Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are becoming popular for means of combating joint pain and stiffness. (1) Given this supplement hasn’t been popular or accepted in the scientific community for very long, it’s not as well established as many vitamin supplements. Due to the relatively new research, it can be hard to know which products are worth your money.
The two ingredients you typically find in these supplements — glucosamine, which is usually sourced from shellfish, and chondroitin, which is from cartilage — may have promise when dosed appropriately. They can potentially help those who suffer from joint pain as they both may increase collagen and reduce inflammation. This means glucosamine and chondroitin supplements may be especially great for those who suffer from osteoarthritis. (2) We came up with a list of some of the top glucosamine supplements on the market to help you figure out which one may be best for you.
Best Glucosamine Supplements
Best Glucosamine Supplement: Physio Flex Pro
Best Simple Formula: Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM
Best Glucosamine with Vitamin D: Move Free Vitamin D3, MSM, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin
Highest Dosage Glucosamine: Horbäach Glucosamine Chondroitin with Turmeric & MSM
Highest MSM Glucosamine Supplement: Zenesis Labs Glucosamine Sulfate Chondroitin MSM
Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended to diagnose, prevent, and/or treat health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. Individual needs for vitamins and minerals will vary.
Best Glucosamine Supplement
We wanted our top pick to have an impressive ingredient list. This pick includes 2000mcg selenium, 500mg of glucosamine, and 100mg of chondroitin, which checked pretty much all of our boxes.
Physio Flex Pro
Physio Flex Pro is a super stacked joint supplement and aims to promote mobility, flexibility, lubrication, and strength in joints. In addition to the 500 milligrams of glucosamine and 100 milligrams of chondroitin sulfate per two-capsule serving, this supplement also includes 250mg of ginger extract and 200mg of turmeric.
It includes 2000mcg of selenium as well, which is known as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and may be good for reducing joint pain. (3) On top of that, you’ll find 300mg of bromelian and 100mg of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), which has been suggested to make chondroitin and glucosamine even more effective for combating osteoarthritis. (4) The additional f 10mg of bioperine, or black pepper fruit extract, is important as it may make the other ingredients more absorbable by the body.
If you opt for a one month supply of Physio Flex Pro it will cost you around $2.00 per serving, which is more expensive than some other options on the market, but this list of anti-inflammatory and joint health-boosting ingredients make it more robust and multifaceted than most others, as well. They also have bulk buy options that go up to a five month supply, which would reduce the price a little more if you’re working on a tight budget.
Physio Flex Pro Total Joint Support
Who Should Buy Physio Flex Pro
Those who value the addition of MSM, which is a well-known potential anti-inflammatory, will like the 100mg in this formula.
Anyone wanting a multifaceted joint supplement as this has ingredients that potentially reduce inflammation, promote flexibility, help with mobility, and reduce pain.
Folks who want a reasonable serving size as this supp requires just two pills a day.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Physio Flex Pro
Anyone looking for a pure glucosamine supplement will want to look elsewhere.
Folks who don’t enjoy taking two pills per serving.
Those who prefer powder can find a powdered supplement to stack on this list.
Anyone on a strict budget as this will cost you about $2.00 per serving if you only buy one month upfront.
Physio Flex Pro takes a multifaceted approach to combating joint pain through their robust ingredient list. Although this is a great joint supplement for anyone, it is also a solid pick for more active individuals who want to potentially reduce any inflammation in their joints after training, and garner some extra help with their recovery to get back in the gym faster.
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Best Simple Formula
Sometimes less is more. This is true for Doctor’s Best Glucosamine, which has six active ingredients without any of the fillers or extras to make sure you receive a healthy dose of glucosamine without the fluff.
Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM
Doctor’s Best provides a glucosamine supplement purchasable in either 120-,240-, or 360-capsule bottles. Each four-capsule serving provides 1,500 milligrams of glucosamine and 1,200 milligrams of chondroitin sulfate and is free of GMOs, soy, and gluten. The simple ingredient list is intended to promote joint function and flexibility, and the 1,000 milligrams of MSM per serving is purified through distillation.
The value of this particular supplement compared to other competitive options is the simplicity of the ingredient list. There aren’t any superfluous additions if you are primarily looking for some glucosamine. If you purchase the 120 capsule bottle, you’ll be paying the most at about $0.86 per serving. If you opt for the 360 capsule bottle, you’ll only be spending about $0.62 per serving.
Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM
Who Should Buy Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM
Those who want a glucosamine supplement with a short ingredient list.
Folks who would prefer to obtain their glucosamine in bulk.
