis.
There is insufficient evidence to prove that chondroitin helps in cholesterol, heart disease and osteoporosis.
Possible side effects
Chondroitin is generally safe when taken orally. Possible side effects some people feel include mild abdomen pain, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and occasional leg swelling.
There is insufficient evidence to prove if it is safe for lactating/pregnant women to consume it, hence it is best to avoid. Patients with asthma may sometimes feel that chondroitin makes their asthma worse hence it should be consumed with caution.
It is best avoided in patients with prostate cancer as some preliminary report suggest it may cause cancer recurrence. But more studies need to be done to confirm that.
Chondroitin together with glucosamine will increase the effectiveness of warfarin and leads to increased bleeding tendencies for those on warfarin.
Please follow the instructions given by your doctor and if in doubt if you require this supplement please consult your doctor first. In general for osteoarthritis, one can take 200-400 mg chondroitin 2-3 times daily or 1000-1200 mg as single dose daily.
When used topically on the skin, please follow the instructions on the product label and if in doubt consult your doctor.