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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
Halacha - Alternative Medicine that isn't kosher
Submitted by yocheved rosenwaser  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: I as well as many people have been told to use glucosamin/condroitin which is from shellfish and crab and.. It helps strengthen bones and renews the joint fluid that protects bone injury when bone gets close to bone...I believe that it is more than 3 doctors who would recommend this as can be seen by its popularity - that is is more often recommeded as one ages. It is very uncomfortable to think of taking it and when people see tha bottle or hear that one takes it - they cringe or question but from the Halacha by Rav Sternbuch it really seems clearer that it is not a problem. Please comment/answer back. One of the top yiddishe doctors keeps recommending it - he does know its contents but obviously medically he feels it has more to gain for ones health.
Answer:

 

There are number of issues that must be addressed.

If the glucosamin is only manufactured from the inedible shell of the shellfish, as I found mentioned in one source, then the medicine would not be considered treif to begin with, if there are no other problematic ingredients.

If the glucosamin is not kosher; have you been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or other similar condition that would lead you to be classified as a choleh, or did the doctor recommend these pills as a preventative measure?

If you are considered a choleh, it still remains to determine if glucosamine is a halachically reliable method of treating your illness. From the information I found, while numerous studies confirmed the efficacy, they were all sponsored by the manufacturer. Most of the independent studies found no difference in results from a placebo.

posted:2008-05-13 10:30:36


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