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7 Best Glucosamine Chondroitin Supplements in 2024

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Glucosamine and Chondroitin are commonly used by people looking to relieve joint pain and prevent joint disease. While current research suggests they may not be the most effective supplement for this, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest it may be worth giving a shot.

While we recommend checking with your doctor before taking any of the supplements on our list, they may help relieve some symptoms of joint pain. Keep reading to find out what our picks for the best Glucosamine Chondroitin supplements are.

Best Glucosamine Chondroitin Supplements

Top 7 Best Glucosamine Chondroitin Supplements Reviewed

  1. NOW Foods Glucosamine & Chondroitin – Top-Pick
  2. Swanson Glucosamine & Chondroitin – Lowest Price Per Daily Serving
  3. Jarrow Formulas Glucosamine + Chondroitin – Best With Added Vitamin C
  4. Natural Factors Glucosamine & Chondroitin
  5. Life Extension Glucosamine & Chondroitin
  6. Thorne Glucosamine & Chondroitin
  7. 21st Century Glucosamine & Chondroitin
ProductTotalGlucosamine
Form
Price per
Daily Serving
Nutrition Label
Transparency
Servings per
Package
Value
for Money
NOW Foods501010101010
Swanson49.51010109.510
Jarrow Formulas48.5109.5109.59.5
Natural Factors48109.51099.5
Life Extension47.51091099.5
Thorne46.5108.51099
21st Century461010899
TOP PICK

1. NOW Foods Glucosamine & Chondroitin

NOW Foods Glucosamine & Chondroitin

Starting our list of the best Glucosamine supplements is NOW Foods, which is recognizable as one of the most trustworthy vitamin brands around. Let’s take a closer look at how NOW Foods earned its spot on top of our list. 

First, NOW’s recommended serving size of 2 tablets includes 1.5g of Glucosamine and 1.2g of Chondroitin. This is the generally accepted daily dosage, and what we’ll consider a standard dose for the supplements on our list. This is one of only 3 supplements on our list to contain this “optimal” dose and is the only supplement to offer such a high dose at the low serving size of only 2 tablets. 

It’s worth noting that there is some debate over whether this dosage is ideal, so lower dosages may/may not work for you depending on your symptoms. We recommend consulting with your doctor to determine what dose is ideal for you. 

If you’re concerned about quality and brand reputation, NOW’s supplements are undeniably reliable. First, they are certified by both GMP and UL for stability, potency, and formulation, ensuring high-quality products. Beyond this, they’re also a founding partner of Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit that provides underprivileged communities with beneficial nutrition products. 

At ~$0.52 per serving, NOW Foods’ product is not quite the cheapest option on our list. However, considering the optimal serving size, and NOW’s reputation as a brand, their product still offers solid value for your money.

50 EXPERT SCORE

NOW’s recommended serving size of 2 tablets includes 1.5g of Glucosamine and 1.2g of Chondroitin. This is the generally accepted daily dosage, and what we’ll consider a standard dose for the supplements on our list.


Glucosamine Form:0
Price per Daily Serving:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Servings per Package:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Comes in the generally accepted daily dose of Glucosamine and Chondroitin
  • High dose comes in a serving size of only 2 tablets
  • Highly reputable brand

Could be better:

  • Relatively high cost per serving
  • Some reviews suggest the pill sizes are too large
Lowest Price Per Daily Serving

2. Swanson Glucosamine & Chondroitin

Swanson Glucosamine & Chondroitin

Next up on our list is Swanson’s Glucosamine & Chondroitin, which has the lowest cost per serving on our list in case you’re looking to prioritize your budget. While it doesn’t have the same high ingredient doses as NOW’s product, it still delivers a high-quality product. Let’s take a closer look. 

In each capsule, Swanson’s product offers 500mg of Glucosamine and 250mg of Chondroitin. If you do want a higher dose, you could easily take multiple capsules. This also gives you more control over dosage when compared to NOW foods. However, for every 1500mg of Glucosamine, you’d only be getting 750mg of Chondroitin. 

