June 5

Best Joint Supplements for Bodybuilding 2020


Optimize your joints and mobility for enhanced flexibility, comfort, and performance.

All of exercise performance quite literally hinges on joint performance.

Though bodybuilding primarily emphasizes the growth and maintenance of large muscle groups, it is the smaller connective tissues—our joints, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, etc.—that ultimately determine the success of a bodybuilder’s workout regimen.

Which is why a joint support supplement can be a genuine game-changer when it comes to long-term strength and muscle gains.

But who does a joint support supplement benefit? Anyone with joints, really—the wide range of lifestyles encumbered by joint concerns include:

  • Strength Trainers: lifting heavy weights risks tweaking both skeletal muscle and connective tissues, limiting gym-time and gains.
  • Endurance Athletes: long-distance running and similar endurance activities gradually wear on knees, hips, ankles, and back.
  • Professionals: from sitting at a desk-job to undergoing repetitive manual labor, the wear-and-tear of work significantly impacts joint health.
  • Tech-Heads: the emphasis on “ergonomic” working environment is designed to combat the connective tissue strain brought by texting, typing, etc.
  • Active 55+ Year-Olds: age-related joint pain and mobility issues significantly affect quality of life for virtually all lifestyles.

Many factors involved in both active and inactive lifestyles contribute to joint pain and achy movements, gradually limiting your athletic performance and mobility.

Even if you’re in your youthful prime and performing cartwheels around the competition, you’re not totally safe from joint pain. Eventually, achy, creaky joints catch up with everyone, especially heavy weight-lifting bodybuilders.

Taken daily, an effective joint support supplement can both soothe current joint discomfort and bolster your resilience against potential future aches and pains. And, in this guide, we cover the best formula for the job, the Best Joint Supplements for Bodybuilding.

Here it is, folks:

Top Joint Support Supplement for Bodybuilding:
Performance Lab® Flex

The best all-in-one joint support supplement for bodybuilding, Performance Lab® Flex stacks an all-natural complex of joint-soothing compounds and botanicals in a clean, vegan formula—completely free from harsh synthetics and artificial additives.

Performance Lab® Flex works by:

  • Promoting faster, longer-lasting joint relief with all-natural compounds and patented, well-researched botanical extracts.
  • Nourishing cartilage and connective tissues to help ameliorate joint degradation and maintain high-performance joint health.
  • Optimizing joint-lubricating synovial fluid for a smoother, more comfortable range of motion conducive to high-intensity training.
  • Supporting cushy, well-hydrated cartilage to help maintain joint shock absorption against exercise-related wear-and-tear.

Curated with natural ingredients delivered in all-natural NutriCaps® capsules, Performance Lab® Flex is the cleanest flex support stack for health-conscious bodybuilders.

Click Here for the lowest price on PerformanceLab.com

Formula Analysis

  • CurcuWIN® Turmeric, 250 mg
  • AprèsFlex® Boswellia Serrata, 100 mg
  • Glucosamine Sulfate 2KCL, 500 mg
  • Mythocondro® Chondroitin Sulfate, 100 mg
  • OptiMSM® Methylsulfonylmethane, 100 mg
  • NutriGenesis® Strontium+, 300 mcg

Performance Lab® Flex stacks ultramodern nutraceuticals to soothe, protect, lubricate, and nourish joints for enhanced high-intensity performance.

Though all Flex ingredients improve joint health and flexibility, they each work via distinct bio-pathways. Generally, the formula can be split into the following two categories:

  1. Soothing Botanicals for Natural Joint Comfort: AprèsFlex® Boswellia serrata + CurcuWIN® Curcumin—two extensively researched herbs that have been used for centuries to ease joint pain, Boswellia serrata and curcumin (Turmeric) help minimize joint-destructive oxidative stress and inflammation, leading to improvements in joint stiffness, flexion, and overall functional performance.
  2. Maintenance Support for Healthy Joint Structure: in addition to the botanical support, Flex supplies the joint-building block trio Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM, one of the most research-backed stacks for joint health, plus the joint-supportive mineral Strontium, as nature-identical NutriGenesis®, for an additional boost on strength and renewal over time.

