Any vitamin supplement junkies out there?

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Madeleine's picture
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Totally off any topic except maybe innkeeper health, but can anyone tell me, or point me to research, that explains if glucosamine HCl + chondroitin sulfate is as beneficial as glucosamine sulfate?

What I can gather is the best combo is glucosamine sulfate + chondroitin + MSM. But no one seems to sell glucosamine sulfate in combo with the others. So I'm not sure if having the sulfate in the chondroitin is good enough. And the research on glucosamine HCl by itself seems to point to no benefits above what a placebo offers.

Also, if you take any of this, how big are the tablets/capsules? Aspirin size? Calcium size? Choke a horse size?

I wish pharma would think that not everyone can swallow pills and put the size of the pill on the label!

I'd ask at the pharmacy but most of them seem totally clueless about  OTC anything.

 

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Silverspoon's picture
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 Can't help you with this one but I can say that, much to my distress, I was advised against taking any glucosamine due to my shell fish allergy.  Apparently, there is a protein in the vitamin that is derived from shellfish. Ohhh, my aching joints...I wish I could give it a try!  

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Madeleine's picture
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In doing the research, I found that if your shellfish allergy is shrimp, you are probably ok, but if it's anything else, yes, stay away. Luckily, I have no food allergies!

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Silverspoon wrote:

 Can't help you with this one but I can say that, much to my distress, I was advised against taking any glucosamine due to my shell fish allergy.  Apparently, there is a protein in the vitamin that is derived from shellfish. Ohhh, my aching joints...I wish I could give it a try!  

Go for it Silvers, I have spent more overnighters than I wish to count in the ER with DH's shellfish allergy.  He TAKES MSM and GLUCOSAMINE. Daily. No problems.  Yes there is a shellfish derivitive, but not enough or the one that causes the intolerance to shellfish.

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Joey Camb's picture
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My DH is like that have resorted to making him take tiny pills in the bathroom to prevent anything ungracefull happening! or get kids pills that are chewable. Me I am lucky can swallow an elephant in one go. I sometimes wonder if its to do with your voice box as it seems men generally have more trouble (not calling the people who struggle men mind! *unless you are) swallowing pills if its cos they have bigger voice boxes and therefore less space in their neck for pills? its just a general musing and not supported by any data.

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Kay Nein's picture
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 I used to sell supplements and herbal remedies at Whole Foods many years ago.  It was such a learning experience and I absolutely loved it!

Glucosamine is a natural component of cartilage and helps rebuild, repair and slow the natural decay of cartilage.  Theoretically, it stops the enzymes that break down cartilage.  It is a sugar protein, so any medications taken to regulate sugar or other supplements like Chitosan can alter the affectiveness of the supplement as well as your medications.

Chondroitin is believed to help maintain fluid in the joints and help with flexibility.  It's a natural building block of cartilage.  It's thought that as glucosamine is metabolized, in it's altered form it will then use the chondroitin to finish it's production of cartilage.  

MSM is thought to strengthen collagen through it's sulfur.  The majority of users take it for it's anti-inflammatory properties. MSM is naturally occuring in many common foods, but in processing the food much of it is lost.  Unfortunately, the effects of MSM are not lasting and any benefits will subside as soon as you stop taking it.  

I always recommended that people take the capsule form because with any pills as hard as these (ie: calcium) it's very common for the pill to not digest completely and pass through you with little actually entering your body.

As with anything, there are many different opinions about these products.  If it didn't work for you it could be that the dose was not high enough, you didn't take it long enough, the brand did not have a quality ingredient or your body is in need of something different.  Everyone is different.  But, I have known many people to say that these products were crucial to their pain relief.

 

Madeleine's picture
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I'm planning to try it. Just trying to figure out what 'it' should be!

The best test results were with glucosamine sulfate which no one seems to sell in conjunction with chondroitin. It's all glucosamine HCl, which test results showed was practically useless alone. Maybe in conjunction with the chondroitin sulfate it works.