This is because Swanson has a much lower ratio of Chondroitin to Glucosamine (1:2) when compared to NOW’s product (4:5). Unfortunately, due to limited research, it’s unclear if this will have a major impact on the supplement’s effectiveness. Once again, we recommend consulting with your doctor to find out what dosage is right for you. 

Swanson is not as clear about any third-party certifications when compared to NOW. However, on their site they ensure that all their products are GMP certified by NSF International, ensuring their products meet high-quality standards. 

In terms of price, individual servings of 500mg/250mg of Glucosamine and Chondroitin will only cost you ~$0.12. If you want to get a higher serving of 1500mg/750mg, it would still be relatively cheap at ~$0.36.

49.5 EXPERT SCORE

Swanson’s Glucosamine & Chondroitin has the lowest cost per serving on our list in case you’re looking to prioritize your budget. It offers 500mg of Glucosamine and 250mg of Chondroitin. If you do want a higher dose, you could easily take multiple capsules.


Glucosamine Form:0
Price per Daily Serving:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Servings per Package:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Excellent value for money
  • Highly reputable brand
  • More control over dosage when compared to NOW

Could be better:

  • Fairly low serving size
  • Limited amount of reviews for this supplement on iherb.com
Best With Added Vitamin C

3. Jarrow Formulas Glucosamine + Chondroitin

Jarrow Formulas Glucosamine + Chondroitin

Up next on our list is Jarrow Formulas, which is our pick if you’re after a product rich in Vitamin C, as well as having a solid dose of Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Let’s take a closer look. 

First, Jarrow is the second supplement on our list to have the “standard” daily dosage of 1.5g of Glucosamine and 1.2g of Chondroitin. Keep in mind that this is split over 4 capsules, significantly more than NOW which has the same dose in only 2 tablets. 

This is also the first product on our list to contain a significant amount of added vitamins and minerals. While this certainly won’t replace a multivitamin supplement, you will be getting a solid 67% of your daily Vitamin C, and 43% of your daily Manganese with each serving. You can also expect a trace amount of potassium and sodium. 

Although Jarrow doesn’t overtly advertise it, similar to the top 2 products on our list, Jarrow ensures a high level of quality in its products. On its site, Jarrow states that all its products are quality tested, as well as using third-party lab testing to ensure the purity of their products. 

Finally, there is a noticeable jump in price when comparing Jarrow to the last 2 products on our list. Each serving will cost you about ~$0.69, which is ~$0.17 more than NOW’s product. Although this may not seem significant, this will add up over time!

48.5 EXPERT SCORE

Jarrow is the second supplement on our list to have the “standard” daily dosage of 1.5g of Glucosamine and 1.2g of Chondroitin. This is also the first product on our list to contain a significant amount of added vitamins and minerals.


Glucosamine Form:0
Price per Daily Serving:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Servings per Package:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Potentially Effective dose
  • Comes from a highly reputable company
  • Comes with solid amounts of Vitamin C and Manganese

Could be better:

  • High amount of capsules per serving
  • Relatively high price point

4. Natural Factors Glucosamine & Chondroitin

Natural Factors Glucosamine & Chondroitin

Next up on our list is Natural Factors Glucosamine and Chondroitin which is the third and final option on our list to have the “ideal” daily dose of both of these nutrients. Let’s take a closer look at this supplement. 

As mentioned, you can expect 1.5g of Glucosamine, and 1.2g of Chondroitin, which is the standard recommended dose of these ingredients. This is the final product on our list to be dosed with these amounts, with the rest of our list being dosed significantly lower. 

It’s also worth noting that you’ll only be getting 40 servings total in this package. This is significantly lower than NOW, which contains 120 servings per package. While this may seem like a downside, because they come at a very similar price point, Natural Factors may be a good choice if you’re just looking to try this supplement. 