What’s more, Performance Lab® Flex’s formula is completely all-natural, vegan-friendly, eco-friendly, non-GMO, and soy-free—only powerful clean, green ingredients here.

Matching the formula’s cleanliness are Flex’s capsules: NutriCaps®, a patented capsule constructed out of fermented tapioca (pullulan).

Not only does this all-natural formula design allow for greater absorption and ingredient bioavailability, but Flex’s botanicals are easier on digestive health than the commonly used synthetic therapies.

For bodybuilders old and young, Performance Lab® Flex is your best supplement option for maintaining long-term joint health, performance, and flexibility.

Click Here for the lowest price on PerformanceLab.com

To read the full list of joint support supplements for bodybuilding, jump down to the Top 6 Joint Support Supplements for Bodybuilding.

Or continue reading to learn how a joint support supplement can help you maintain a comfy, flexible range of motion and boost your overall bodybuilding results.

Stay Flexible: The Key Pathways to Better Joint Health

One of the best ways to reduce joint pain severity: exercise.

As observed in a study on the effects of strengthening and aerobic exercises on patients with knee rheumatoid arthritis, aerobic exercise and strength training may improve:[3]

  • Functional and Walking Ability
  • Range of Motion
  • Joint Pain Relief

However, as many bodybuilders have also discovered, one of the best ways to increase joint paint severity: too much exercise.

This is especially true as muscle growth and strength gains begin to really take a toll on joint health and connective tissue integrity, especially in the shoulders, elbows, lumbar spine, and knee regions.[4] After all, increasing your max squat by 150 pounds isn’t accompanied by a comparable increase in 150 pounds body weight.

An increase in strength allows you to lift heavier weights; and, yet, lifting heavier weights adds a greater concentration of stress and strain on your body, namely on your joints, tendons, and ligaments.

This is why adding a joint support supplement to your daily routine can significantly help protect and promote joint health in the face of high-intensity exercise. But as Open Health Tools has found, it’s important to do your research and analyze the ingredients in all supplements to ensure its effectiveness.

An effective joint stack works through the following key pathways to bolster your joint health and flexibility:

Connective Tissue Protection

An effective joint supplement offers significant joint protection advantages by combating tissue-damaging free radicals (oxidative stress) and enzymes that eat away at cartilage. The two main enzymes to look out for include:

  • 5-LOX: a member of the lipoxygenase enzyme family, 5-LOX activates inflammatory responses that spike with aging and deteriorate cartilage tissue.[5]
  • MMP: or matrix metalloproteinase, a group of enzymes known to weaken collagen and connective tissue strength and integrity.[6]

In reducing exercise-related oxidative stress and age-related spikes in 5-LOX and MMP, joint support supplements help protect against cartilage and connective tissue damages.

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Joint Lubrication

Straight bone-on-bone action does not feel good. For the same reason that cars need oil to keep all their engine parts nice and lubricated, our joints require synovial fluids to prevent painful bone-on-bone friction. And natural joint support supplements can assist with the production and maintenance of said lubricant.

Synovial fluid, or simply synovia, is a non-Newtonian liquid, meaning that this fluid ignores Newton’s law of viscosity, which considers viscosity to be constant independent of stress or added force.[7] As a non-Newtonian liquid, synovia’s viscosity changes under varying degrees of force to either be more solid or more liquid—and it’s this variability that allows synovia to simultaneously cushion the joint while also reducing friction during movement.

Tendon and Ligament Resilience

Connective tissues require nutrients just as much as, say brain tissue or muscle tissue. (Maybe not “as much,” considering that the brain is more important than the elbow, but you catch our drift.) Which is why much of tendon and ligament resilience depends upon nutrient status.

Supplementing building-block joint nutrients required for the formation and maintenance of connective tissues may help keep your joints well-nourished and all-around more resilient against future aches and pains.

Cartilage Shock Absorption

In addition to synovial fluid, cartilage itself provides a necessary degree of shock absorption. As a soft, cushy tissue, articular cartilage distributes compressive loads in joints and transfers them to the much sturdier underlying bone. However, a decrease in cartilage health can detrimentally impact both joint and bone structure, resulting in greater stiffness and risk of fracture.[8] This explains why changes in cartilage health and structure can significantly impact your quality of life.

