Who else is guilty of making these jokes?
“I’ve got old man knees!”
“Ouch my back! I must be getting old.”
“Are these stairs getting longer, or is it just me?”
I found these jokes pretty funny when I was younger, however the older I got, the more the joke was on me. For many reasons, I slowly started giving up my favorite hobbies, all while wondering what I could do to avoid giving up any more favorite hobbies.
The more I researched, I grew pretty excited realizing I could help support my joint health. Alongside regular exercise and weight training, I noticed the phrase “glucosamine sulfate” kept popping up in my research. This is a chemical compound that appears naturally in the fluid surrounding your joints and can be taken in a supplement form.
Although I usually prefer to get my nutrients from food, sometimes it just isn’t possible. Glucosamine sulfate is a perfect example of this, being sourced from the shells of shellfish, which you can easily argue is the least enjoyable part of the shellfish. This is what piqued my interest in VitaPost ProJoint Plus, with 1,500mg of glucosamine sulfate per serving.
You’re in Good Company!
If you are interested in taking supplements for joint health, you are in good company. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are the second most commonly used in the U.S., following fish oil supplements.
This may be due to the fact these chemical compounds are not easily obtained from the diet. It may also be due to the wider population starting to recognize the importance of taking care of joint health. Joints are so important in getting what we want out of life. Whatever the reason, the amount of people regularly supplementing their joint health is reassuring that we are on the right track.
Table of Contents
How Do Joints Work?
I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit that I didn’t actually know much about how our joints worked before starting my research. It all just seemed like magic to be honest! In case you’re in the same boat, here are some of the key areas of joint health.
Meet Your Joints
Your joints are the areas where two or more bones meet. Joints are tested by the intensity of sports as well as a long and fulfilling life. It’s estimated we have between 250 – 350 joints, with some of the most notable joints being in the knee, shoulder and hip.
Joints consist of cartilage, synovial membrane, ligaments, tendons, bursas, synovial fluid and meniscus. To take care of your joints, it is especially important to take care of your cartilage.
Meet the Cartilage
Cartilage is a connective tissue, meaning it connects, supports or even separates other tissues or organs. It’s mainly water however the amount of water decreases with age. It is tough but also flexible – making it the perfect material to support joints. Healthy joint cartilage makes it easier to move your body.
It is believed you can support cartilage health by supplementing ingredients naturally found in and around the cartilage. Glucosamine is a chemical sugar that helps form and repair cartilage in joints. This often works in conjunction with Chondroitin, one of the building blocks of cartilage. It gives cartilage elasticity by helping it retain water.
When researching, I realized cartilage is a little like your favorite pair of jeans. Despite how tough and flexible it may be, it is fairly easy to damage, either from a sudden injury or gradual wear and tear. And also just like your favorite pair of jeans, once damaged cartilage does not heal itself well.
From my research, it is easy to see the importance in cartilage for joint health. Take care of your cartilage to support joint health.
Support Joint Mobility
The technical definition of joint mobility is the passive range of motion occurring in the articulation between bones. It is measured as the total angular motion within each joint’s available degrees of freedom. In plain speak, joint mobility is your joints’ range of motion – how far can you bend and straighten your knee for example. Limited joint mobility means a limited lifestyle.
A “normal” amount of joint mobility really depends on the joint. For example, your shoulder goes into flexion 160 degrees, while your hip extends 5 degrees. If you have competed in sports in the past or undertaken a fitness program, it is likely you undertook some form of joint mobility exercise as a part of fitness training. As we age, changes in joint mobility have the potential to influence overall health and function.
Getting to the Bones of It
Just like my parents would say when I was younger, prevention is the best medicine. Whether you are looking for preventative joint support or are worried your joints are already past the point of no return, the good news is you can still work to support your healthy joints today to help avoid joint struggles tomorrow.
Key Ingredients for Joint Health
When comparing joint health supplements, I have found the majority contain some form of Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Although these two ingredients are crucial for joint health, great supplements often include a multi-pronged approach with a range of beneficial ingredients, as opposed to just Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Below is a mix of herbal and chemical compounds that may be beneficial in a joint supplement.