Like the previous products on our list, Natural Factors comes with a “purity & potency” guarantee. In their product description, they also ensure their product is Mass Spec: Lab Tested. 

As mentioned above, Natural Factors’ supplement comes at a very similar price to NOW Foods’ product at ~$0.52 per serving. As we said for NOW Foods, while this isn’t the best value for money on our list, it still offers solid value for money.

48 EXPERT SCORE

You can expect 1.5g of Glucosamine, and 1.2g of Chondroitin, which is the standard recommended dose of these ingredients. It’s also worth noting that you’ll only be getting 40 servings total in this package.


Glucosamine Form:0
Price per Daily Serving:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Servings per Package:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Solid third-party testing
  • Effectively dosed
  • Small package size is ideal for those looking to try out this supplement

Could be better:

  • The small package size isn’t ideal for those looking to use Glucosamine and Chondroitin on the long term
  • Fairly expensive

5. Life Extension Glucosamine & Chondroitin

Life Extension Glucosamine/Chondroitin

Up next on our list is Life Extension’s Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplement. Although this comes in a fairly low dose per serving compared to the previous products we’ve covered, this is still a high-quality supplement. 

In each capsule, you can expect 400mg of Glucosamine and 450mg of Chondroitin. This makes Life Extension the first and only supplement on our list with a positive ratio of Chondroitin to Glucosamine. While this is uncommon, it’s unclear if there will be any significant difference in effectiveness. 

If you’re looking to get around 1.5g of Glucosamine and 1.2g of Chondroitin, you’d need to take at least 4 capsules which would amount to a total dose of 1.6g and 1.8g respectively. 

Like all the brands we’ve covered so far, Life Extension is committed to producing high-quality products, ensuring their products are rigorously inspected across every step of their manufacturing processes. 

Finally, in terms of price, for the low serving size recommended by Life Extension, you’ll only be paying ~$0.25 per capsule. However, if you want to get a higher dose similar to NOW Foods and other brands, note that you will be paying a premium.

47.5 EXPERT SCORE

In each capsule, you can expect 400mg of Glucosamine and 450mg of Chondroitin. This makes Life Extension the first and only supplement on our list with a positive ratio of Chondroitin to Glucosamine.


Glucosamine Form:0
Price per Daily Serving:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Servings per Package:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • A good option for low doses of Glucosamine and Chondroitin
  • Rigorous quality testing
  • Hundreds of positive reviews on iherb.com

Could be better:

  • High price point for a commonly recommended dose
  • No recognizable third-party certifications

6. Thorne Glucosamine & Chondroitin

Thorne Glucosamine & Chondroitin

Next up on our list is Thorne’s Glucosamine & Chondroitin which is a very similar product to the second pick on our list, Swanson. Let’s see how this option stacks up, and why it ended up so low on our list. 

The main reason Thorne is similar to Swanson’s product is that it has the same exact dose per capsule. In each serving, you’ll be getting 500mg of Glucosamine and 250mg of Chondroitin, for a 2:1 ratio. As we said for Swanson, this is very different from the standard 5:4 ratio, although there’s not enough research to say if this is necessarily less ideal.

Thorne is NSF-certified for sport, ensuring that it doesn’t contain any banned substances. Thorne also promises that all of their ingredients are thoroughly tested for potency and purity on top of this. 

Finally, in terms of price, Thorne is one of the more expensive products on our list. At ~$0.39 per serving, it’s more than 3 times as much as Swanson’s product. Especially if you want a higher dose, it will cost you quite a bit more than products like NOW Foods and Natural Factors.

46.5 EXPERT SCORE

Thorne is NSF-certified for sport, ensuring that it doesn’t contain any banned substances. Thorne also promises that all of their ingredients are thoroughly tested for potency and purity on top of this.