By assisting with cartilage regeneration and hydration, joint support supplements help keep cartilage thick, cushy, and absorbent.

Bone Strength

Bone strength and mineral density also play significant roles in flexibility, mobility, and joint-end integrity. This overlaps with the importance of cartilage, which facilitates the distribution of shock and compressive loads to avoid harmful joint compression. Strontium, in particular, is a key joint-and-bone mineral, due to this mineral’s stimulation of osteoblasts (bone-building cells) and inhibition of osteoclasts (bone-breakdown cells).

The Relationship Between Sleep and Joint Pain

The relationship between sleep and joint pain cuts both ways, as demonstrated by clinical research:

Sleep Deprivation Exacerbates Pain.

In 2012, a group of researchers measured subjective and objective reports of sleep, mood symptoms, and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis to find significant evidence of “an exaggerated increase in symptoms of mood and pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis after sleep loss, along with an activation of rheumatoid arthritis-related joint pain.”[9]

Pain Disrupts Sleep Quality – using the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, a group of researchers examined the association between joint pain and sleep disturbances, finding that “sleep disturbance […] is mediated by joint pain and limitation due to pain.”[10]

Sleep deprivation worsens joint pain, which in turn worsens sleep quality.

The two, sleep deprivation and joint pain, are concomitant, which is why sleep supplements that target both sleep quality and joint health are some of the best investments a bodybuilder can make.

But again, you need to keep a close eye on the supplement facts labels of sleep aids too; sites such as The Big Sleuth have reviewed natural sleep aids such as Nytol in depth to help consumers know all the details.

Stack Flex with Performance Lab® Sleep

Gains and recovery don’t occur in the gym.

They happen overnight, while you’re asleep in bed (or someone else’s bed, or wherever it is you’re sleeping these days).

The same applies to joint recovery: sleep is key for tissue repair, whether we’re talking skeletal muscle tissue or connective tissue.

Which is why Performance Lab® Sleep is so effective for joint recovery.

However, the issue cuts both ways: joint health is key to sleep quality.

Fortunately, Performance Lab® Sleep simultaneously benefits both joint health and sleep quality with its use of CherryPURE®, a natural Montmorency tart cherry extract that supplies:

  • Melatonin – a not the usual “synthetic” melatonin but a standardized extract of the natural stuff; and at a minimally effective dosage, too, so that the nighttime drowsiness doesn’t overstay its welcome come morning time.
  • Fruit Antioxidants – in addition to melatonin, Montmorency tart cherries supply anthocyanin antioxidants, a class of antioxidant compounds that help you achieve better sleep by soothing achy muscle tissue and joints.[1]

Superior to standard, synthetic melatonin supplements, Performance Lab® CherryPURE® benefits both sleep quality and joint health for greater athletic recovery and performance.

In 2016, a group of researchers found CherryPURE® Montmorency tart cherry extract to be effective at improving acute endurance exercise performance, leading the researchers to the conclusion that “Montmorency powdered tart cherries surrounding endurance challenge attenuated markers of muscle catabolism, reduced immune and inflammatory stress, better maintained redox balance, and increased performance in aerobically trained individuals.”[2]

Additionally, Performance Lab® Sleep stacks L-tryptophan, as TryptoPure®, for stress-relieving sleep support, and NutriGenesis® Magnesium, a probiotic-cultivated magnesium form that helps replenish magnesium levels lost to mineral-sweating exercise to help combat sleep-disruptive muscle twitches and involuntary limb movements.

All-in-all, Performance Lab® Sleep is the best sleep + joint support stack for natural overnight recovery, repair, and restoration.

Supplement Facts: Magnesium+ (as Magnesium Bisglycinate, Magnesium Taurate, NutriGenesis® Magnesium), CherryPURE® Whole Montmorency Tart Cherry (50:1 concentrated ratio), TryptoPure® L-Tryptophan

Get the Best Deal on Performance Lab® Sleep Here

To read the full list of joint support supplements for bodybuilding, jump down to the Top 6 Joint Support Supplements for Bodybuilding.