I know I have mentioned this ingredient several times, however it is a vital component to joint health. Glucosamine is a chemical compound that is found naturally in the fluid surrounding your joints. In the body, glucosamine prevents bones from rubbing against each other.
Glucosamine has been found to assist with joint health and improved joint mobility.
“Glucosamine helps form several chemical compounds involved in the creation of articular cartilage and synovial fluid. Some studies indicate that supplemental glucosamine may protect joint tissue by preventing the breakdown of cartilage.”
– Published on Healthline, September 2018
This superstar ingredient is commonly found in joint health supplements and it is easy to see why. When looking at joint supplements, you will see some contain glucosamine sulfate while others contain glucosamine hydrochloride. I would personally reach for the sulfate form of glucosamine. Glucosamine Sulfate has been suggested to be more effective and has been more strongly researched. In fact, one meta-study found the hydrochloride form of Glucosamine to be ineffective.
When looking for sources of Glucosamine Sulfate, the options are either extracted from shellfish or a synthetic version. Personally, I try to avoid synthetics as much as possible so I like that the ProJoint Plus formula includes the shellfish version. Also alarmingly I have not been able to find much research into the synthetic version of Glucosamine Sulfate, a big red flag for me. The easiest way to tell whether your joint supplement includes the shellfish or the synthetic version of Glucosamine Sulfate is to check the allergy warnings. If it says “contains shellfish”, you can be fairly sure this is the authentic version of Glucosamine Sulfate.
Glucosamine Sulfate is often used in conjunction with Chondroitin Sulfate.
Chondroitin is naturally found within the cartilage between joints. It is responsible for the resistance and elasticity of healthy cartilage. Chondroitin Sulfate is essential for joint strength, since it constitutes the majority of glycosaminoglycans in articular cartilage. Articular cartilage is the tissue that covers the ends of bones where they come together to form joints.
Many studies have confirmed the efficacy of chondroitin. One of the most well-cited studies was called The Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial. This trial may be why so many joint supplements use Glucosamine and Chondroitin together.
Compared to Glucosamine Sulfate, Chondroitin appears tougher for the body to absorb. Perhaps that is why the Projoint Plus formula includes 1500mg of glucosamine sulfate and 150mg of chondroitin sulfate.
Natural extracts used for joint support include bromelain from pineapple, curcumin from turmeric and the extract of boswellia. Let’s dig a little deeper into each of these:
Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme. As well as being found in the delicious juice and fruit of the pineapple, it is also found in the less-edible stem. PubMed reviewed many clinical studies on the use of bromelain for joint health, with overall positive findings.
I was pretty excited when I saw Turmeric on the supplement facts label. Turmeric is commonly associated with joint health – so what is the fuss about anyway? From my research, the power behind turmeric is curcumin, the active chemical in turmeric. The benefits of curcumin include antioxidant effects and supporting healthy joints.
ProJoint Plus contains 150mg of turmeric, a relatively low dose. If you are really excited about unlocking the full powers of turmeric, I would consider including a spiced turmeric latte or a delicious turmeric stir fry in your daily routine.
Boswellia extract has been used for thousands of years as a herbal support for joint health. While the natural health community is pretty excited about this, there really haven’t been any concrete scientific studies on its benefits yet, so I couldn’t confidently say whether this extract is beneficial.
Alongside the strong concentration of Glucosamine Sulfate, I was also curious about some of the supporting ingredients in ProJoint Plus. I don’t believe I had heard of methionine, quercetin and certainly not methylsulfonylmethane before considering ProJoint Plus. Here’s a bit of an overview of these ingredients in case you also haven’t heard of them.
Methionine is an essential amino acid found in the human body and a great source of antioxidants. Unlike glucosamine and chondroitin, methionine can be obtained easily in our diet, through meat, fish, and dairy products. Because methionine is so easily absorbed through the diet, it makes sense why ProJoint Plus only includes 25mg of methionine per serving.
In the body methionine is converted into cysteine, a precursor to glutathione. Glutathione’s antioxidant effects fight against free-radicals.
