Glucosamine test for joints - product comparison


Several years ago I became convinced that glucosamine sulfate is effective for helping painful and damaged joints. Now, I think this is generally accepted as true. However, when I first started looking into glucosamine, there was not nearly as much general acceptance for its effectiveness.

What convinced me that glucosamine can be effective was using it on my dog who had very bad arthritis in his hips, as shown by X-Rays. He also had a lot of pain and was unable to play or run. However, after about 2 weeks of glucosamine supplementation my dog became able to run and play, and he obviously had a lot less pain. I think it is fairly safe to rule out much (or any) of a placebo effect - especially because I had already been giving my dog some other vitamins and medications, so I doubt he could detect any change in routine. (The breeder had recommended a general vitamin that I gave my dog his whole life.)

Over the years, I learned several things about glucosamine supplements from working with my dog. Because glucosamine is fairly expensive, I often searched for less expensive brands or other alternatives. I tried about a dozen different brands of glucosamine sulfate products. Some included additional ingredients such as chondroitin sulfate, MSM, etc.

I only found one brand that worked for my dog - Solgar. I'm not saying that Solgar is the only brand that might work, but I am saying that all of the brands I picked up at Wal-Mart and other discount stores did not work! This was obviously to my disappointment because these other brands are less expensive than Solgar. I also tried a few other higher priced brands and still, I didn't have success. If I had not been lucky enough to try a brand that worked as my first attempt, I might never have discovered this treatment that proved very effective for my dog.

After the success my dog had with glucosamine for his arthritis, several relatives of mine tried it too. In each case, we found that Solgar was the only brand that really made a noticeable difference. I know from prior research that many brands of vitamin supplements do not contain the full advertised potency (due to either age or various quality control issues). Some physicians I know who prescribe vitamins will prescribe only a certain brand because of this fact. And that is really the main point of this article - there is a big difference between brands of nutritional supplements (apparently even when the brands are owned by the same parent company, as many are today).

If you are not having success from using glucosamine, try a better brand before concluding that glucosamine doesn't work. I could say the same for almost every nutritional supplement. The brand does make a difference. There are various laboratory tests in existence that show this, and you might be able to get copies of some of these tests through supplement retailers or on the web. (If I find a good link, I'll post it.)

I learned one more lesson from using glucosamine for my dog's joint problems. Several times over the years I inadvertently ran out of glucosamine. In each case, it would take about a week and a half or two weeks before my dog began to suffer. (The very first time this happened I had actually forgotten about the connection between the glucosamine supplements and his dramatic improvement, and I puzzled a bit before trying glucosamine again.) And, after resuming the glucosamine, it would take about two weeks before he began to feel better and to be able to run. It is unfortunate that he had to go through this, but in hindsight, it did provide strong evidence that the product was working. These unplanned breaks at random times over the years proved to me that other factors were not responsible for my dog's improvement.

My dog weighed 45 pounds. I gave him two tablets of Solgar Glucosamine Chondroitin Complex per day. This represents 1 gram of chondroitin sulfate and 1 gram of glucosamine sulfate. The tablets also contain protein, vitamin C, calcium, manganese and sodium.

You can see the ingredients and prices at Vitamin Shoppe online here. However, there are better prices to be found by searching on the Internet. For me, Vitamin Shoppe offers a nice balance of features, convenience and trust at good prices.

If you have any experiences (good or bad) with other brands of glucosamine, let me know.

See these follow-up articles:

Supplement Brands Not All Equal

Ranking the Safety of Nutritional Supplements

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Four years ago developed a

Four years ago developed a severe aching pain in my knees, saw the Doctor,had Xrays and in was concluded I had Arthris in both kneesm Was given a precription for a drug that contained as many warnings as possible cures. So Seach and found Glucosamine took 1 tab 3 times a day at the start then upped it to 2 tabs 3 time daily .What a relief could walk and run without any pain. still take the odd tab or 2 now and again when any slight dicomfort is felt. So in my book this stuff works. Have now developed a form of Bursitis in my hip witch is pain full at night whislt sleeping on my side Trochanteric inflamation. Will try Glucosamine again in larger does with MSM to see if this works as well.Sick of people using help tips pages to make useless remarks to undermine alternative medicines. Guess they must have a share or two in the Pharma Industry