Chrondroitin, a molecule that occurs naturally in the body, is a major component of cartilage — the connective tissue that cushions the joints.

What are its health benefits?

Chondroitin keeps cartilage healthy by absorbing fluid (mostly water) into the connective tissue. It also blocks enzymes that break down cartilage, and it provides the building blocks for the body to produce new cartilage.

Chondroitin is often prescribed by doctors for the management of osteoarthritis.

Chondroitin supplements may also have benefits in the management of the following diseases and conditions:

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA)

Chondroitin is usually sold as chondroitin sulfate, in capsules or tablets. It is often combined with glucosamine and sometimes manganese (a trace element used for bone health).

A typical chondroitin dosage is 400mg three times a day or 600mg twice a day, taken by mouth (orally).

Many chondroitin supplements are made from cow cartilage. For vegetarians, an alternative is a supplement made from algae.

Possible side effects

Chondroitin is considered safe when used at the recommended daily dosage for short periods.

However, possible side effects may include:

  • Mild stomach upset
  • Allergic reactions
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches

Taking chondroitin supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not advised.

Chondroitin may enhance the effects of a blood thinner (medication) as well as the blood-thinning effects of vitamins and supplements.

Ensure you discuss dietary supplementation with your Clicks pharmacist to avoid the potential for side effects and adverse interactions with medications.

The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in September 2015