Absorbability of Chondroitin Sulfate

Regarding the question of absorbability of CS and its molecule size, please consider these references summarized here:  "Pharmacokinetic studies performed on humans and experimental animals after oral administration of chondroitin sulfate revealed that it can be absorbed orally. Chondroitin sulfate shows first-order kinetics up to single doses of 3,000 mg. (1,2,3,4) Multiple doses of 800 mg in patients with osteoarthritis do not alter the kinetics of chondroitin sulfate. The bioavailability of chondroitin sulfate ranges from 15% to 24% of the orally administered dose. More particularly, on the articular tissue, Ronca et al. (5)  reported that chondroitin sulfate is not rapidly absorbed in the gastro-intestinal tract and a high content of labeled chondroitin sulfate is found in the synovial fluid and cartilage."  Further, “chondroitin sulfate (CAS 24967-93-9, CS) is a natural polymer of a disaccharide consisting of glucuronic acid and N-acetyl glucosamine which is sulfated either in the 4 or 6 position. It is administered orally as a slow acting drug to treat osteoarthritis, though there is much debate about its effectiveness and its mode of action, given that macromolecules are not normally absorbed in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. … This study shows that small amounts of CS may cross the upper intestine intact, but in the distal GI tract the molecule is effectively degraded, presumably by the enzymes in the intestinal flora.” (6) Another study explains that their research “strengthens the previous studies in man and experimental animals (2,3,4,8,9,10,11,12,13,14) by confirming that molecules possessing high molecular mass and charge density can be absorbed orally.” (7) Both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are bioavailable after oral dosing. (15)

Is there varying research on this topic? Yes. Has research evolved over the years about this topic? Yes. Has understanding of the absorption of molecules like chondroitin sulfate been better clarified? Yes. Know that in Disc & Joint Pain Relief Complex, perna canaliculus is the source of chondroitin sulfate reported by Welburn to be the most potent source of glycosaminoglycan with anti-inflammatory properties as well as ability to repair degraded bone, increase absorption and replacement of calcium, and rebuild damaged bone, cartilage, tendon, ligament and disc. (16)

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