You’ve likely heard of glucosamine before but what is it? Glucosamine is one of the most popular health supplements in use. Maybe your doctor has recommended it or you have a friend who swears by it but what exactly does glucosamine do for our body and health?
What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a natural chemical that occurs in the human body. Our bodies use it to produce a variety of other chemicals that help to support the building of tendons, ligaments, cartilage and the fluid surrounding our joints. As we age, our cartridge starts to break down and becomes less flexible, which can result in pain, inflammation, and tissue damage.
Glucosamine is also found in animal bones, as well as in shellfish and fungi. Most glucosamine supplements are derived from shellfish but some are synthetically made too. Glucosamine supplements come in a variety of types such as glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetyl glucosamine. Most studies performed on glucosamine are with glucosamine sulfate as it is the most common type used in supplementation. Glucosamine is also often paired with chondroitin sulfate, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), or shark cartilage to help increase its efficacy.
What does Glucosamine Treat?
Glucosamine supplementation, either in pill form or as an injectable, has been used to help support our joint health and treat a variety of conditions. It’s been studied for its potential to treat symptoms and progressions of inflammatory and joint conditions and diseases. Glucosamine is often taken by those who have osteo or rheumatoid arthritis for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as other bone issues like osteoporosis. It’s also been looked at as a potential treatment in other inflammatory conditions such as:
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)
Glucosamine supplements aren’t just for humans either as there is a wide variety of glucosamine supplements for pets who have similar conditions too.
How does Glucosamine Help?
Glucosamine is still being studied for its effectiveness in treating and supporting a variety of conditions but the strongest research data currently available comes from arthritis and bone health-related diseases.
- A variety of studies have associated glucosamine intake in providing significant pain relief in long-term osteoarthritis as well as slowing down the progression of the disease.
- Another study found that it helped reduce rheumatoid arthritis markers in mice and another that showed improved symptom management in humans.
- Other studies with mice have indicated that it may also help with bone strength, making it a contender to assist those with osteoporosis and other bone strength related diseases.
Glucosamine is considered generally safe to take by most regulatory bodies and can assist in giving relief to aching joints and inflammation. Always talk to your doctor before starting new supplementation. Gogo Herbs carries a variety of reputable brands from Canada, Australia, and the US to help support your joint health and relieve arthritis-related pain.