Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are two components of joint cartilage and other types of structural tissue, making them important nutrients in those with joint pain. Both ingredients are commonly used for their ability to reduce pain and improve function in the joints of arthritis sufferers.
The main purpose of glucosamine and chondroitin is to provide structural support for joint cartilage. Chondroitin provides resistance against compression forces, while glucosamine provides support for both the cartilage and the synovial fluid surrounding the joints that helps cushion them and reduce friction. Therefore, these compounds are most often taken by those with osteoarthritis to reduce joint breakdown and pain.
Subjects supplementing with glucosamine and chondroitin have been able to reduce their use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and although these natural supplements take longer to provide relief than NSAIDs, their beneficial effects have been shown to last longer.