Does Chondroitin Work?

Chondroitin supplements supposedly offer several health benefits, but does chondroitin work? Although early studies showed the supplement was beneficial for treating arthritis, later studies have shown little or no benefit. More research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of chondroitin for the treatment of arthritis or any other use. If you do not notice improvement within a few months, chondroitin is probably not effective for you.

Does Chondroitin Actually Work?

Chondroitin is a popular dietary supplement, often used with glucosamine. It is claimed to be beneficial for treatment of following conditions:

Studies on Chondroitin

Numerous early studies clearly showed that chondroitin was useful for treating arthritis. The scientific evidence in favor of this supplement was so convincing that many healthcare providers (even those skeptical about dietary supplements and alternative medicines) began wholeheartedly recommending chondroitin. For a time, it seemed that the supplement had made the jump from alternative medicine to the world of conventional medicine.
However, later studies showed little or no benefit for chondroitin use. It is not exactly clear why these discrepancies have occurred. One analysis suggests that small, poorly designed studies tended to show a benefit for chondroitin, while large, well-designed studies did not show any benefits. This suggests that chondroitin probably does not really work for treating arthritis.
Currently, it is simply not clear if this supplement really works as an arthritis treatment. More research is necessary to determine the cause of the mixed results of studies.
There is preliminary evidence that a certain type of chondroitin (known as chondroitin sulfate A) might be effective for preventing heart attacks, especially in people who are at high risk or who have already had a heart attack. However, much more research is necessary before the supplement should be suggested for this use.
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