What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a natural compound found in the human body. It plays an important role in the formation and repair of cartilage. It is produced naturally by the body, but levels may decline with age or after injuries.
Why should I supplement with glucosamine?
Supplementation with glucosamine has been shown to help support healthy cartilage and is often used as a treatment for osteoarthritis. Glucosamine sulfate is the most common supplementation and is thought to be the most effective. However, other forms, such as glucosamine hydrochloride, may also be effective. It is one of the most popular dietary supplements in the US.
Adding glucosamine to your diet effectively reduces pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and can also help improve joint function. Glucosamine, sometimes with the addition of chondroitin sulfate, has also been effective in treating other conditions, such as osteoarthritis, TMJ osteoarthritis, tendinitis, and bursitis.
In addition to reducing pain and inflammation, glucosamine can also help to promote the growth of new cartilage, which can help to improve joint function.
Chondroitin sulfate is another natural component in the body that helps form cartilage, connective tissue that cushions joints. Supplementation with both glucosamine and chondroitin helps to reinforce this natural layer that protects joints from damage and wear.
Joint pain prevention with glucosamine
Supplementing with glucosamine is a safe and effective way to reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and other conditions. Glucosamine supplements are often taken to treat osteoarthritis, as they can help to reduce inflammation and pain.
Glucosamine may also help to prevent the progression of osteoarthritis by slowing down the breakdown of cartilage.
The supplement appears safe and might be helpful for people who can’t take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Clinical studies have shown that glucosamine supplements are effective in treating osteoarthritis, and they are generally safe with few side effects.
Even though trial results are inconsistent, experts believe that treatment with glucosamine is worthwhile and carries minimal risk.
Is glucosamine safe for me?
Because glucosamine products might be derived from the shells of shellfish, there is concern that the supplement could cause an allergic reaction in people with shellfish allergies.
Glucosamine might worsen asthma, so it should be used cautiously in those with established asthma. No significant drug interactions have been reported with glucosamine supplementation.
There’s also some concern that glucosamine might raise eye pressure. If you have glaucoma, talk to your doctor before taking glucosamine supplements.
While glucosamine is generally considered safe, some people may experience side effects such as stomach upset, diarrhea, and headache. Almost every trial conducted has found glucosamine to be as safe as placebos.
How long does it take for glucosamine to work?
Some studies suggest that it may take up to eight weeks for glucosamine to have an effect, while other research indicates that it may be beneficial within two weeks. More research is needed to determine the ideal timeframe for taking glucosamine supplements. However, most experts agree that it is unlikely to cause harm if taken as directed.
Osteoarthritis and related inflammatory conditions benefit from regular exercise, excessive weight loss (if applicable), and other drugs that help retain bone mass. Other suitable supplements include fish oils, vitamin D, and collagen.
Eraslan, A., & Ulkar, B. (2015). Glucosamine supplementation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in athletes: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Research in Sports Medicine, 23(1), 14-26.
Braham, R., Dawson, B., & Goodman, C. (2003). The effect of glucosamine supplementation on people experiencing regular knee pain. British journal of sports medicine, 37(1), 45-49.
Moon, J. M., Finnegan, P., Stecker, R. A., Lee, H., Ratliff, K. M., Jäger, R., … & Kerksick, C. M. (2021). Impact of Glucosamine Supplementation on Gut Health. Nutrients, 13(7), 2180.