Chondroitin sulfate falls into a category of compounds known as "glycosaminoglycans" - basically a long
chain of specialized polysaccharides (or sugars). In the body, chondroitin is used as a building block for larger structures known as proteoglycans - which are in turn used to form connective tissues such as cartilage. Chondroitin is related in structure and function to another sugar derivative, glucosamine, both of which are widely used as dietary supplements to nourish joint cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate is not found in the diet in appreciable amounts - the primary source being animal cartilage (such as the trachea of cows).
1. Now that a bit more is known about the effectiveness of chondroitin sulfate, it appears that the supplements can indeed result in a reduction in the pain associated with osteoarthritis (following about 2-4 months of treatment).
2. Chondroitin sulfate can also reduce inflammation.
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