Glucosamine sulfate is a substance found in the fluid around your joints. Supplements containing glucosamine sulfate may come from natural sources such as shellfish or they can be made in a laboratory.
The main positive properties
Approved for use in the treatment of arthritis in more than 70 countries around the world, glucosamine can reduce pain and inflammation, increase mobility, and help restore knees, hip joints, spine and arms that deteriorate with age or are damaged due to injuries. Recent studies have shown that supplement may be even more effective for relieving pain and inflammation than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, usually taken by patients with arthritis.
Moreover, whereas NSAIDs mask arthritic pain, they do almost nothing to slow down the development of the disease – instead, they also worsen the situation, hindering the natural processes of cartilage repair. In contrast, glucosamine helps restore cartilage and damaged joints. Although it may not be of much help for people with pronounced arthritis, whose cartilage has already been completely destroyed, it may be useful to millions of people with mild or moderate symptoms of the disease.
How does glucosamine work?
Research on the use of glucosamine-containing supplements for joint health and reducing joint pain has been going on for more than four decades. However, so far it has not been possible to find out exactly how glucosamine and chondroitin work. It is only known that this supplement is the main component of the joint fluid and some components of connective tissues, including articular cartilage.
Useful properties of glucosamine
Long-term follow-up studies have shown that taking glucosamine helps slow the development of chronic arthritis and reduces pain in osteoarthritis. In addition, in the course of studies that lasted from twelve weeks to three years, it was found that regular consumption of this supplement helps reduce pain in subjects suffering from joint pain.
Can glucosamine prevent joint damage?
Some athletes take glucosamine supplements in the hopes of preventing or reversing joint damage caused by intense sports or very long sports sessions. Unfortunately research does not show that using supplement will prevent or reverse “wear and tear” on the joints.
Interaction with other drugs
In general, glucosamine is considered safe for co-consumption with other drugs. However, it interacts with some “blood thinners”, immunomodulators and anticancer drugs. If you are taking these drugs, be sure to consult your doctor to identify potential risks.
Can I get enough glucosamine with food?
Despite the fact that chitin used to produce glucosamine is mainly obtained from natural sources (crustacean shells, in particular, shrimps, crabs and lobsters), it is obvious that no one eats an organic shell of seafood, therefore getting enough glucosamine through diet is almost impossible.
Is glucosamine safe?
This supplement is likely safe when you take it as directed. Read labels carefully if you have a shellfish allergy. Some supplements brands may contain shellfish ingredients.
Speak to your health professional before starting a glucosamine supplement so that he or she can help you decide what is right for you.
Possible side effects
Since glucosamine is a natural substance produced by our body, it is, in fact, devoid of side effects, although long-term scientific research has not yet been conducted. Those taking supplements with glucosamine may rarely experience minor side effects from the gastrointestinal tract, such as heartburn or nausea.
Facts and recommendations
Supplements with glucosamine and chondroitin are the best additional source of this substance, since its sources among food products are extremely limited. The shells of shrimps, crabs and oysters are relatively rich in glucosamine.
Latest scientific data
- A study conducted in China at the Beijing Medical College Hospital and included 178 patients with signs of osteoarthritis of the knee showed that taking 1500 mg of this supplement per day was just as effective in reducing symptoms as Ibuprofen per day. and, at the same time, it was much better tolerated by patients;
- San Diego scientists are confident that oral administration of glucosamine for several days immediately after surgery can speed recovery. It can also reduce the formation of scars after surgery and the complications that follow them, which is why we can talk about other, in addition to the above, areas of use of this additive.