Or continue reading to learn how a joint support supplement can help you maintain a comfy, flexible range of motion and boost your overall bodybuilding results.

Top 6 Joint Support Supplements for Bodybuilding

Joints are complex, which is why the Best Joint Support Supplement for Bodybuilding requires a complex stack of ingredients. Here are the top 6 individual joint support ingredients:

#1) Boswellia Serrata

Also known as Indian frankincense, Boswellia serrata is a desert tree plant that produces a gum resin high in bioactive boswellic acids. Of those acids, AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11 keto-β-boswellic acid) has been garnering a reputation as a “joint support” compound, due to this acid’s well-documented abilities to:[11]

  • Modulate the immune response to protect and soothe joints against the painful side effects of excess inflammation.
  • Block 5-LOX activity, lowering the risk of cartilage damage associated with this enzyme’s cartilage-eating bioactivities.
  • Limit matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), the enzyme that, similar to 5-LOX, weakens joint health by damaging connective tissues.
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By combatting inflammation, Boswellia serrata extract helps acutely soothe joint paint while protecting against the accumulation of connective tissue degradation.

One notable pilot study from 2019 observed the effects of Boswellia serrata extract on patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. The results found significant reductions in potential inflammatory markers typically associated with OA, leading the researchers to the conclusion that “biologically active constituents of BSE (Boswellia serrata extract), namely, AKBBA and BBA, act synergistically to exert anti-inflammatory/anti-arthritic activity showing improvement in physical and functional ability and reducing the pain and stiffness.”[12]

Best Boswellia Serrata for Bodybuilding: AprèsFlex®

An upgrade over standard Boswellia serrata, AprèsFlex® offers a more potent Boswellia serrata extract, delivering this herb at a standardized potency of 20% AKBA. Additionally, AprèsFlex® has a 52% greater absorption rate than plain Boswellia for faster-acting, more reliable joint soothing benefits.

#2) Curcumin

The famous Ayurvedic spice, turmeric is a bright-yellow superfood that gets its bright yellow color from plant pigments called Curcuminoids. As the primary curcuminoid, curcumin is the main turmeric constituent of interest, especially where joint health is concerned.

Curcumin is believed to support joint health and flexibility by:[13,14]

  1. Combatting harmful free radicals (oxidative stress)
  2. Regulating COX-2, a pro-inflammatory enzyme
  3. Protecting cartilage against MMP enzyme activity
  4. Supporting synthesis of collagen and other joint proteins
  5. Reducing advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) that stiffen connective tissues

Much of turmeric’s “superfood” status is owed to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin, a bioactive constituent that assists with joint health, cognitive longevity, and more.

The combination of curcumin and Boswellia serrata extract seems particularly beneficial in reducing joint pain, as one placebo-controlled study observed that “Twelve-week use of curcumin complex or its combination with boswellic acid reduces pain-related symptoms in patients with OA [osteoarthritis].”[15]

Essentially, by targeting the same pro-flexibility pathway via unique bioactivities, Boswellia serrata and curcumin work better together than they would by themselves, adding a degree of synergy to their joint-boosting bio-benefits.

Best Curcumin for Bodybuilding: CurcuWIN®

Turmeric has a notoriously poor absorption rate, which is why it’s often recommended to pair turmeric with black pepper, which enhances nutrient absorption. However, CurcuWIN® overcomes this typical turmeric hiccup by supplying a curcumin that’s 46 times more absorbable than raw, standard curcumin. CurcuWIN® is also standardized to a potent 20% curcuminoids in turmeric-identical ratios for a greater turmeric-kick per serving.

#3) Glucosamine Sulfate 2KCl

Naturally found in tissues surrounding, cushioning, and supporting the joints, including cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and synovial fluids, Glucosamine is an amino sugar that partially comprises the structures of chitosan and chitin.

As we age, our glucosamine levels drop, which contributes to the gradual breakdown of our joints. This helps explain why glucosamine supplementation is such an effective strategy for mitigating joint pain and breakdown.