Glucosamine Form:0
Price per Daily Serving:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Servings per Package:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • NSF tested for banned substances
  • Thorne ensures quality testing across all their products
  • Easy to control the dosage

Could be better:

  • Most expensive option on our list
  • Low dose per serving

7. 21st Century Glucosamine & Chondroitin

21st Century Glucosamine / Chondroitin

Closing out our list is 21st Century’s product, which similar to the last entry on our list comes in a fairly low serving size, although there are a few key differences here. Let’s take a closer look. 

In this supplement, you’re getting a similarly low dose to Thorne with 2 capsules getting you 500mg of Glucosamine and 400mg of Chodritin. As you may have noticed, however, this supplement has a more standard 2:1 ratio. So, it’s possible to get a dose of 1.5g of Glucosamine and 1.2g of Chondroitin. The only issue is it will take 6 total capsules to get there, which is quite a lot. 

As with the rest of the products on our list, 21st Century promises a high-quality product, certifying that their supplements are laboratory tested. 

Finally, in terms of price, 21st Century isn’t too bad at ~$0.20 per serving. For a higher dose of 1.5g/1.2g, you’ll be paying about ~$0.60, which is more expensive than NOW Foods and Natural Factors, but slightly cheaper than Jarrow! Just keep in mind you’ll run through this package in about a month if you’re taking a high dosage every day.

46 EXPERT SCORE

This supplement has a more standard 2:1 ratio. So, it’s possible to get a dose of 1.5g of Glucosamine and 1.2g of Chondroitin. The only issue is it will take 6 total capsules to get there.


Glucosamine Form:0
Price per Daily Serving:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Servings per Package:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • High-quality, lab-tested product
  • Generally accepted ideal ratio of Glucosamine to Chondroitin
  • Easy to control the dosage

Could be better:

  • Fairly small package size
  • Low dose per serving

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What Is Glucosamine and What Are Its Possible Benefits?

The first half of the supplements we’ve been covering is Glucosamine. This substance is found in chitin and is usually derived from shellfish for use in products like the ones covered above. So, keep this in mind if you have any allergies!

Glucosamine is most commonly used as a treatment for joint pain, more specifically, osteoarthritis in the hip and knee. It’s also been suggested that the use of Glucosamine can help prevent the development of joint pain as well. 

Taking vitamins in gym

While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest this may be the case, current clinical research does not support the use of Glucosamine for osteoarthritis. There is even some research to suggest Glucosamine paired with Chondroitin performs worse than a placebo for reducing symptoms of joint pain. 

Studies have shown that orally ingested Glucosamine appears to support the production of joint cartilage and synovium in the body. It may also reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines in cartilaginous cells. This is likely why it’s been theorized to help with joint pain, even if minimal results are backing this up. 

What Is Chondroitin and What Are Its Possible Benefits?

The second half of the supplements we’re discussing, chondroitin, is a non-essential nutrient that is naturally occurring in our cartilage. It is primarily found in the diet through animal cartilage, which is where it is typically sourced for supplements. 

Because most of the research on Chondroitin is done paired with Glucosamine, results are essentially the same. While it’s purported to have similar effects to Glucosamine like reducing joint pain, current research suggests it won’t provide much benefit. 

capsules close view

One systematic review of various meta-analyses found that Chondroitin may provide “slight to moderate efficacy” in the treatment of osteoarthritis symptoms. However, another meta-analysis shows that Chondroitin showed no positive effects on osteoarthritis symptoms. Overall, results are inconsistent, although they lean towards the conclusion that chondroitin is largely ineffective. 

How to Choose the Best Glucosamine Chondroitin Supplement?

Overall, research does not support the use of a Glucosamine Chondroitin supplement, so it’s difficult to make any definitive claims about the “most effective glucosamine chondroitin supplement”. However, you may still be interested in trying it out to help with joint pain. If this is the case, there are a few things you should look out for before buying a supplement! 

