50+ Health

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As we age, our health needs change. Explore this health centre for information and advice to help you make the right choices about food and nutrition, physical fitness, bone and joint health, and age-related disease and injury prevention. For additional health information, please talk to your Costco Pharmacist.

50+ Health

Chondroitin Sulphate

General Information

Chondroitin sulfate can be found in cartilage, which is a cushion that surrounds the joint in your body. It can also be made from animal sources such as cow or pig cartilage.

Common Name(s)

chondroitin sulfate

Scientific Name(s)

chondroitin 4-sulfate, chondroitin 4- and 6-sulfate

How is this product usually used?

Chondroitin sulfate is usually taken by mouth, with the total daily dose ranging from 800 mg to 1,200 mg. It is often used in combination with other supplements such as glucosamine and manganese.

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Studies of chondroitin in osteoarthritis have been inconsistent. Overall, it appears that chondroitin may be useful for people with osteoarthritis of the knee, although the effect may not be very big. Combination products (i.e., chondroitin and glucosamine) may be better than chondroitin sulfate alone.

What else should I be aware of?

Chondroitin should be used for at least 3 months before the full benefits can be seen. If symptoms of osteoarthritis worsen, you should contact your doctor.

Chondroitin does not appear to have any serious side effects when used in recommended amounts. Common side effects reported include mild stomach pain and nausea.

Since chondroitin comes from animal sources, there are concerns about the safety of these products. There have been no reports of product contamination with animal diseases and this risk is thought to be low. In Canada, chondroitin must come from the cartilage of healthy animals that can be used for food by humans.

Higher doses of chondroitin in combination with glucosamine may increase the effects of warfarin, a medication used to slow blood clotting. Consult your health care provider for more information.

Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should consult a health care practitioner prior to using chondroitin. A health care practitioner should also be consulted if symptoms persist or worsen.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.


  1. Chondroitin sulfate (monograph). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. (subscription required). Accessed 28 June 2012.
  2. Health Canada. Licensed Natural Health Products Database. Chondroitin sulfate. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/applications/licen-prod/monograph/mono_chondroitin-eng.php. Accessed 28 June 2012.
  3. Mayo Clinic. Osteoarthritis: definition. www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoarthritis/DS00019. Accessed 28 June 2012.
  4. Guimond J, Boon H, Westlake K. Chondroitin: dose, dosage forms/formulation. www.camline.ca/professionalreview/pr_dose.php?NHPID=8. Accessed 28 June 2012.
  5. Gregory PJ, Sperry M, Friendman-Wilson A. Dietary supplements for Osteoarthritis. Am Fam Physician 2008;77:177-84.
  6. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Medical Guidelines for the Clinical use of Dietary Supplements and Nutraceuticals. https://www.aace.com/files/neutraceuticals-2003.pdf . Accessed 28 June 2012.

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