Glucosamine’s main bio-mechanisms include supporting:[16,17]

  • Building-block proteins used to form connective tissues
  • Chondrocyte cells that repair and regenerate cartilage
  • Synovial fluid for smooth, well-lubricated range of motion

Glucosamine is typically stacked with chondroitin to improve joint health, due to their similar restorative properties on cartilage health and chondrocyte cells.

Look for Vegan Glucosamine: though most supplementary glucosamine is sourced from shellfish, there is a cleaner glucosamine sulfate form sourced from corn. This cleaner vegetable-derived glucosamine begins with the fermentation of corn, but no corn product is present in the final glucosamine sulfate ingredient.

#4) Chondroitin Sulfate

A complex of large molecules weaved through the extracellular matrix of cartilage, Chondroitin possesses a strong negative charge that attracts and sustains water in cartilage tissue. This hydrating effect benefits joint health by promoting:[18]

  • Joint hydration and lubrication
  • Cartilage shock-absorption performance
  • Healthy collagen production
  • Chondrocyte cell activity, a regulatory step in cartilage growth and repair

Similar to glucosamine, chondroitin is naturally present in our joints and, like glucosamine, changes in concentration and bio-activity with age.

The protective actions of chondroitin can be explained by a dual bio-mechanism: (1) the stimulation of the anabolic process in cartilage metabolism, and (2) the delay of inflammation-induced catabolic processes in cartilage metabolism.[19]

Together, chondroitin and glucosamine help optimize cartilage tissue’s anabolic reparative and regenerative processes while minimizing its catabolic breakdown activities for optimal joint cushion and comfort.

Best Chondroitin Sulfate for Bodybuilding: Mythocondro®

As a natural constituent of cartilage tissue, chondroitin is often sourced from animal origins, including pork byproducts, shark cartilage, and bovine connective tissues. Mythocondro® has changed the game up with a non-animal chondroitin sulfate produced by a patented fermentation-based manufacturing process. Mythocondro® has a constant charge density and molecular mass parameters, like in human synovial fluid, and has been designed to boost chondroitin bioavailability by 43% for superior joint support.

#5) Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), otherwise known as dimethyl sulfone (DMSO2) or methyl sulfone, is an organic structural nutrient often stacked with glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health.

As a key structural nutrient required to form and maintain collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, and other proteins that comprise cartilage and connective tissues, MSM is a “building block” supplement for joint health that’s smart to take in combination with the above-listed ingredients.

Viewed as a “quality of life” compound, MSM may improve various measures of health and performance, including:

  • Reductions in Joint and Muscle Pain
  • Protection Against Oxidative Stress
  • Boost in Post-Exercise Recovery Speed
  • Reductions in Inflammatory Markers
  • Heightened Immunity

And more. The advantages of supplementing MSM are many.

As demonstrated in several clinical trials, MSM’s pain-reducing, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant bio-activities qualify MSM as a useful supplement for exercise-related pain management.

For example, one pilot study on the effects of MSM on exercise-induced muscle and joint pain observed lower pain levels in the MSM group as compared to placebo, suggesting that MSM supplementation may attenuate “post-exercise muscle and joint pain at clinically significant levels compared to placebo.”[20]

Best Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) for Bodybuilding: OptiMSM®

The purest and only GRAS-designated MSM, OptiMSM® is the go-to MSM for joint and overall health support. OptiMSM® is made in the USA with a proprietary, multi-stage distillation process that yields superior purity and higher quality MSM than your standard, cheap MSM ingredient form.

#6) Montmorency Tart Cherries

Here’s your new secret “X factor” performance enhancer: Montmorency tart cherries, specifically Montmorency tart cherry extract, which supplies potent, concentrated amounts of:[21]

  • Natural Melatonin – a superior melatonin form over inferior, synthetic melatonin, which tends to unpredictably vary in potency and bio-efficacy.
  • Anthocyanin Antioxidants – a unique class of fruit antioxidants that boost post-exercise muscle and joint recovery for a healthier, smoother return to the gym.
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There are a number of reasons why bodybuilders should add a sleep support supplement to their daily (or, rather, nightly) stack; however, bodybuilders shouldn’t just take any ol’ sleep supplement, especially if that any ol’ sleep supplement uses synthetic melatonin.

