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What are the benefits of supplementing glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a substance found in cartilage, which is a component of the joints. It plays a role in the structure of cartilage by forming glycosaminoglycans[i], which are important molecules in cartilage composition. Glucosamine is available as a supplement in the form of glucosamine sulphate or glucosamine hydrochloride.

Glucosamine for arthritis and joint health

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound that plays a crucial role in the formation and maintenance of healthy joint cartilage[ii]. It is a building block of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are essential components of cartilage, tendons, ligaments and synovial fluid.

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease in which cartilage and other tissues within the joint break down or change in structure. Symptoms can include pain, joint stiffness, swelling, and difficulty in moving the joint. The joints most frequently affected by osteoarthritis include the knees, hips, and hands. You can read more about it in our article dedicated to osteoarthritis.

Is glucosamine helpful for symptoms of knee osteoarthritis?

There has been a substantial amount of research on the use of glucosamine for pain and joint function in people with knee osteoarthritis[iii][iv].

Because glucosamine is a component of cartilage, it has been suggested that it might have an impact on joint structure in osteoarthritis, which can be assessed by looking at changes in joint space[v].

Is glucosamine helpful for osteoarthritis in other joints?

There is only a small amount of evidence on glucosamine for osteoarthritis in joints other than the knee. Joints that have been studied to show some improvement include the hip and joints in the hand[vi][vii].

Joint health

Glucosamine is commonly used as a dietary supplement to support joint health, particularly in osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease seen in people with cartilage breakdown[viii].

It is recognised that glucosamine supplementation can provide the body with the necessary building blocks needed to repair damaged cartilage and slow down the progression of osteoarthritis[ix][x].

Anti-inflammatory effects

Glucosamine also has anti-inflammatory properties, this may also contribute to its potential benefits in joint health because inflammation plays a role in the development and progression of various joint disorders. Through reducing inflammation, glucosamine may help alleviate symptoms including the associated pain and swelling[xi].

Other potential health benefits of glucosamine

Bone health

Some studies suggest that glucosamine may have a positive impact on bone health by stimulating the production of collagen and proteoglycans, which are essential for the strength and flexibility of bones[xii].

Glucosamine has also been investigated for its potential role in:

Promoting wound healing[xiii]

Supporting gastrointestinal health[xiv]

Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease[xv]

Safety when using glucosamine

Glucosamine is generally considered safe for most people when taken orally at appropriate doses. However, in rare cases, it may cause mild side effects such as digestive issues, nausea, and headaches in some people who take it.

People with shellfish allergies should be cautious, as many glucosamine supplements are derived from shellfish.

Additionally, glucosamine may interact with certain medications, such as blood-thinning drugs, so it is important to double check this with your GP before beginning supplementation, or you talk to us today.

See also: MSM

MSM is available in supplement form on its own and is often included in beauty supplement formulas with other skin supportive nutrients and joint health formulas in combination with glucosamine.

Recommended For

Joint Health , Arthritis (Osteo) , Rheumatoid Arthritis , Gout , Leaky Gut , Oral Health (Gum health) , Pain , Wound healing (Post Surgery Healing) , Inflammation , Antioxidants , Collagen Production , Sports Injury , Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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