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Top 5 Glucosamine Chondroitin & MSM Supplements

Stiff & achy? This powerful joint supplement combo is changing the game — Learn how to choose the right one.

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When it comes to joint and mobility issues, glucosamine and chondroitin have been the go-to natural supplement for decades. Glucosamine does an excellent job protecting cartilage, while chondroitin helps lubricate and preserve the joint. Research suggests they may also support heart health too!

In fact, as many as 1 in 5 Americans take glucosamine and 1 in 10 take chondroitin. But with so many options on the market, we wanted to do the heavy lifting for you and let you in on some important information about how to find an effective glucosamine and chondroitin supplement. We’ll show you what to look for, what to avoid, and how to find a supplement that actually gives you a dose of real results.

Understanding Glucosamine and Chondroitin: How They Work Together to Ease Stiff Joints

Although cartilage is naturally produced by the body, it can wear down over time and cause our bones to grind together making it difficult, and quite painful, to move around. 

However, studies show that glucosamine supplementation can help slow cartilage from degrading within the joints. Additionally, it can help reduce swelling from active use and support a healthy range of motion. 

Combining glucosamine with chondroitin can help ensure your body is able to produce and maintain the cartilage it needs to cushion and protect your joints. Furthermore, ingredients like hyaluronic acid and MSM have also been shown to support healthy joint function and are included in many supplements. 

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For a more comprehensive joint-health supplement, look for a product that combines three or more of the synergistic ingredients listed below. 

What To Look For

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

MSM is a unique, naturally-occurring compound that both enhances the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin and helps protect your joint cartilage. 

Sulfate

There are many forms of glucosamine, including sulfate, hydrochloride, and N-acetyl, but they aren't all created equally. Glucosamine sulfate has had the best clinical results, and is  optimal for building and maintaining normal levels of cartilage.

Boswellia

Boswellia is a tree extract that can help ease occasional stiffness and discomfort. Look for a clinically studied form of Boswellia, such as AprèsFlex®, as they are generally more potent. 

Turmeric Curcumin

This spice provides an extra layer of joint support, especially for aches due to frequent use. For best results, look for a 95% standardized curcumin formulation. 

Hyaluronic Acid

Our bodies naturally produce this fluid to prevent joints from grinding. Supplementing hyaluronic acid has been shown to help decrease joint discomfort and improve flexibility.

Finding the right ingredients is the crucial first step to finding an effective supplement. Now that you know what to look for, here's a short list of things you should avoid. 

What Ingredients To Avoid:

Microcrystalline Cellulose

While vegetable cellulose is safe, make sure to steer clear of general “cellulose” as a common filler. Derived from wood pulp, it accumulates in our cells and can cause adverse side effects.

Magnesium Stearate

This additive is used to bind ingredients and make sure it doesn’t gum up the manufacturing machines. Over time, it can accumulate and become hazardous to your health. 

Soy Derivatives

Soy contains high levels of phytic acid, which depletes our bodies of vitamins and minerals. It's an “anti-nutrient” that cancels out the nutrients from our diet and supplementation.

Other Key Factors

Clinically Recommended Dosages

If you’re not experiencing benefits from your supplement, it’s likely because you’re not getting the proper, clinically-recommended dose. Simply finding a supplement that lists the above ingredients may not be enough. You’ll also want to make sure the label lists at least 1500 milligrams of Glucosamine Sulfate, 300 milligrams of Chondroitin Sulfate and 500 milligrams of MSM.

Generous Return Policy & Money-Back Guarantee

Most supplement brands will allow you to try them completely risk-free so that you can experience whether or not they're right for you. Search for a company that offers a comprehensive return policy.

Safe ingredients are critical for the results you want, but they aren't the only characteristics to look for on a joint health supplement label. There are other key factors we considered while picking out our top five products. 

The 5 Best Glucosamine Chondroitin & MSM Supplements On The Market

Based on our own extensive research, the metrics provided by our Smarter Reviews Ranking System, and consideration of numerous reviews by Smarter Shoppers just like you, we've compiled a list of what we've found to be the top five products in this category, on the market today.

 

1. MoveWell

hat
a bottle of medicine

Total Ranking

9.7/10

A+

Overall Grade

PROS

  • Potent dosages of Glucosamine and Chondroitin
  • AprèsFlex® Boswellia serrata
  • Highly bioavailable 95% curcumin
  • MSM
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • No binders or synthetic ingredients
  • 365-day money-back, product guarantee

CONS

  • Out of stock frequently
The Bottom Line

MoveWell ranks at the top of our list because of its potent formulation and increased bioavailability of its active ingredients, which helps provide effective results.


