Does it Work? - Glucosamine-Chondroitin-MSM for joints?

10-12-2005, 04:17 AM
On top of my multivitamin, fish oil & calcium, I've recently started taking TripleFlex (a glucosamine-chondroitin-MSM horsepill!) because I notice my cardio workouts (and some toning) involve a good deal of joint movements and those 3 are supposed to help in joint maintenance/repair.

Can anyone comment the effectiveness of this?

Suzanne 3FC
10-12-2005, 04:27 AM
I used to take this combination, until I read a report by Berkeley Wellness (University of California). According to them, the glucosamine is all we need and is what does the trick. They said chondroitin has not been shown to do anything except jack up the price and they recommended avoiding MSM.

Their article on glucosamine is available to the public at

Their articles on chondroitin and MSM are only available to subscribers. However, I will paste a brief excerpt here

Chondroitin Sulfate

Claims, Benefits: Halts, reverses, or cures arthritis.

Bottom Line: Taken with glucosamine, this is a popular "cure" for osteoarthritis. There are many questions about what happens to the chondroitin you swallow—and no convincing evidence of its benefits. A large study on these supplements is underway, with results expected in two or three years. If you do take it, tell your doctor.


Claims, Benefits: Cures and treats arthritis, plus headaches, muscle pain, athletic injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, food allergies, etc.

Bottom Line: This is clearly an unproven "remedy." All the evidence is anecdotal. The long-term effects are unknown. Don't take it.

10-12-2005, 07:49 AM
thanks... and given the costco sized bottle of TripleFlex I got... that 2-3 year study on chondroitin may be out before I'm done with these suckers ;)

and I just did a search and MSM, while effectiveness is unproven, has been shown to be safe to take... so I guess I can stick finishing off this bottle before going to a glucosamine-only or a glucosamine-chondroitin combo.

10-12-2005, 06:53 PM
I think glucosamine can be very effective. It helps me avoid aches and pains if I take it consistently for awhile. I don't think chondroitin is a good idea, for several reasons. I'm not qualified to comment on MSM, so I won't. :)

I also swear by glucosamine for my old dog's aches and pains. I buy it at the vet and my unscientific opinion based on hopeful observation of my baby girl (aka old dog) is that she is livelier after a few weeks on the pills than during times she hasn't had the pills.

10-12-2005, 07:33 PM
A preliminary abstract of the GAIT trial has been released (to be presented at a Nov. Rheumatology meeting), which compares Glucosamine-alone, Chondroitin-alone, Glucosamine-Chondroitin combo, with Celecoxcib (Celebrex) and a placebo. It involve about 1,250 participants in randomized trials.

Link here ({0E1B6910-EA86-4A96-98DD-6C667F42884B}&SKey={7607F371-C49D-4859-845F-9895A2DC9C46}&MKey={F5B9F43A-15A0-467D-8458-5DF32518B4E3}&AKey={AA45DD66-F113-4CDD-8E62-01A05F613C0D})

What they seem to find is that the combo works in relieving osteoarthritis pain (in one group, better than celebrex). However, they measurement was through pain response surveys--and it doesn't seem there were physical measurements of cartilage/ligament/joint structure and composition.

It also doesn't show anything, good or bad, along the way of preventative use for joint maintenance as opposed to joint pain relief.

10-12-2005, 07:58 PM
I use it all the time for my dogs and for myself, if I remember. The liquid Glucosamine is much cheaper and much faster acting than the pills.

10-12-2005, 11:51 PM
Ruth, do you use a liquid for your dogs?

10-14-2005, 02:20 PM
I swear by Glucosamine, and so does DH... I can feel the difference when I forget to take it for a couple of days. I break my capsules into my protein shakes to make them absorbe faster... I'm glad to hear of that study with Chondroitin, because that's what I had hear too...

10-14-2005, 04:18 PM
I first started taking glucosamine-chondroitin together about 6 years ago. Around day nine, I woke at 5 am wil enormously swollen lips, tongue, and eyelid. I looked like Donald Duck. After a very relaxing 7 or 8 hours in the ER hooked up to IV benadryl, the ER doc told me to find a glucosame-only supplement. Anyone who has a mild seafood allergy (I didn't know I had one) will react after 8-14 days. Anyone with a major seafood allergy will react instantaneously.

I really noticed a huge improvement in knee pain with the glucosamine. I still take it twice a day...hey, if it's not broken, don't fix it! However, I've also completely changed the way I eat, gotten a whole lot stronger, and lost 60 some pounds.