1. Prefer Glucosamine Sulfate Instead of Hydrochloride

First, consider choosing a glucosamine sulfate supplement instead of glucosamine hydrochloride. The reason behind this is that the vast majority of studies on glucosamine have used sulfate, meaning there is little data available about HCl. 

Because there has been minimal research on the long-term effects of HCl, we recommend opting for sulfate instead. Note that all the products featured on our list are formulated with Glucosamine Sulfate instead of HCl. 

2. Consider That the Required Daily Dose for Glucosamine Is 1500 MG

As mentioned earlier, the generally accepted daily dose of Glucosamine is 1500mg. Keep in mind that many of the products on our list have different doses per serving, meaning you may have to take multiple servings to reach this dose. 

It’s worth noting that this is considered a fairly high dose, with lower doses often being taken for more mild symptoms of joint pain. We recommend consulting with your doctor to determine what an appropriate dose is for you. 

3. Choose Products From Well-Known Brands

Finally, one of the best ways to find a high-quality product is to buy from a well-known, reputable brand. Well-respected, longstanding brands will typically offer well-formulated products at a great price. It’s also always worth checking out whether a brand has any certifications from third parties that guarantee a high level of quality. 

How to Take Glucosamine Chondroitin?

Before taking Glucosamine Chondroitin supplement, we recommend consulting with a doctor to make sure this treatment is suitable for you. Individual needs may vary, so we recommend consulting with your doctor about dosage as well.

bottle of vitamins

Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements may have certain contraindications against medications like blood thinners. Also, if you’re experiencing symptoms of joint pain, there is a very high chance of more effective treatments being available. 

Taking Glucosamine and Chondroitin is fairly simple. It appears that splitting up the dosage throughout the day is ideal. Most brands will also recommend taking the supplement alongside food. Overall, we recommend consulting with your doctor about the use of these supplements, as they will have a better idea of your individual needs. 

Important Details About Glucosamine Chondroitin

If your doctor has recommended the use of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Understand that you may need to take this supplement for a while to notice any effects. Also, keep in mind there may be some unwanted side effects. We’ll be covering these points in more depth below!

1. The Minimum Period for Obtaining Potential Effects

While it would be nice to take a supplement once and have your joint pain disappear, it’s not that easy. It’s important to remember that Glucosamine and Chondroitin do not have any acute effects. While their effectiveness is still up for debate, it appears that any pain relief will take weeks or months to be noticeable. 

To see any effects from these supplements, it’s generally thought that you should take them for at least 2 to 3 months. Individual experiences vary, so you may begin to notice some pain relief in this time, or the supplements may not have any effect. If these supplements don’t work for you, we recommend consulting with your doctor about alternatives. 

Capsules in hands

2. Possible Side Effects

The main risks associated with glucosamine are potential contraindications with other medications. As mentioned, people taking blood thinners should avoid these supplements. Consult with your doctor before trying Glucosamine and Chondroitin, as there may be some other reasons you should avoid these supplements. 

Beyond this, there are a few common side effects associated with these supplements, including nausea, bloating, and diarrhea. If you experience any of these side effects, we recommend ceasing use immediately and consulting with your doctor about alternative treatments. 

FAQ

Which Type of Glucosamine Is Best?

The most commonly used, and well-researched form of Glucosamine is Glucosamine Sulfate. While there are some Glucosamine HCl supplements available, we recommend avoiding Glucosamine in this form, as it is not nearly as well-researched as Sulfate. 

Another variation is Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM. These are supplements that also include methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). We decided to keep our list limited to basic supplements, which is why we didn’t recommend the best glucosamine chondroitin with MSM above. 

Also, we focused on capsule-based supplements for this list, but you can find liquid glucosamine chondroitin, and glucosamine chondroitin gummies as well, which may be better suited for your needs. 

Can I Take Glucosamine Chondroitin Every Day?

