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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Glucosmine Cream

I have been using glucosamine cream for the longest time ever together with super duper expensive glucosamine pills. Have it work? I certainly hope so considering the amount of money that I have spent on these products so far.

Anyway, today I have decided to compare the various creams that I have used throughout the years:

Tiger Balm Joint Rub

This was the first cream that I tried and used for a long time. I find it effective especially at masking pain. According to the product write up:

“Tiger Balm Joint Rub provides temporary relief from aches and pains due to muscle sprains, stiffness, and joint pains associated with arthritis. It contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) - ingredients commonly used for treating and preventing osteoarthritis. This topical cream is pleasant to use, as it is greaseless and contains no alcohol which can lead to localised, dry skin conditions”

Like: It comes in a pump bottle, making it easy to use and is the cheapest among the brand tried.
Dislike: Because of the camphor, it has a very strong smell and is not suitable for use in offices. Also, I get an localized rash reaction to it nowadays which did not happened when I first used it.

MediLynk™ Transdermal Glucosamine Cream

Next is the most famous lot of them all – the TGC. Like everybody else, I was seduced by the tv ads and promptly went out to buy a bottle to try. The product info:

“Maintain healthy joints and alleviate joint pains with our MediLynk glucosamine cream. Glucosamine is a natural agent produced by our body. It is involved in producing glycosamino-glycans and proteoglycans, constituents of our cartilage. Formulated with an excellent transdermal property (ability to cross the skin), the MediLynk glucosamine cream is able to supplement the body with glucosamine efficiently”

Like: It is odourless and easy to apply.
Dislike: It is the most expensive of all the cream tried.

That aside, when I went to a pharmacy to buy a new tube, the pharmacist asked me why I want to pay for their advertisement when I could easily buy similar products as half the price and so she introduced me to

Kordel Arthrocare Care Cream

This one come in a small tub container and is not very handy to use as you need to dip your finger into the tub.

The formulation combines glucosamine and OptiMSM, a superior form of MSM (Methyl Sulphonyl Methane). Glucosamine plays a key role in maintaining healthy joints while MSM helps to ease aches, pains and inflammation, and accelerate healing.

Aloe vera, willow bark, arnica, wild yam and vitamins A, C & E are added for additional soothing, antioxidant and pain relieve benefits.

Like: Odourless
Dislike: Come in a tub, greasy

IcePower Arthro crème

First time I came across this was at John Little and not in a pharmacy! Bought it to try. Since then, the distributor has been actively promoting its range of products at races and roadshow.

IcePower Arthro cream eases pain in joints. The glucosamine sulphate, the MSM and the chondroitine sulphate included in the cream strengthen its effect. Menthol and eucalyptus oil cool the tissue in joint area thus relieving pain and swelling. Chondroitin is a natural building material of the cartilage tissue, and it lubricates the joint surfaces. Glucosamine is a substance found naturally in human body. It exists in all connective tissues. It plays an essential part in the well-being of joint cartilages. MSM reduces inflammation and muscular tension and reduces muscular pain plus it increases blood circulation. MSM effects in reducing muscular and joint tenderness, in recovering from strain and in sudden muscular fatique.

Like: Odourless and cooling to the touch. Supposed that why it’s called Ice Power.
Dislike: Nothing to dislike

Jointace Gel

Again I stumbled upon this at John Little and not a pharmacy. And after using this, I must say this is my favourite.

Jointace® Gel is an advanced massage gel for healthy joints and muscles, combining the beneficial properties of glucosamine and chondroitin, with aroma-therapeutic essential oils including Ginger, Lavender, Eucalyptus and Clove Bud. Jointace® Gel’s unique formula represents a major advance in gels designed to help sports people and maintain general joint health, as it combines the benefits of soluble glucosamine and chondroitin in a lipophilic formula with aroma active essential oils and menthol.

Active ingredients: Glucosamine Sulphate, Chondroitin Sulphate, Aroma ActiveTM Essential Oils: Ginger Oil; Eucalyptus Oil; Sweet Orange Oil; Clove Oil; Lavender Oil; Fennel Oil; Menthol

Like: It’s smell. It has a sweet orange smell that even M like. Applying it is like applying aromatic oil over the body.
Dislike: Er... nothing to dislike actually.

So at the end of the day which is more effective? I really don’t know. There are studies* that said glucosamine cream is ineffective as it cannot be easily absorbed into the skin and to the affected areas but there are also studies# to show that cream is the most effective way to get glucosamine direct to the joints.

*1 Glucosamine Osteoarthritis Resource Centre
*2 The Arthritis & Glucosamine Information Centre
# Synflex America, Inc

However, going through the info on the net, most of the studies in support of the effectiveness of cream based glucosamine appears to be commissioned by 'interested parties' namely the manufacturer. What seem to be the common consensus was that for the cream to be effective, it must come together with either menthol or camphor or the more recent trend - emu oil.

Interestingly, what appears to be most effective seems to be liquid glucosamine as it is claimed that this is the best method for absorption of glucosamine into the body.

So does this mean that I am wasting my money on this product? I really don't know but certainly I feel better after using it but then again I also take 1500mg of glucosamine tablet a day + do plenty of lower body weights so I suppose all this are contributory factors that has helped alleviate my knee problem. Anyway I don't think there is any harm in using it and honestly I don't dare to stop any of the 3 combinations so I think I will continue with the use of glucosamine cream.


  1. I read somewhere that the most effective way of administering glucosamine is through liquid form. I got a bottle from the GNC stores.

  2. Yea I mentioned that too in my post but liquid glocosamine very expensive!