By Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Long before the medical establishment decided to get on board, I was hearing about glucosamine from vets. It helps dogs- and people- with the pain and stiffness and infirmity of arthritis. Since almost all dogs eventually suffer from arthritis, and larger dogs frequently suffer with a painful joint condition called hip dysplasia, the use of glucosamine sulfate is of more than theoretical use in vetenary practice. And there are no “placebo effects” with dogs. They don’t get better because they think they’re “supposed” to- they either feel (and act) better or they don’t.

Glucosamine is naturally synthesized in the human body and is a basic building block of connective tissue, like the cartilage in your knee for example. While we have an ample amount of the stuff when we’re young, as we age we lose some of it, leading to the thinning of cartilage which frequently progresses to the common condition known as osteoarthritis.

Many studies have shown that glucosamine sulfate and/or chondroitin sulfate as beneficial in helping to repair damage to the joints caused by osteoarthritis. While it can’t bring cartilage back, it can prevent further loss as well as reduce symptoms of pain, swelling, and stiffness or noise in the joints. In two independent 3-year randomized, placebo-controlled studies, glucosamine sulfate was shown to slow progression of osteoarthritis symptoms. After three years, participants given the glucosamine sulfate showed no joint space narrowing whatsoever. Not only that, the glucosamine sulfate group showed a significant improvement in their WOMAC index (a standardized measure of pain) while there was a trend for worsening of pain in the placebo group.

MSM (methyl-sufonylmethane) is terrific for joint pain, largely because of its high sulfur content. (There’s a reason people all over the world flock to hot sulfur baths for pain relief!). MSM blocks the transmission of impulses in nerve fibers that carry pain signals. Studies in laboratory animals show that in those whose diet included MSM, there was less degenerative change of the articular joint compared to the control group.

Arthritis is the most common form of disability in America, and the prevalence of joint pain is likely to increase as the baby boomer generation ages. Natural remedies like glucosamine, chondrotrin and MSM can help empower us to take charge of our health and can significantly contribute to our well-being. Best of all they do so without any serious side effects.

And that’s exactly what “natural cures” should be all about!

Author's Bio: 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS is the author of "The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth” as well as two other best selling books. A board certified nutritionist with a Masters degree in psychology, he is a featured health writer on America Online and was the Weight Loss Coach for for ten years. A popular and dynamic speaker, he has been contributed material to over 50 national publications and appeared on CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC as a nutrition, weight loss and health expert. Dr. Bowden is Self-Growth's Official Guide for Nutrition. For more info, free newsletter and free audio courses, please visit him at

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