Glucosamine has long reigned supreme in the joint world. Derived from shellfish (a few suppliers get it from corn), the compound has been shown in many clinical trials to rebuild and repair human cartilage; it is often paired with chondroitin, which helps make cartilage more elastic.

According to Euromonitor International, the global glucosamine market was valued at $2 billion in 2008, with the U.S. accounting for $872 million. Japan is the second largest, with $300 million in sales.

In recent years, though, new ways of working with glucosamine — as well as ingredients new to the joint-health segment — have arrived on the scene. Here are just a few highlights.

Combo power
When it comes to joint health, a new study shows that combining several ingredients is more effective than taking any single compound alone. That is why Nordic Naturals launched its new Omega Joint, a synergistic blend of fish oil, glucosamine sulfate and vitamin D.

"The latest human clinical trials show that the combination of EPA and DHA from fish oil and glucosamine sulfate work better together than glucosamine sulfate alone," said Stuart Tomc, CNHP, national educator for Nordic Naturals. "Omega Joint delivers results in fewer soft gels, and without having to buy (or take) more than one product."

The study in Advanced Therapeutics tested 177 patients with moderate to severe hip or knee osteoarthritis. One group received a combination of EPA/DHA with glucosamine sulfate (1,500mg/day), and the second group received glucosamine alone. In all, 44 percent from group A reported an 80 percent or greater reduction in WOMAC pain score; only 32 percent reported such an improvement in group B.

Nordic Naturals has also begun experimenting with combinations of fish oil with collagen and vitamin D3.

"Ingredients like glucosamine sulfate and UC-II undenatured type II collagen promote repair of connective tissue and joint cartilage," Tomc said. "These ingredients are backed by research for efficacy and safety, and are great options for protecting joint health and helping relieve advanced damage and pain."

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Featured Suppliers

Bergstrom Nutrition
Bergstrom Nutrition sets the standard with ultra-pure OptiMSM. Only OptiMSM is premium, distilled MSM — manufactured in the world's only dedicated cGMP-compliant MSM production facility. Rigorously third-party tested to ensure 99.9% purity, Bergstrom Nutrition has delivered quality, purity and consistency for more than 25 years.
888-733-5676 (888-SEEK-MSM)
Vancouver, Washington, USA

Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc.
Celadrin is a natural ingredient for joint health made from a proprietary blend of special fatty acids. Several clinical studies — two of them published in the Journal of Rheumatology — have show Celadrin's effectiveness in reducing inflammation and pain.
Kearney, New Jersey, USA
Soft Gel Technologies, Inc.
Perluxan softgels

Sabinsa Corporation
Boswellin PS is a patent pending, standardized extract from Boswellia serrata (Indian frankincense) gum. It contains Boswellic acids and a polysaccharide that work synergistically to support healthy joints and lubrication by supporting a healthy immune system and a balanced inflammatory response. Features include an enhanced water solubility and a two-stage release of actives for sustained benefits.
East Windsor, New Jersey, USA

Other Suppliers

Omega-3 fatty acids

BioCell Technology LLC

ESM Technologies
ESC (Eggshell Calcium)

Bio Serae Laboratories SAS
Osteol is an innovative concept for joint health, made from bio-active milk proteins. Osteol™ will upgrade standard joint health formulas (D-Glucosamine + Chondroitin) and will help to increase anti-inflammatory effects and inhibit MMPs, for better cartilage protection.
+33 468 76 76 20

CTC International
Enteric Coated Serratiopeptidase

Cyanotech Corporation

EPAX 4510 TG
The fatty acid EPA has been clinically proven to help maintain day-to-day mobility, especially for those with morning joint stiffness. A formula based on numerous clinical trials, EPAX 4510 TG is designed to deliver high levels of concentrated EPA to provide nutrition to joints, help reduce stiffness, and support mobility.
+47 70 13 59 60
Lysaker, NORWAY

ESM Technologies
NEM® (Natural Eggshell Membrane)

FORTIGEL (bioactive collagen peptides for cartilage regeneration)

Humanetics Corporation
MicroLactin is a leading ingredient used by many sports nutrition companies for both its anti-inflammatory and recovery properties. Clinical studies have shown that MicroLactin is an excellent anti-inflammatory product that provides very fast relief of joint pain and works 3 times faster than glucosamine.
Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA

National Enzyme Co.
Serrazimes is a proteolytic system from Asperigillus oryzae and Aspergillus melleus that is designed as an alternative for Serrapeptidase (a.k.a serration-peptidase and serrapeptase) in dietary supplements used for cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory, respiratory, or immune support.
Forsyth, Missouri, USA
Stratum Nutrition

TSI Health Sciences, Inc.
PUREFLEX® Glucosamine, PUREFLEX® Chondrotin

UAS Laboratories, Inc.
UAS Joint Formula Blend
Unique joint formula blend containing glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM) and Boswellia serrata. Product is non-dairy, gluten-free, wheat-free, corn-free, soy-free, preservative-free and non-GMO. Promotes healthy joints.
952-935-1707 / 800-422-3371
Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA