Celadrin is a relatively new development in the support of joint health but is rapidly gaining an excellent reputation as more studies are completed. It is a complex consisting of various fatty acids that is easily able to penetrate cell membranes, which enhances membrane health and integrity. Celadrin appears to inhibit the production of inflammatory compounds such as prostaglandins and research suggests a potential benefit to those with arthritis. In one study sixty-four patients with chronic osteoarthritis of the knee were given either Celadrin or a placebo and evaluated after 30 and 68 days. Results indicated that compared to placebo, Celadrin improves knee range of motion and overall joint function. It was concluded that Celadrin may be an alternative to the use of non-steroida! anti-inflammatory drugs for those with osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine sulphate provides raw material for the production of proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), important structural components of cartilage. An increase in glucosamine in the diet correlates to an increase in the production of glycosaminoglycans with subsequent increased water retention in the cartilage matrix (water retention is key to the cushioning properties of cartilage). In addition, supplemental glucosamine appears to stimulate collagen production by the chondrocytes as well as promoting normal chondrocyte metabolism resulting in cartilage repair and reduced breakdown of healthy cartilage. Several studies have reported that glucosamine not only stimulates cartilage production, but also seems to reduce pain and improve joint function in osteoarthritis. In one study, 500 mg of glucosamine given three times per day reduced pain, swelling, and joint tenderness in the knees of 80% of the participants. Glucosamine sulphate is one one of the most researched substances in relation to joint heath and is consistently found to be superior to NSAID medication.
Chondroitin sulphate is a type of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and as such is one of the major structural components of cartilage, tendons and bones. Chondroitin sulphate is a sulphur bearing compound, which is supportive of collagen synthesis and connective tissue stabilisation in cartilage. Chondroitin sulphate aids the retention of water in the cartilage structure, a factor that is thought to improve its shock-absorbing properties.
In a French study, 50 patients suffering with osteoarthritis of the knee were given oral doses of 800 to 1200 mg daily of either chondroitin sulfate or an anti-inflammatory medication. Cartilage tissue samples were taken at the start of the study and then again after 3 months of therapy. The group receiving the chondroitin sulfate actually experienced cartilage repair whereas those receiving the anti-inflammatory medication did not. In a meta-analysis of studies on OA revealed that glucosamine and chondroitin provides significant structural and symptomatic efficacy in knee osteoarthritis.
MSM is a source of organic sulphur, which is required for the formation of the amino acids methionine and cysteine, both of which are required for the synthesis of collagen, the fibrous protein matrix that forms the foundation of cartilage. Sulphur also plays a critical role in GAG formation. Studies have suggested that sulphur concentrations in arthritic cartilage are about on third the level of unaffected joints. Similar studies have revealed cysteine in fingernails to be 25% lower in arthritis sufferers. MSM also appears to offer significant anti-inflammatory properties.
Nutritional antioxidants may protect the cartilage from being destroyed by free radicals as well as helping with the production of new cartilage. Antioxidants are important in the modulation of inflammatory processes and deficiencies of various antioxidant nutrients are often observed in arthritis. A broad range of antioxidant intake is recommended to derive their maximum synergistic properties.
Nutrient/Herb Typical intake range
Glucosamine sulphate (or hydrochloride) (2)
Chondroifin sulphate (3)
500 – 2000mg per day
1 000 – 2000mg per day
1 000 – 2000mg per day
500 – 3000mg per day
As per manufacturer’s directions
Excessive animal proteins
Nuts and seeds
Green leafy vegetables
Fruit (especially berries)
Vegetarian protein sources
Take regular gentle exercise if possible (e.g. swimming)
1. Possible interaction with Warfarin – concurrent use with medical supervision only.
2. Although interactions are rare, diabetics should be monitored if they intend to use
glucosamine. Allergy – the most common supplemental form is derived from shellfish
3. If taking warfarin, please check with a doctor as chondroitin in conjunction may increase bleeding
4. Some literature suggests that MSM augments warfarin, so supplementation alongside should probably be avoided.