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 of restoring cartilage and chondroitin helps lubricate and preserve the joint. They're extremely popular 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 and experience the quality of life we’re used to.

However, studies show that glucosamine supplementation can slow cartilage from degrading within the joints. It’s a powerful ingredient that has also been shown to help reduce swelling, provide extra relief and increase range of motion for those suffering from osteoarthritis. By also combining it with chondroitin, it can help ensure your body is able to produce and maintain the cartilage it needs.

What Else To Look For

Boswellia

Boswellia is a tree extract that moderates our bodies' inflammatory response, helping ease joint discomfort. Clinically-studied Boswelia extractions offer even greater support for joint mobility and comfort. Look for supplements with a clinically-studied Boswelia extract like Apresflex.

Turmeric Curcumin

When combined with glucosamine and chondroitin, this spice provides powerful support for achy joints and bones. Make sure your supplement contains turmeric's highly-effective 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.

 Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

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

These Ingredients May Protect Against Health Risks

Glucosamine and chondroitin may help protect you from age-related cardiovascular health problems, according to a study by National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.7

The study found that individuals taking glucosamine and chondroitin had significantly fewer markers of cellular stress in their blood, which may have made them less likely to experience certain health risks.

What Ingredients to Avoid


Microcrystalline Cellulose  

While vegetable cellulose is considered safe, make sure to steer clear of general “cellulose” as a common filler used in food and supplements. It’s a substance derived from wood pulp that accumulates in our cells over time as we ingest more and causes dangerous side-effects, such as inflammation and severe allergic reactions.


Magnesium Stearate

This additive is used to help bind ingredients together and lubricate the supplement so it doesn’t gum up when running through the manufacturing machines. Magnesium stearate can become toxic and in some cases, it can even compromise your immune system.


Soy Derivatives  

Soy contains high levels of phytic acid, a harmful substance that depletes our bodies of essential vitamins and minerals. Some even call it the “anti-nutrient” due to its ability to cancel out the nutrients we receive from a healthy diet and supplementation.

Other Key Factors

Taking all of the attributes listed above into consideration, we've boiled down a list of four key characteristics you should always look for in a great glucosamine and chondroitin supplement. Try to seek out all of these qualities when shopping:

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. 

Avoid Amazon Reviews

Millions of Americans look to Amazon reviews before purchasing their products, but most don’t realize that up to 60% of Amazon reviews are written by individuals paid to leave positive feedback. Risking your health with reviews that are likely false is too dangerous a game to play when you’re choosing an ingestible supplement.

The 5 Best Glucosamine and Chondroitin 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.