To Your Health
March, 2013 (Vol. 07, Issue 03)
Glucosamine Chondroitin: Do you know what's in yours?
By Christopher Oswald, DC, CNS
Glucosamine with chondroitin is a very popular supplement to support healthy joints. Something that most people don't realize, though, is the amount of adulteration that is occurring with this specific supplement.
Unfortunately certain manufacturers, in an attempt to maximize their profit, add cheaper ingredients that are not listed on the bottle, which generally are not harmful, but you are not getting what you purchased.
The glucosamine portion of the supplement is relatively inexpensive, so this ingredient is rarely adulterated. The problem lies with the chondroitin sulfate portion of the supplement. This ingredient is fairly expensive, so cheaper alternatives, such as keratin sulfate and cheaper polysaccharides, are substituted to produce a less expensive supplement. Even though the ingredients are changed, the manufacturer will still claim that the product contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Many times the manufacturer will tell you that they tested the product, but use an inappropriate testing process that is not specific enough to detect any adulteration.
If you are truly curious about what is contained in the supplement that you are interested in, request a certificate of analysis. If the certificate of analysis doesn't specify the testing method, move on to another company or ask for further details.
When purchasing glucosamine with chondroitin it's worth every penny to not just purchase the cheapest product on the shelf. When you can ensure the quality of the product that you are purchasing is exactly what it claims to be, you can have the most confidence of attaining the desired outcome of using the product.
Christopher Oswald, DC, CNS, a graduate of Northwestern Health Sciences University, is a chiropractor and certified nutrition specialist. He practices in Wisconsin, and is also an advisory board member of Nordic Naturals and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.