MoveWell’s potency surpasses our minimum guidelines with 1500mg of glucosamine, 600mg of chondroitin and 600mg of MSM. Their formula contains powerful dosages of Hyaluronic Acid and AprèsFLEX® Boswellia to help ease joint discomfort.

The company provides a no-questions-asked, 365-day, money-back guarantee that ensures a high quality product with complete transparency. Overall, MoveWell is our #1 pick.

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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2. Gc+

hat
a bottle of hot sauce

Total Ranking

9.2/10

A-

Overall Grade

PROS

  • Meets minimum dosage requirements
  • Vegetable Capsules
  • Clinically-studied Boswellin® Super
  • Dairy-, Soy- and Gluten-Free
  • Extremely popular, with positive reviews 

CONS

    • No name brand recognition
The Bottom Line

Gc+ Glucosamine and Chondroitin by Essential Elements is formulated with highly-concentrated extracts of glucosamine and clinically-studied Boswellin® Super for increased effectiveness.


The supplement delivers a powerful 500mg of MSM to aid in joint relief, boost mobility, and promote optimal quality of life. Customers not only reported a decrease in joint soreness and an increase in movement and flexibility, but were also thrilled with their risk-free, 365-day money-back guarantee.


The company uses only the highest quality, science-backed ingredients, but offers their supplements and an incredibly affordable price. We were also excited to see they recently opened a store on Amazon, which makes ordering with them quick and easy--making them the obvious choice for our #2 spot.

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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3. Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM

number
a white bottle of cleaning product

Total Ranking

8.9/10

B+

Overall Grade

PROS

  • Potent serving of glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • MSM
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

CONS

  • No HLA
  • No turmeric
  • Contains microcrystalline cellulose & magnesium stearate
The Bottom Line

Doctor's Best Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM is a good supplement that is just short of being great — it lacks turmeric, and contains fillers (microcrystalline cellulose and magnesium stearate).


Otherwise, it's a popular and generally effective joint health supplement. It's formulated with the big 3 — glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM — but fails to include hyaluronic acid.


Customers did like Doctor's Best for its noted acute pain relieving effects and slight joint improvements. However, some also mentioned mild stomach upset. With all that in mind, we decided to put Doctor's Best at #3 on our list. 

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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4. Move Free

hat
packaged goods

Total Ranking

8.2/10

B-

Overall Grade

PROS

  • Contains hyaluronic acid
  • Potent dose of MSM
  • Potent dose of glucosamine

CONS

    • Low dose of chondroitin
    • No boswellia extract
    • No turmeric
    • Contains microcrystalline cellulose & magnesium stearate
The Bottom Line

Schiff’s Move Free contains a blend of our big 3 — glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. They have a reputable brand, but unfortunately their major downside is the fillers.  

Move Free is not gluten-free and contains several fillers, such as micromicrocrystalline cellulose and magnesium stearate. They are also in tablet form, which may be difficult to swallow for some people. 


While a majority of the reviews were positive for this supplement, some customers did complain that they did not see any results after taking it. Overall, Move Free does use the ingredients we like, but falls short on effectiveness and quality compared to the other products on this list.

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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5. Glucosamine Chondroitin

number
a white and red can of food

Total Ranking

7.9/10

C+

Overall Grade

PROS

  • Includes potent dose of glucosamine chondroitin
  • Decent price point

CONS

  • No MSM
  • No turmeric
  • No hyaluronic acid
  • Large, hard-to-swallow tablets
The Bottom Line

Kirkland Signature’s Glucosamine Chondroitin is a barebones yet potent formulation of only glucosamine and chondroitin, without the additional ingredients we like, such as MSM, turmeric, or hyaluronic acid.


This formulation lacks a lot of ingredients... but for the two ingredients that matter the most it comes with potent dosages.


It’s also worth pointing out that while many customers left favorable reviews, there were some who complained about the large pill size and difficulty taking this product

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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CITATIONS

  1. Bruyere, Olivier. Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate as Therapeutic Agents. https://news.gallup.com/poll/224336/eight-americans-afflicted-stress.aspx.
  2. Hathcock N., John. Risk assessment for glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273230006001383.
  3. https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Product-innovations/ApresFlex-R-for-Healthy-Joints-Connective-Tissues
  4. https://examine.com/supplements/boswellia-serrata/
  5. http://www.plthealth.com/products/apresflex
  6. https://examine.com/supplements/methylsulfonylmethane/