Glucosamine is a fairly simple molecule that consists of glucose residues. Glucosamine is relatively high concentrated in joints and connective tissue, and it serves to produce larger molecules that are important for the maintenance and recovery of cartilage.
In the last few years, dietary supplements with glucosamine can be found on the market in various forms; there are, for example, glucosamine sulphate and N-acetylglucosamine. Glucosamine sulphate is mainly used in arthritis. It is well absorbed in the intestine (90% to 98%) and appears to effectively alleviate the symptoms of the disease.
How does it work?
Although some doctors claim that glucosamine is a cure for arthritis, no dietary supplement or their combination is. However, glucosamine substantially relieves pain and inflammation in about half of the patients, especially older people with osteoarthritis. This substance can also help people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or some other joint disease.
MAIN USEFUL EFFECTS: glucosamine is used in more than 70 countries to treat arthritis. It relieves pain and inflammation, increases the range of movement and helps in recovery of injuries, as well as the joints of older people. It works well when knees, hips, spine and hands are affected. Recent studies have shown that glucosamine is more effective in mitigating pain than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Andol and Aspirin), which patients often take, but has no adverse side effects such as those drugs.
In addition, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs only mask the pain of arthritis and do very little in preventing disease progression, and may even worsen the situation. In contrast to these drugs, glucosamine helps to create cartilage and acts on the recovery of damaged joints. This substance can not help much people with advanced arthritis who have lost almost all cartilage in some joints, but glucosamine can benefit millions of people with mild to moderate impairments.
ADDITIONAL USEFUL EFFECTS: since it strengthens the joints, glucosamine can be useful in preventing arthritis and all other forms of degenerative joints diseases associated with aging. It can also speed up treatment for joint injuries, such as joints dislocation. Athletes and women often take glucose to prevent muscle injuries.
How to take it?
DOSAGE: the usual dose for arthritis and similar conditions is 500 mg of glucosamine sulphate, three times a day; therefore, a total of 1500 mg per day. It has been shown that this amount is safe for all users, and the effect is optimal.
USE GUIDELINES: glucose is taken in the long run and appears to be very safe. These preparations will not alleviate the problems as quickly as conventional medications (you will have to wait two to eight weeks for results), but the beneficial effects are much more pronounced and last longer. To reduce the stomach irritation, take glucosamine together with the food.
Some dietary supplements, other than glucosamine, contain some related substances such as chondroitin sulfate and nutrients such as niacin or S-adenosyl-methionine. They allegedly enhance the effect on cartilage construction, but for now, no research were conducted to support such claims. In some cases, for the sake of more effective alleviation of arthritis, substances such as boswellia (an extract from a tree growing in India), grapple plant (which grows in Namibia), and a ceelry seed extract are taken along with glucosamine. There are no reported side effects when taking glucosamine with other dietary supplements or non-prescription medicines.
Possible side effects
It seems that dietary supplements with glucosamine have almost no side effects, although long-term studies have not been conducted. Poor digestion or nausea may occur, but very rarely. If you experience any of these side effects, try taking these dietary supplements with food.
IMPORTANT: if you have any illness, consult your doctor before taking any supplements.