Yes, for most people looking to ease joint pain, it’s recommended you take Glucosamine and Chondroitin every day. Keep in mind that these supplements aren’t for everybody, as they are contraindicated against certain medications, and they may cause some serious side effects. On top of this, their effectiveness is still highly questionable. As a result, we recommend consulting with your doctor before use. 

Is Glucosamine With Chondroitin Better Than Just Glucosamine?

Because results in animal studies show more positive results when these ingredients are combined, they are almost exclusively sold and researched as a pair. With that being said, there is little evidence that taking these ingredients together will have much of a significant effect on joint pain at all. 

Is Turmeric Better Than Glucosamine?

Very preliminary research has shown that curcumin (a substance found in turmeric) led to some modest improvement in symptoms. However, this study was very small and unblinded, so it’s difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions from it. The main following question would be - for what? Overall, more research needs to be done to determine if turmeric is more effective at treating arthritis than glucosamine and chondroitin. There is strong evidence in human randomized controlled trials showing benefits of turmeric supplementation for example in reducing joint inflammation.

Conclusion

While the use of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint pain is highly debatable, you may still be interested in giving these supplements a shot. We recommend consulting with your doctor to see if these supplements are right for you. 

Our top pick for the most recommended glucosamine chondroitin supplement is NOW Foods, mainly for its clinically used doses and excellent brand reputation. We hope these Glucosamine Chondroitin supplement reviews can help you pick a product that works for you!

Have you ever tried chondroitin and glucosamine for joints? Have you noticed any pain relief from these supplements? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

References

  1. Vasiliadis HS, & Tsikopoulos K. “Glucosamine and chondroitin for the treatment of osteoarthritis.” World J Orthop; 8(1): 1-11 (2017)
  2. Health Encyclopedia, “Glucosamine”, University of Rochester Medical Center, https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&contentid=Glucosamine, (Accessed Nov. 25, 2023)
  3. Jorge A. Roman-Blas, et. al, “Combined Treatment With Condroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine Sulfate Shows No Superiority Over Placebo for Reduction of Joint Pain and Functional Impairment in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis”, Arthritis & Rheumatology, Vol. 69, No.1, 77-85 (2017).
  4. Department of Surgery, “Chondroitin”, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, https://froemkelab.med.nyu.edu/surgery/content?ChunkIID=21661, (Accessed Nov. 25, 2023)
  5. Monfort J, et. al, “Chondroitin sulphate for symptomatic osteoarthritis: critical appraisal of meta-analyses.” Curr Med Res Opin. May;24(5):1303-8. (2008).
  6. Wandel S et. al, “Effects of glucosamine, chondroitin, or placebo in patients with osteoarthritis of hip or knee: network meta-analysis.” BMJ. Sep 16;341. (2010).
  7. Beth Anne Fox, et. al, “Glucosamine Hydrochloride for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis Symptoms”, Clin Interv Aging, Dec; 2(4): 599-604. (2007).
  8. Harvard Health Publishing, “Do glucosamine and chondroitin really help arthritis pain?”, Harvard Medical School, https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/do-glucosamine-and-chondroitin-really-help-arthriti-pain#:~:text=If%20you're%20wondering%20whether,reasonable%20to%20keep%20using%20them  (Accessed Nov. 25, 2023)
  9. Carol Eustice, “How Much Glucosamine Chondroitin Should You Take”, Very Well Health, https://www.verywellhealth.com/glucosamine-chondroitin-arthritis-dosage-189818 (Accessed Nov. 25, 2023)

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Camila Parente Santos

Author: Camila Parente Santos
Sports Nutritionist

Experience: 7 years

Camila has worked as a Nutritionist for 7 years. In addition to being a nutritionist, she is an amateur weightlifting athlete for 2 years. Camila has experience at Flamengo’s football base and in a food supplement company and currently provides services at a clinic. At the moment she is coursing a postgraduate study in Sports Nutrition.

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