Methylsulfonylmethane is a chemical that is found naturally in the body. A major component of this chemical is sulphur, used for producing collagen and glucosamine. Glucosamine and collagen are used by the body for healthy bones and joints.
Quercetin is a bioactive flavonoid that studies have shown can benefit joint health when taken in large doses. Keep in mind that ProJoint Plus has just 25mg of quercetin.⁵
Unlike some other joint supplements I looked at, the ingredients list on ProJoint Plus doesn’t look like a long shopping list from a chemical plant. ProJoint Plus has a relatively small list of ingredients, with a combination of herbal extracts and chemical compounds found naturally in the body.
While you may not notice a difference from the boswellia extract or the amount of quercetin included, the concentration of glucosamine and chondroitin as well as the supporting ingredients are very promising. Here is a synopsis of the ingredients research:
● A combination of studies have found Glucosamine works best in combination with Chondroitin
● The Glucosamine/Chondroitin duo is believed to help provide everyday support for healthy joints
● If choosing between a few joint supplements, look out for ones with glucosamine sulfate instead of glucosamine hydrochloride. Glucosamine sulfate is backed by much more research
● Bromelain and curcumin have both been found to be promising for joint health in studies. Fewer reliable studies are available for Boswellia extract
● The supporting ingredients have great antioxidant effects, beneficial for those with joint discomfort
What Is ProJoint Plus?
VitaPost ProJoint Plus is a dietary supplement that is designed to support joint health. The formula is a blend of herbal extracts as well as chemical compounds that are naturally found in the body.
Although the herbal extracts sound delicious and promising, it is the chemical compounds in this formula that should really catch your attention for cartilage and joint health. The brilliant thing about these ingredients is they cannot be obtained from foods commonly eaten, only in supplements in an extract form.
Something important to note is this formula does contain shellfish in the form of glucosamine, one of the key ingredients in the blend. If you’re allergic to shellfish, please do not take this supplement.
Who Should Use ProJoint Plus?
Being a supplement, ProJoint Plus isn’t meant to replace taking care of your joint health through exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and core strengthening. It is just meant to supplement these efforts – that’s why it is called a supplement I suppose!
Try ProJoint Plus if: You are looking for everyday support of healthy joints, you are making a conscious effort to improve your joint health
Don’t try ProJoint Plus if: You are looking for a medical condition miracle cure or you aren’t willing to put in the work to take care of your joint health
Serving Size and Cautions
To get the full effects of ProJoint Plus, it is recommended that you take 3 capsules per day. This is more than other joint supplements on the market which may only require 1 or 2 capsules per day. However I’ve noticed the joint supplements with a smaller serving size don’t contain the supporting ingredients included in ProJoint Plus.
For quicker relief, a loading dose can be taken. This involves taking 6 capsules a day for two weeks. If you are reading this article trying to find quick relief, you might want to consider this option.
Compared to other joint supplements, ProJoint Plus is a good mid-range option. Not too pricey that you wouldn’t justify a repeat dose, yet not too cheap that you doubt what is actually in the capsule. If you bulk buy, ProJoint Plus costs about $0.55 USD per capsule, which is a small price to pay for joint support. With 60 capsules per bottle, this is equivalent to 20 servings per bottle, so I would order once every three weeks.
As with any dietary supplement, always talk to your healthcare professional before starting ProJoint Plus. This supplement contains shellfish so do not consume this product if you are allergic to shellfish.
The Long and Short of It
One of the best things you can do for your joints right now is fix the posture that you took while you were reading this article – sit up straighter, shoulders back, stand up and do a stretch. Feel better?
If you are looking for immediate results, supplements are probably not for you. Supplements are intended to support joint health over the long-term, rather than provide an overnight miracle.
After review of the research, I truly believe there can be some merit to supplementing the body with the chemical compounds already found naturally within it. The ingredients I found the best evidence for were glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, bromelain, turmeric, and methionine. The ingredient I need more scientific convincing of is boswellia extract.
ProJoint Plus is worth trying if you are looking to support healthy joints with ingredients backed by science. I can see why glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are the second most popular in the U.S.! I’d suggest you take a look at some of the research yourself, listed in the references.