There has been a lot of talk about Glucosamine sulphate (GSS) so I wanted to share my thoughts on it….
GSS is essential to a joint’s ability to provide shock absorption. If you have undergone trauma to a joint (including repetitive strain/sprain), or you are older than forty, your body’s ability to manufacture GSS is decreased. The basic idea is that if you think of cartilage as a brick and mortar system, collagen fibers are the bricks, and chondroitin sulphate is the mortar. It helps keep the collagen fibers intact and run parallel to each other. Further, there is a negative charge on the molecule so when negatively charged molecules comes in close contact, they repel… hence more shock absorption. Lastly, sulpher is a water loving molecule that is found on the end of the glucosamine. It attracts water to the molecule so that this also helps maintain the health and viscosity of the joint.
The problem is chondroitin sulphate. It is a disaccharide polymer, which is a fancy word for…. it is HUGE molecule. Think of chondroitin sulphate as a train and glucosamine sulphate are the cars that make up the train. It is easier to eat the parts of the train, rather than it whole, and then have the body reassemble it once it has passed through the intestinal tract. Chondroitin sulphate has about 9% absorption rate, whereas GSS is about 90%.
So why do so many companies have both on their label? My personal opinion is cost- it is a lot cheaper to mass produce chondroitin sulphate than pure GSS. I will give some manufacturer’s the benefit of the doubt and suggest that they did some research and believe that chondroitin is the better product. Sure, when injected. Unfortunately, most studies on chondroitin sulphate are based on injection, not oral consumption.
So the bottom line is that if you have achy, tight, sore, and possibly arthritic joints, pure Glucosamine Sulphate (GSS) is a great product to help re-establish normal joint function.
Here is a short video on the GSS I dispense in my clinic.
Have a great weekend,
Dr. Crysta Serné
Vancouver Chiropractic and owner of Vitality Clinic