Those who don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a glucosamine supplement. The bulk buy and short ingredient list put this product at a fair price point.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM
Anyone who wants a higher dose of glucosamine per serving.
People who would prefer having some additional ingredients like added vitamin D or hyaluronic acid.
Those who don’t enjoy taking pills will want to look elsewhere as this product suggests a four pill serving size.
If you are currently following a daily supplement regimen and your doctor has given you the green light to add glucosamine to it, this is a great option for those who don’t want to overcomplicate things. If the requirement of four capsules per serving doesn’t put you off, then seriously consider adding this to your cart.
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Best Glucosamine with Vitamin D
The main reason to choose this option over the rest of the field is suggested in its rank, and that’s the addition of 250 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin D.
Move Free Vitamin D3, MSM, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin
Each two-tablet serving provides 50 micrograms of vitamin D alongside 1,500 milligrams of glucosamine. You’ll also find 3.3 milligrams of hyaluronic acid, which may help with extra joint lubrication.
The additional vitamin D does not come without some concessions. This supplement has a slightly increased calorie count at 10 calories per serving, which is fairly unique compared to most calorie-free glucosamine supps. However, the price tag on this supplement is affordable at about $0.41 per serving, making it a reasonable option to get your glucosamine and vitamin D fix in one fell swoop.
Move Free Vitamin D3, MSM, Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Who Should Buy Move Free Vitamin D3, MSM, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin
Anyone who needs to sneak more vitamin D into their diet will like that this offers 250 percent of your RDI.
Folks who appreciate a serving size of only two tablets.
Those who don’t want to spend too much on their supplement will appreciate this price tag that sits at less than 50 cents per serving.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Move Free Vitamin D3, MSM, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin
People who don’t want their supplements to have any calories.
Those looking for a more pure glucosamine supplement.
This supplement is perfect for those who want to reap the possible benefits of adding a glucosamine supplement to their regimen while also tacking on an added dose of vitamin D — this supp offers a high dose of 250 times the RDI for vitamin D.
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Highest Dosage Glucosamine
If you’re looking for a supp that doesn’t skimp on the glucosamine dosage, look no further. This formula has a whopping 2,250mg of glucosamine per serving (compared to the 1,500mg market average), and it comes in at a low price.
Horbäach Glucosamine Chondroitin with Turmeric & MSM
For those looking to add a large amount of glucosamine to their supplement regimen, Horbäach has you covered. Each three-capsule serving contains their “advanced formula joint blend,” consisting of 2,250 milligrams of glucosamine and 1,800 milligrams of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). MSM has been suggested in studies to be an aid for joint pain, inflammation, and muscle pain. (5)
Additionally, the capsules offer 90 milligrams of vitamin C, which may benefit your immune system, and 267 milligrams of potassium, which is an essential mineral and an electrolyte. These capsules are lactose, GMO, wheat, and soy-free and exclude all artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Considering how high the glucosamine dose is, the price tag is noticeably lower than many of the competing options on the market at just $0.28 cents per serving.
Horbäach Glucosamine Chondroitin with Turmeric & MSM
Who Should Buy Horbäach Glucosamine Chondroitin with Turmeric & MSM
Those who want a very high dose of glucosamine per serving will like the 2,250mg present here.
Anyone who needs to keep their supplement spending down — this product costs less than 30 cents per serving.
Folks who are happy to have the extra vitamin C in their glucosamine supplement, which can help promote a healthy immune system.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Horbäach Glucosamine Chondroitin with Turmeric & MSM
Anyone who doesn’t need such a high glucosamine dose in a single serving.
People who would rather have Vitamin D instead of Vitamin C alongside their glucosamine.
With 60 servings per bottle, each capsule comes in at eight cents. That kind of value is undeniable compared to the rest of the field when looking strictly at glucosamine dose. If you are on the market for a dose this high, it would be pretty hard to argue against this option.
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Highest MSM Glucosamine Supplement
As you sift through all the glucosamine options on the market, this particular supplement will stand out for high MSM content, which may also aid in combating muscle and joint stiffness, as well as inflammation.
Zenesis Labs Glucosamine Sulfate Chondroitin MSM
Each five-capsule serving contains 2,000 milligrams of MSM with 1,500 milligrams of glucosamine, and 1,200 milligrams of chondroitin sulfate. Five capsules per serving is certainly a lot to take at once, and the financial cost to do so isn’t all that attractive.
However, the sheer amount of MSM provided in a product with such a short ingredient list is undeniable. The capsules include bovine gelatin, so if that would conflict with any dietary concerns, take note. Adding a free e-book with information about joint pain recovery is a nice addition to this product (and likely needed to offset the price compared to the rest of the market).