Synthetic melatonin in unnaturally high doses may help with sleep onset, yet they tend to overstay their welcome, leading to heightened grogginess and brain fog throughout the next day.

Additionally, synthetic melatonin lacks the antioxidant benefits of tart cherries’ anthocyanin content, which uniquely benefits bodybuilder health and fitness.

In a literature review and commentary on tart cherry juice research, the benefits of tart cherry juice on pain and strength recovery, as well as on blood markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, were compiled and assessed. At the end of the review, the researchers found enough evidence to conclude that “for an athlete who has already peaked in training and looking to improve recovery and faster return to competition, [tart cherries] may be beneficial.”[22]

Best Montmorency Tart Cherries for Bodybuilding: CherryPURE®

Concentrating Montmorency tart cherry’s bioactive constituents to a potent 50:1 standardized extract, CherryPURE® is one of the best sleep aids and joint support supplements for bodybuilding. Taken nightly to improve sleep quality and joint tissue restoration, CherryPURE® can drastically improve the relationship between sleep and joint pain, as well as many other measures of health and fitness related to sleep quality. For point of reference on the quality of this extract, 500 mg CherryPURE® is equivalent to 25 g raw Montmorency tart cherries.


Stacked with Performance Lab® Sleep, a tart cherry-powered sleep formula for optimal sleep quality and antioxidant joint recovery, Performance Lab® Flex is the best all-in-one flexibility-enhancing formula for athletes of all types—from anaerobic bodybuilders to endurance exercisers.

A healthy lifestyle hinges on healthy joints. By supporting long-term joint health, Performance Lab® Flex may help you sustain a long-term health and fitness routine towards achieving your longer-range potential.

Performance Lab® Flex’s soothing botanicals and joint-building compounds provide you relief today to help you bounce back tomorrow with a feel-good range of flexibility and mobility.

You don’t have to wait until the pain sets in before you decide to take care of your joints. Whether through joint-supportive exercise or a joint-healthy supplement stack, taking care of your connective tissues may help you keep it all together in the long run.

Don’t sweat the small stuff—the tendons, ligaments, cartilage—just leave that to Performance Lab® Flex, while you focus on hitting big-time PRs with your big-ass muscles.

[Click Here for the lowest price on PerformanceLab.com]


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  2. Levers K et al. Effects of powdered Montmorency tart cherry supplementation on acute endurance exercise performance in aerobically trained individuals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016; 13: 22.
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  11. Siddiqui MZ. Boswellia Serrata, A Potential Antiinflammatory Agent: An Overview. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2011 May-Jun; 73(3): 255-261.
  12. Majeed M et al. A pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a novel Boswellia serrata extract in the management of osteoarthritis of the knee. Phytother Res. 2019 May; 33(5): 1457-1468.
  13. Daily JW et al. Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. J Med Food. 2016 Aug 1; 19(8): 717-729.
  14. Chin KY. The spice for joint inflammation: anti-inflammatory role of curcumin in treating osteoarthritis. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2016; 10: 3029-3042.
  15. Haroyan A et al. Efficacy and safety of curcumin and its combination with boswellic acid in osteoarthritis: a comparative, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018; 18: 7.
  16. Black C et al. The clinical effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements in slowing or arresting progression of osteoarthritis of the knee: a systematic review and economic evaluation. Health Technol Assess. 2009 Nov; 13(52): 1-148.
  17. Nakatani S et al. Glucosamine regulates differentiation of a chondrogenic cell line, ATDC5. Biol Pharm Bull. 2007 Mar; 30(3): 433-8.
  18. Henrotin Y et al. Chondroitin Sulfate in the Treatment of Osteoarthritis: From in Vitro Studies to Clinical Recommendations. Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis. 2010 Dec; 2(6): 335-348.
  19. Jerosch J. Effects of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate on Cartilage Metabolism in OA: Outlook on Other Nutrient Partners Especially Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Int J Rheumatol. 2011; 2011: 969012.
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