Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

This article from the health and fitness section of The Charlotte Sun dealt with two questions.

Question one regarded a reader taking a glucosamine-chondroitin combination product for osteoarthritis. The glucosamine was in the form of hydrochloride derived from shellfish and the chondroitin was derived from bovine cartilage sources. The reader wanted to know if it mattered whether he or she took the glucosamine in the form of hydrochloride or glucosamine in the form of sulfate. Also wanted was advise of any preferences or cautions.

Question two was a question from a reader who was interested in the effect of the dietary supplement called SAMe on depression. Any information or advice concerning osteoarthritis was also welcome.

The answer to question one was that it didn't matter whether the glucosamine being taken was in the form of sulfate or hydrochloride. The author suggested taking a product containing only glucosamine derived from shellfish if an allergy to shellfish was not present.

This is because of the concern that the "mad cow" disease might be transmitted by supplements derived from bovine (cow). The author also mentioned a lack of evidence of additional benefit derived from taking chondroitin together with glucosamine, along with the fact that the combination costs more.

For question two, the author indicated that the supplement might be worth trying since preliminary studies suggested it an effective treatment for depression; however, a particular antidepressant may not work for everyone. It is also expensive and if any other medical condition was present a doctor was to be consulted. The most common side effect of the supplement is stomach discomfort so the author suggested gradually increasing the dose up to 400 mg daily. SAMe seems to be effective for osteoarthritis but is more costly than glucosamine which is also effective for osteoarthritis.