Maybe you’ve seen “Glucosamine” in the supplement aisle of your local health store or pharmacy. Typically, it’s advertised as aiding in joint health and pain. But does it actually work? What is glucosamine exactly? Let’s find out!
What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine actually naturally occurs in our joints. It helps maintain the precious cartilage at each joint in the body. This prevents painful bone-on-bone grinding associated with osteoarthritis.
Chemically categorized as an “amino sugar,” glucosamine, in supplement form, was first created in 1876 by Georg Ledderhouse. Since the early days, this supplement has been refined and tested, with studies showing its usefulness in managing joint conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It’s further been used to prevent these conditions from arising, such as in cases where someone may be more genetically prone to them.
How Glucosamine Supports Joint Health
Glucosamine is made in a lab with the use of shells or shellfish. So, how can this compound help your joint health?
1. It May Help Reduce Inflammation.
In a small scientific study consisting of overweight participants, researchers noted a 23% improvement in inflammation in the glucosamine supplement group. Many studies, like this one, actually combine glucosamine with another compound called chondroitin, which also helps maintain joint cartilage.
In fact, glucosamine and chondroitin are thought to help lower inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory pathways in the synovial cells at the joint. While more research is needed, so far, the studies are very promising!
2. It Supports Joint Cartilage Maintenance and Function.
As previously mentioned, glucosamine is actually naturally produced in the human body. Glucosamine’s role in joint health involves maintaining articular cartilage, the tissue that covers the end of the bones. Articular cartilage and synovial fluid work together to reduce friction and pain at the joints.
Studies have further shown how taking glucosamine every day for three months helps reduce the breakdown of cartilage, particularly in elite soccer and rugby players.
3. It May Help Manage Joint Disorders.
Many studies indicate that taking glucosamine sulfate can help manage joint disorders and conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even osteoporosis. When it comes to osteoarthritis, these research studies show how glucosamine helps reduce inflammation, decrease pain, ensure adequate space at the joints, and slow the deterioration of the joints.
There is also evidence indicating that glucosamine may help reduce pain, improve mobility and function, and decrease discomfort associated with temporomandibular (jaw) joint issues
How Much Glucosamine Should You Take?
It’s recommended to take 1,500–3,000 mg per day of glucosamine to manage joint conditions or improve joint health. However, it’s always important to follow the directions on the label of the supplement purchased.
Overall, glucosamine is considered a very safe supplement to take. While rare, some side effects of taking glucosamine may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, and abdominal pain. It’s also not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding due to a lack of research in this area.
At Life Nutrition, we strive to support you and your health in every way possible. If you’re looking for a solution to your joint pain or simply want an insurance policy when it comes to your joint health, try our Joint Support supplement today. Healthy joints mean you can enjoy every phase of life—without aches, stiffness, or pain holding you back.