Side effects of glucosamine chondroitin & msm supplements

Updated June 13, 2017

Glucosamine chondroitin and MSM supplements are used to improve joint health and flexibility, reduce pain and maintain overall joint function. Glucosamine is created within the body to repair and create cartilage; chondroitin helps the cartilage absorb and retain fluid; MSM is a natural source for sulphur, which can be found in all living cells.

Common Side Effects

Users with sensitive stomachs, or who have consumed high amounts of glucosamine chondroitin and MSM, may experience nausea, heartburn, indigestion, diarrhoea, abdominal pains or an upset stomach.

Chondroitin Side Effects

Chondroitin's major side effect is that may enhance the effects of blood thinners. Some less severe side effects are nausea, elevated blood pressure, stomach pain, bloating and other gastrointestinal discomfort.

Glucosamine Side Effects

Glucosamine is a sugar that the body is unable to break down into glucose, causing fluctuations in blood and insulin levels. Since diabetics have to constantly monitor insulin and blood levels, they must use extreme caution when using glucosamine. Glucosamine supplements are made from shellfish and can cause severe reactions for those allergic to iodine or shellfish. Common reactions are rashes, breathing difficulties, skin irritations, and swelling of the face and throat.

MSM Side Effects

No major side effects have been reported for MSM. Minor side effects include diarrhoea, a bad taste in your mouth, nausea, lack of sleep, headaches, thicker hair, softer skin, harder nails and gastrointestinal pain.


Consult a physician before taking any dietary supplements. Glucosamine chondroitin and MSM supplements can have adverse reactions. Do not take glucosamine chondroitin and MSM supplements if you are pregnant, nursing, overweight, have diabetes, are on a low sodium intake or have bleeding disorders.

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About the Author

Rick Rockwell is a self-employed personal trainer and experienced freelance writer. His articles have been published throughout the Internet. He has more than eight years of experience as a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and lifestyle coach. His company, Rockwell Fitness, is dedicated to educating and empowering others to live healthy lifestyles.