Chondroitin Sulfate

How does Chondroitin Sulfate work?

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the joints breaks down. Taking chondroitin sulfate, one of the building blocks of cartilage, might slow this breakdown.

Are there safety concerns?

Chondroitin sulfate seems to be safe for most people. It can cause some mild stomach pain and nausea. Other side effects that have been reported are diarrhea, constipation, swollen eyelids, leg swelling, hair loss, and irregular heartbeat.

There is some concern about the safety of chondroitin sulfate because it comes from animal sources. Some people are worried that unsafe manufacturing practices might lead to contamination of chondroitin products with diseased animal tissues including those that might transmit bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease). So far, there are no reports of chondroitin causing disease in humans, and the risk is thought to be low.

Some chondroitin products contain excess amounts of manganese. Ask your healthcare professional about reliable brands.

Do not use chondroitin sulfate if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You have asthma.
  • You have prostate cancer or an increased risk for prostate cancer.

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