Zenesis Labs Glucosamine Sulfate Chondroitin MSM
Who Should Buy Zenesis Labs Glucosamine Sulfate Chondroitin MSM
Anyone who wants a very high dose of MSM per serving will like the 2,000mg here.
Those who want an ingredient list that contains no frills or fillers will like this pure list of ingredients.
Those who could find value in the guidance that may come from the included joint pain e-book here.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Zenesis Labs Glucosamine Sulfate Chondroitin MSM
People who need to keep supplement costs down. This is one of the more expensive options on the market.
Folks who are put off by a serving size of five capsules.
Vegans or those who don’t like to consume gelatin will want to avoid this supplement.
Want a high-MSM glucosamine supplement? You found it. You will have to reach deeper into your wallet, but judging from the short ingredient list and the lack of impurities, you will get what you pay for.
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What Are the Benefits of Glucosamine and Chondroitin?
These are two separate ingredients: glucosamine, which is derived from shellfish and may slightly delay the progression of osteoarthritis and relieve pain; and chondroitin, a chemical found primarily in joint cartilage. Some research indicates that this supplement may help to reduce pain and bone degradation caused by osteoarthritis. (6)(7)
A study published in Drugs & Aging in 2007 concluded, “there is compelling evidence that glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate may interfere with the progression of (osteoarthritis).” (8) It seems that chondroitin is more closely linked with reducing joint swelling. Glucosamine can help with pain and may interfere with osteoarthritis progression.
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How We Decided Our Picks
We spent time looking through various glucosamine products to decipher which ones were our favorites. We considered price, ingredient list, and dosage to build this list.
We picked out glucosamine supplements that ranged between around $0.20 and $0.60 per serving. Although glucosamine costs less on average than other supplements like multivitamins, price is still an important consideration, and the costs can add up if you are stocking up monthly.
One of the major factors that influences price is the ingredient list. An extensive ingredient list usually yields a higher price point, while a simpler ingredient list or a supplement with less quality ingredients will generally be at a lower price point. Although price is an important factor, integrity behind a product always comes first in our eyes — and in this list.
Ingredient list is another factor we considered when putting together this list. We picked some supps with simple ingredients and no extra frills, and we also chose some with a more extensive ingredient list to help meet the needs of all customers.
Image via Shutterstock/TORWAISTUDIO
Some of the picks are geared towards extras that may help meet specific needs — like additional vitamin D or vitamin C — while some are just geared towards a high dose of glucosamine. Rest assured, we picked a diversified list of supplements, so there should be something for everyone.
The amount of glucosamine present will vary formula to formula, as will the needs of the consumer. Most of these picks have 1,500mg of glucosamine in them, which is about average across the market. We have one pick that stands out from the rest with a higher dosage of around 2,250mg per serving, which could be a winning factor for some.
There are also several picks with dosages of other ingredients that may be enticing. Some of the picks contain chrondotritin, vitamins C and D, or MSM. We even have a pick that has added turmeric, which has been suggested in some studies to reduce inflammation (5). Whether you’re looking for a straight-forward hit of glucosamine, a more impressive dose of 2,250mg, or a high dose of vitamin D, there is a pick that’s right for you on this list.
What To Consider Before Buying
There are several factors to consider before adding glucosamine to your supplement stack. We expand on dosage, price, allergies and lifestyle choices, and formation below.
Dosage and Effectiveness
You’ll want to make sure that your glucosamine supplement has a dosage that meets your needs as a consumer. Research puts the most effective dose at a minimum of 1,500mg of glucosamine daily (9). Every pick on this list has at least 1,500mg of glucosamine per serving, while some have over 2,000mg.
Most of the studies around glucosamine have been done on glucosamine alone, but the studies that have been done on animals with glucosamine in combination with chondroitin seem to be more promising than those for glucosamine alone (9). It would be imperative to see human studies in order to make an effective call on effectiveness, but so far it seems these two supplements may be more powerful when taken synergistically.
The price on glucosamine is fairly reasonable across the board, but it is still an important factor when deciding which supp may be best for your lineup. Glucosamine ranges in price depending on additional ingredients and dosage. Our most expensive option on this list is about $0.62 per serving, but if that feels like more than you want to spend, there are options that cost far less that still pack a solid punch of glucosamine — you may just be more limited in additional ingredients.
In general, a robust ingredient list, the quality of the ingredients, and higher dosages may end up costing more. If it’s just glucosamine that you’re after, there are extremely simple straight-forward glucosamine supps on this list that come at an extremely affordable rate.
