Chondroitin is a supplement frequently paired with Glucosamine as a combination therapy to help with joint pain and stiffness, and other symptoms of osteoarthritis.

This page features 13 unique references to scientific papers.

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Chondroitin is a supplement, frequently used in conjunction with Glucosamine, to combat the symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA).

A recent surge of meta-analyses (studies researching other studies) found that most studies that showed benefit with chondroitin were poorly designed or subject to chance statistical error (due to low amount of participants). Larger studies (which are seen as more reliable) tend to show no benefits with chondroitin nor glucosamine supplementation in isolation or combined.

Although many people do report benefit from using this supplement (especially when paired with Glucosamine), the current body of scientific literature does not hold these two supplements in high regard.

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Also Known As

Condrosulf (Brand Name)

Things to Note

Chondroitin is non-stimulatory.

Is a Form of

Goes Well With

Caution Notice Medical Disclaimer

A standard dose of chondroitin, if chosen to supplement with, is in the range of 1000-1200mg a day in either one dose or two to three divided doses taken with food.

Table of Contents:

Edit1. Source and structure

Chondroitin sulfate is a glycosaminoglycan chain of alternating Uronic acids and D-N-acetyl-galactosamine molecules bound by 1,3 bonds.[1][2] They are produced in vivo to limited amounts and were initially extracted from animal sources, but are now industrially made via bacterial fermentation.[3]

Edit2. Pharmacology of Chondroitin

Chondroitin supplementation is absorbed fairly well when taken orally.[2][4] A 4g dose of chondroitin sulfate supplementation can increase plasma levels from 0.3 to 5.3 microg/ml[5] and reaches peak levels 2-6 hours after ingestion.[5] Its main pathway of excretion is through the urine[6] and urinary levels of chondroitin (and other glycosaminoglycans) seems to be increased during diabetes mellitus.[7]

Edit3. Cellular effects

Edit4. Effects in practise

Various studies have noted benefit with combined treatment of Glucosamine and Chondroitin.[8][9][10]

That being said, most recent meta-analyses indicate that the benefits gained from the combination or Chondroitin in isolation are not significantly different from placebo, and causation for improvement cannot be placed on the compounds themselves.[11][12][13] It is mentioned that most studies finding benefit separate from placebo either have poor study design or inadequate sample sizes, whereas larger scale studies note no difference.[11][13]

In effect, the scientific consensus of chondroitin at this time is one of uncertainty as it does not appear to be much different when compared to placebo.


  2. Conte A, et al. Biochemical and pharmacokinetic aspects of oral treatment with chondroitin sulfate. Arzneimittelforschung. (1995)
  3. Schiraldi C, Cimini D, De Rosa M. Production of chondroitin sulfate and chondroitin. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. (2010)
  4. Conte A, et al. Metabolic fate of exogenous chondroitin sulfate in man. Arzneimittelforschung. (1991)
  5. Volpi N. Oral bioavailability of chondroitin sulfate (Condrosulf) and its constituents in healthy male volunteers. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. (2002)
  6. Ronca G, Conte A. Metabolic fate of partially depolymerized shark chondroitin sulfate in man. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. (1993)
  7. Cadaval RA, Kohlman O, Michelacci YM. Urinary excretion of glycosaminoglycans and albumin in experimental diabetes mellitus. Glycobiology. (2000)
  8. Deal CL, Moskowitz RW. Nutraceuticals as therapeutic agents in osteoarthritis. The role of glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and collagen hydrolysate. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. (1999)
  9. Bruyere O, Reginster JY. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate as therapeutic agents for knee and hip osteoarthritis. Drugs Aging. (2007)
  10. Black C, et al. The clinical effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements in slowing or arresting progression of osteoarthritis of the knee: a systematic review and economic evaluation. Health Technol Assess. (2009)
  11. Wandel S, et al. Effects of glucosamine, chondroitin, or placebo in patients with osteoarthritis of hip or knee: network meta-analysis. BMJ. (2010)
  12. Reichenbach S, et al. Meta-analysis: chondroitin for osteoarthritis of the knee or hip. Ann Intern Med. (2007)
  13. McAlindon TE, et al. Glucosamine and chondroitin for treatment of osteoarthritis: a systematic quality assessment and meta-analysis. JAMA. (2000)

(Common misspellings for Chondroitin include chondroiton, chondroitan, kondroitin, kondroiton, kondroitan, condroitin, chondiotin, condriotin)

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