Both glucosamine and fish oil are popular supplements these days, with the number of manufacturers trumpeting their efficiency equal only for researchers in line to evaluate these claims. Several studies suggest that both have some health benefits, although recent studies suggest that supplements should be taken to ease the symptoms of common conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
Fish Oil and Omega-3 fatty acids
Fish oil is filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which, although they are not manufactured by the human body, are considered to be essential for human health. Studies suggest that these fatty acids may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, boost brain function, maintaining a healthy weight, ward off mood disorders, improve the circulatory system and reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids thought to reduce inflammation — a major cause of joint pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Glucosamine is a natural substance found in healthy cartilage. It is believed that taking glucosamine supplements help the body repair and rebuild damaged cartilage, thus alleviating joint pain. According to the Mayo Clinic, a common treatment for osteoarthritis patients includes taking glucosamine along with anti-inflammatory steroids, and that when you add it to treatment can help reduce the need for steroids.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate
Glucosamine supplements are often produced in a complex with chondroitin sulfate, a component of a molecule called proteoglycan, which helps to build cartilage in elasticity.
Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids, some patients suffering from joint pain reported added benefits from taking fish oil in combination with glucosamine. Consequently, some companies market the two supplements in combination. Merck even mentions on its website that fish oil and glucosamine are “safe and useful adjuncts to standard drugs.”
Most glucosamine is derived from shellfish, and fish oil from fat tissue in freshwater predator fish, which may also have higher concentrations of mercuary them. Patients who are allergic to shellfish or certain freshwater fish should not take supplements until they have determined the source of the product. In addition, since neither glucosamine or fish oil is regulated by the FDA, caution should be exercised when purchasing either supplement. Buy glucosamine and fish oil supplements only from companies with a good reputation.
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