Allergies and Lifestyle
Allergies and your lifestyle are both very important factors to consider when it comes to glucosamine supplementation. Since glucosamine is sourced from shellfish, it is not a suitable supplement for vegans or vegetarians.
Image via Shutterstock/Farion_O
It is advised that those who suffer from shellfish allergies or those who keep Kosher should stay away from glucose supplements, as well. Although we have not tried any, there are options for shellfish-free glucosamine, but it is always best to check with your doctor before deciding to add any type of glucosamine to your supplement stack.
The formulations of our picks for glucosamine vary. Although most come in pill form, there are some picks that have a single-pill dose while some require five pills per dose. If pills aren’t your thing, you may want to opt for a serving size that’s one or two pills per serving or find a powder option.
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Studies have suggested that glucosamine may be a beneficial supplement to take if you suffer from joint pain and stiffness, osteoarthritis, or inflammation. (9) This list provides the framework for a few exceptional choices that range from simple formulas, glucosamine with extras like vitamin D, and some that are paired with other ingredients like chondroitin, which may maximize benefits. The toughest part about making it through this list is deciding which one is best designed to fit your needs.
With a handful of great choices at your disposal, you’ll just have to consider your lifestyle, your budget, the dosage you’re after, and how many pills you’re willing to take to make the best choice for yourself. Remember, it’s always a good idea to talk with your health care provider before committing to a new supplement. But once you have everything sorted, this list can be a great guide.
Will glucosamine help alleviate my joint pain?
It isn’t guaranteed that glucosamine will alleviate joint pain and stiffness; however, studies suggest that it may be a helpful aid when combating joint pain. (2) It is always best to consult with your healthcare provider if you think this supplement may be right for you or if you want to try it out to see if it can be an effective option for your joint pain.
How much glucosamine should I take daily?
The current recommendation for daily intake for joint relief is a minimum of 1,500mg a day. (9) This is the suggested amount to take for potentially relieving joint pain and inflammation. Every pick on this list has at least 1,500mg of glucosamine per serving, if not more.
How much will glucosamine cost me?
Glucosamine is a relatively inexpensive supplement compared to some other staples, like pre-workout or protein. If you suffer from inflammation, or joint pain and stiffness, glucosamine may be an inexpensive solution. Our picks on this list cost around $0.20 and $0.62 per serving.
Zhu X, Sang L, Wu D, Rong J, Jiang L. Effectiveness and safety of glucosamine and chondroitin for the treatment of osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Orthop Surg Res. 2018 Jul 6;13(1):170. doi: 10.1186/s13018-018-0871-5. PMID: 29980200; PMCID: PMC6035477.
Henrotin Y, Marty M, Mobasheri A. What is the current status of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis? Maturitas. 2014 Jul;78(3):184-7. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.04.015. Epub 2014 May 1. Erratum in: Maturitas. 2014 Dec;79(4):487. PMID: 24861964.
Rayman MP. Selenium and human health. Lancet. 2012 Mar 31;379(9822):1256-68. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61452-9. Epub 2012 Feb 29. PMID: 22381456.
Lubis AMT, Siagian C, Wonggokusuma E, Marsetyo AF, Setyohadi B. Comparison of Glucosamine-Chondroitin Sulfate with and without Methylsulfonylmethane in Grade I-II Knee Osteoarthritis: A Double Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. Acta Med Indones. 2017 Apr;49(2):105-111. PMID: 28790224.2014;72:137-176. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-800269-8.00009-9. PMID: 25081082.
Butawan M, Benjamin RL, Bloomer RJ. Methylsulfonylmethane: Applications and Safety of a Novel Dietary Supplement. Nutrients. 2017 Mar 16;9(3):290. doi: 10.3390/nu9030290. PMID: 28300758; PMCID: PMC5372953.
Deal CL, Moskowitz RW. Nutraceuticals as therapeutic agents in osteoarthritis. The role of glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and collagen hydrolysate. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 1999 May;25(2):379-95. doi: 10.1016/s0889-857x(05)70074-0. PMID: 10356424.
Black C, Clar C, Henderson R, MacEachern C, McNamee P, Quayyum Z, Royle P, Thomas S. 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. doi: 10.3310/hta13520. PMID: 19903416.
Bruyere O, Reginster JY. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate as therapeutic agents for knee and hip osteoarthritis. Drugs Aging. 2007;24(7):573-80. doi: 10.2165/00002512-200724070-00005. PMID: 17658908.
Dahmer S, Schiller RM. Glucosamine. Am Fam Physician. 2008 Aug 15;78(4):471-6. PMID: 18756654.
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