Then the kicker...I really need it to be a chewable. I can't swallow much more than an aspirin and even that doesn't always go down gracefully. I finally found chewable adult vitamins and calcium.

The glucosamine + chondroitin does come in a chewable so I may just have to get it and see what happens.

Some of what I read was here: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/807.html

Here's one of the actual tests: http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/gait/qa.htm (It seems in this summation that the glucosamine + chondroitin sulfate was good for those with more severe cases of OA. That's one of the problems, everyone seems to be getting different test results!)

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Pain is mostly subjective = different test results.    Plus, I think that different people respond differently to various supplements or meds based on their own body chemistry.  The key is to try something that might work for you and then adjust if it doesn't.  Best of luck, Maddie!

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05/22/2008

 My Chiro says Cosamine DS is the best to use. I have not even seen any in chewable around here. I have tried several brands and so has my husband and none have helped him. Dr. says if you take it for 6 weeks and don't notice any difference, you are one of the people that it just doesn't work with. Sad

I am like you...I cannot take horse pills. I am not too bad on most but once they get bigger than a multi vitamin, I look for chews :-

Madeleine's picture
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And I see that one has a picture of the pill on the box. At least someone gets it.

Madeleine's picture
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The Vitamin Shoppe has them as does Amazon. Not sure if TVS is national but you can buy them online. Not sure if TVS is a good source, either.

Madeleine's picture
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Thanks all!

 

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05/22/2008

 I used the Osteo biflex one which you take 2 pills a day. It was very easy to swallow. They report you should see a difference in  7 days. However, after 2 months, I did not.  Stopped taking them. I am trying MOVE FREE right now. It is a very tiny one pill a day. We'll see if it makes a difference.  But I am skeptical.

Joey Camb's picture
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I take it (when i remember) and a separate cod liver oil one which I'll be honest is the one I notice if I don't take. The cod liver oil mind (and this may be placibo but im not bothered) seems to make me concentrate better which Is useful as well as being good for my joints. Figure its no loss. I do take a multi vit as well as I fricking hate being sick!

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My dh takes the glucosamine every day for his osteoarthritis (post-polio syndrome) & was told by his doc to stay away from the variety that has shark cartilage in it.  Also, he has to be careful because he takes Plavix which shouldn't be taken with some of the glucosamine supplements, so he sticks with the regular glucosamine.  Whatever you've read, I can tell you that anecdotally, these work for him and he has no joint space in his knees.  Here's a good lay summary on Web MD of what I've read & what his docs have told him.  

http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/arthritis-supplements

They are large but some caplets are scored, which allows you to break them.  They are also "chalky" which can make them difficult to swallow for some people.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

DH puts out a vitamin and Glucosamine Sulfate +2KCi 1000mg (or is that an l) Calcium (Calcium Carbonate) 99mg. You would probably call them Horse Pill size. You could probably cut them in half and take it half at a time.

21st Century  is the brand  and the name on the bottle is Glucosamine Relief. This is supposed to be for my knees. I stopped taking it when we ran out of it last year and my knees seemed worse.

I do not know if it is a rip or not - my knees kill me either way. Cannot expect them not to when I can hear a crunch/pop noise almost every time i stand up. Too many years of jumping off things on the farm and then doing the twist with a 50+ lb box of computer paper into the front of a printer and even more twist taking the printed paper off the back of the printer almost touching the wall. Then walking to the I/O Room and down stairs to put it down on the counter. Plus all the heavy lifting  at home and moving pallets of boxes of computer paper from hall to storage room.

white pine's picture
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I did take the glucosimine sulfate in several different forms.  Pills were big, calcium size to choke a horse size depending on brand and strength. I believe there is also a powder form too.   I thought most were hard to swallow and I never noticed improvement after a couple of months..  I think it does work for some.  Good Luck!

 Aside from my ususal multi-vitamin now I take a b12 and a d3.  I have noticed my energy  improved, even though we do eat pretty well.  I was told after the big 50 we don't metabolize our food as well and tend to be short on the b12 and d.  I felt better in about a week!

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