The literature suggests that the liquid form is more easily absorbed
by the body. However, because glucosamine and chondroitin take time to
be effective, it really is a moot point. These supplements do not work
in the same manner as acetaminophen or ibuprofen do. The efficacy
builds over time. I have found a study that suggests the ?better?
brands may work best, as they are more pure and easier to digest.
?The dosage that appears to be effective is 1500 mg of Glucosamine.
The literature suggests that liquid forms are better absorbed than
pills. The liquid (Joint Juice) or the pills can be taken once a day.?
?Earlier studies using high-molecular-weight chondroitin sulfate,
concluded that there was no significant absorption of this
high-molecular-weight version of chondroitin sulfate. More recent
studies demonstrate that there is probably significant absorption of
low-molecular-weight chondroitin sulfate. Absorption appears to occur
from the stomach and small intestine. There is also an indication that
some chondroitin sulfate, after absorption, does enter the joint
space. Studies of the pharmacokinetics of orally administered
chondroitin sulfate are ongoing.
It is of interest to note that a molecule similar in many resects to
chondroitin sulfate, pertosan polysulfate, FDA-approved for the
treatment of interstitial cystitis, is given orally and is absorbed to
INDICATIONS AND USAGE
Low-molecular-weight oral chondroitin sulfate may be indicated for the
treatment and prevention of osteoarthritis, either by itself or in
combination with a glucosamine supplement (see Glucosamine). There is
a suggestion that chondroitin sulfate may be helpful in
atherosclerosis, but more research is needed to determine if this is
?It usually takes several weeks of supplementation before effects, if
any, are experienced.?
This study performed extensive testing on glucosamine and chondroitin.
Please read the entire article for complete information.
?Since chondroitin sulfate is a large molecule, bioavailability has
been questioned.36,37 However, recent research has supported
absorption after oral administration.31,38 One factor that may affect
absorption is the actual chain length of the molecule. It has been
shown that low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate has a superior
kinetic profile than high molecular weight.39 The molecular weight as
well as the molecular composition of chondroitin sulfate are dependent
upon the species and/or tissue of origin and may be affected by the
?The results of these studies demonstrate that in some instances the
amount of the chondroitin sulfate or glucosamine found to be present
in the sample product varies significantly from the amount reported on
the label. The greatest inconsistencies were obtained in products
containing chondroitin sulfate, especially when the daily 1200 mg dose
price was less than one dollar. The implications of these results are
significant and support the need for regulatory intervention of
Further, when comparing Papp values from our chondroitin sulfate
studies with values reported in the literature with agents such as
dexamethasone (Papp = 12.5 X10-6 cm/sec) and salicylic acid (Papp =
11.9 x10-6 cm/sec), it would appear that chondroitin sulfate (of low
molecular weight, Papp = 10.1 x 10-6 cm/sec) should be absorbed after
oral administration. Any differences observed experimentally (eg,
after clinical or animal bioavailability studies) may be due to
molecular weight influences or first pass metabolism prior to systemic
circulation. In addition, characteristics other than molecular weight
such as flexibility of structure, degree of sulfation, and method of
manufacture may also be important for oral absorption.
The most useful technique recommended by the Arthritis Foundation is
to ask the manufacturer for research showing that their brand has been
scientifically proven or studied. It is important for manufacturers to
evaluate their product, and especially the source of chondroitin
sulfate used since not all chondroitin sulfates are identical.
Furthermore, consumers should shy away from products that are backed
only by testimonials and not scientific research. Products that make
overt claims such as regenerates cartilage, renews cartilage, rebuilds
cartilage, cures arthritis, or freedom from pain, should be looked at
with skepticism as these statements seldom mean that the product has
been researched to make these claims.42 Topical and liquid
glucosamine/ chondroitin products are also promoted, claiming a higher
bioavailability than capsules or tablet dosage forms. To the authors?
knowledge, there is no published research to substantiate this claim.
Despite terms like ?quality tested? appearing on labels, consumers and
healthcare providers have no basis to compare one product against
another or to judge the quality of the products they are purchasing or
recommending. Over fifty products were tested and a substantial
number could not be classified as a ?quality product? based on the
general agreement of their content with label claim. From our data it
is obvious that certain manufacturers of dietary supplements are
unwilling to self-regulate their manufacturing practices.
This is interesting: ?Pure low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate
has been shown to have up to a three month efficacy carry-over
effect.32 This is an interesting point as individuals who take a
quality product and switch to an impure product may have three-months
of results before symptoms reoccur. This coupled with the standard
20-30% placebo effect in all oral arthritis treatments may lead to a
false sense of security in the consumer or prescribing physician. When
the name of the product or label makes a claim such as ?arthritis
cure? or ?pain formula? this could possibly potentate the placebo
?The results of this study show that both glucosamine and chondroitin
sulfate (measured as total disaccharides) are bioavailable after oral
dosing. In addition, the low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate used
in this study displays significant accumulation upon multiple dosing.?
I hope this adequately answers your question. If not, please request
an Answer Clarification, before rating. I also applaud you for
understanding that sites marketing supplements often skew results,
and/or publish unsubstantiated results.
Bioavailability + glucosamine
efficacy + absorption + glucosamine chondroitin
glucosamine absorption rates + liquid + tablet