Today we’ll be comparing two supplements from the same company: Cosamin DS vs Cosamin ASU. Which one is better for reducing your joint pain, improving flexibility, and promoting long-term joint function? Additionally, how do they compare to other joint supplements on the market?
Let’s start with a brief summary to get an idea about what you can expect.
Cosamin DS vs Cosamin ASU Summary:
Cosamin ASU and DS are both natural supplements that have been on the market for years now. They are decent at what they’re marketed to do – protecting your cartilage from everyday wear and tear and enhancing the feeling of comfort when walking or exercising.
That said, of the two, Cosamin ASU has a slight edge. It contains the same ingredients that are in DS (glucosamine+chondroitin), plus three additional ingredients that may further contribute to a reduction in your joint pain.
However, Cosamin ASU is far from a perfect supplement. Much like Cosamin DS, it has some major drawbacks – omitting core ingredients such as curcumin, selenium, and MSM, among others. Without these, its effects will not be as potent as other options on the market.
Ultimately, while they’re both decent, Cosamin DS and ASU are not the best joint supplements we’ve seen in this price range.
What do we recommend?
Cosamin DS vs ASU: Product Overview
Cosamin DS is a dietary supplement for your joints. It comes in the form of tablets or caplets and claims to be the most researched glucosamine chondroitin joint supplement – clinically shown to promote joint wellness.
Their website goes on to say that Cosamin is proven by more U.S.-published clinical research than any other leading joint supplement.
An impressive start, but what does Cosamin DS actually do?
The manufacturer says it gives you these benefits;
- Blocks enzymes that break down cartilage
- Decrease levels of markers linked to joint discomfort
These benefits are all thanks to the combination of 1500mg of glucosamine HCI and 1200mg of chondroitin sulfate. The marketing material goes on to mention that Cosamin DS has been “invented” over 20 years ago, and since then, many brands have unsuccessfully tried to copy their formula quality.
Pretty impressive if you ask us… but are all these claims just fancy marketing? Or can you expect real, noticeable benefits from using Cosamin DS? We will soon find out, after we check its “in-house” competitor – Cosamin ASU.
Much like its “DS” cousin, Cosamin ASU is a dietary supplement that you can buy over the counter. However, this one claims to be a more advanced, faster-acting formula for enhanced joint comfort.
Alongside the trademark glucosamine HCL and chondroitin sulfate, Cosamin ASU has also added avocado/soybean unsaponifiables, Boswellia Serrata, and decaffeinated green tea extract with EGCG.
Together, these ingredients in Cosamin ASU are claimed to help you with:
- Cartilage protection
- Joint comfort
Essentially, you’re promised the same benefits as with Cosamin DS. Just acting faster and with stronger effects.
So, is Cosamin ASU a worthy successor (and an upgrade) to Cosamin DS?
The best way to find out is by checking the ingredients and the evidence behind them.
Cosamin DS vs ASU: Comparing the Ingredients
As you’ve seen, Cosamin ASU obviously has more ingredients than Cosamin DS. But in this case, more doesn’t necessarily mean better – especially if the added ingredients are not proven to work and just wasting capsule space.
Let’s take a closer look.
As we mentioned early on in this post, Cosamin DS only has two active ingredients in the formula – Glucosamine HCL and Chondroitin Sulfate.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two of the most researched and most popular ingredients in joint supplements. They have been shown to do exactly what Cosamin claims; improve your cartilage recovery and joint comfort. So, in that regard, Cosamin DS looks like a good, basic joint formula.
But, is it really the best joint health supplement we’ve seen? Definitely not!
While Cosamin DS may help support your long-term joint health if you’re consistent, it doesn’t mention anything about joint pain, flexibility, mobility, and inflammation reduction. While glucosamine and chondroitin are somewhat helpful here, they are not enough on their own.
Typically, the very best joint supplements combine glucosamine and chondroitin with other proven ingredients, such as MSM, bromelain, quercetin, and of course, curcumin. These are some of the most powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that work not just to protect your connective tissues from wear and tear, but also directly block enzymes responsible for your joint pain.
As such, Cosamin DS is a decent joint health formula, but it’s certainly not as good as the marketing material on the product’s website would like us to belive!
Cosamin ASU is claimed to be a more advanced version of Cosamin DS – and that is exactly what it is.
In addition to your standard glucosamine+chondroitin combo, you’re getting a proprietary blend of three additional ingredients – Boswellia Serrata Extract, Decaffeinated Green Tea Extract, and Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables.
These three ingredients certainly add some “firepower” to the formula. The EGCG molecules in green tea act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, and so does Boswellia Serrata. You may notice a greater pain reduction effect from Cosamin ASU than with DS, despite the lower dosage of chondroitin in ASU.
- As for Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables, we don’t see this ingredient too often in joint supplements, and there is a good reason for it – it is not proven in human studies to have significant effects on joint health.
Another problem with Cosamin ASU is that, we can’t see the dosage of some ingredients. We can only see their combined dosage as the whole blend, which weighs 400mg. This is fairly low for these ingredients actually, as green tea extract alone typically needs a dose of 300-400mg for optimal health benefits. Therefore, some of the ingredients in the Cosamin ASU blend might be underdosed, and potentially ineffective by extension.
Even though it is still missing some of the core ingredients that we mentioned in the last section, Cosamin ASU is clearly the more potent formula between the two. It can’t keep up with the market-leading joint supplements in terms of pain reduction (mainly due to a lack of curcumin and selenium), but as far as flexibility and long-term joint health goes, it is a decent formula without a doubt.
Cosamin DS vs ASU: Safety Analysis
Cosamin DS and ASU are both relatively safe supplements. They are free of stimulants or any harmful chemicals, and are 3rd party tested for quality. Furthermore, the ingredients themselves are not known to cause any negative reactions, especially in lighter dosages that are used in Cosamin DS and ASU.
Cosamin DS vs ASU: User Reviews
Both Cosamin DS and ASU have been on the market for a while now, and have garnered many testimonials from users online.
The reviews are mixed, but leaning more towards positive. In both cases, many users have noted they experienced less pain and stiffness in their joints after consistent supplementation. But there are also some who aren’t happy with their results.
Cosamin DS vs ASU: Pricing & Value
Cosamin DS costs $47.99 for a bottle with 36 servings (Walgreens).
Cosamin ASU costs $39.99 for a bottle with 30 servings (Walgreens).
For us, Cosamin ASU is clearly the better value between the two, even though it’s not as good when compared to some of the more comprehensive joint formulas in this price range.
The Bottom Line
While both Cosamin DS and ASU have some major drawbacks, the clear winner for us is Cosamin ASU. It has everything Cosamin DS has, plus the added 3 ingredients, two of which have decent evidence showing they help to relieve joint pain & stiffness.
However, if you’re serious about joint health, there are more effective joint formulas than Cosamin ASU on the market today, without question.
Looking for alternatives?