One of our most popular ingredients in our liquid nutritional supplements is glucosamine. Glucosamine is found naturally in the body, generally in a person’s joints since it is a major component of cartilage. One of the major reasons a person will take a glucosamine supplement is because of joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine is not available from any food sources, so people who need additional glucosamine need to take it in supplement form. The forms of glucosamine that are generally used in supplements are glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, or N-acetyl-glucosamine. Most glucosamine used in supplements is made from shellfish. For those who are allergic to shellfish there are a number of forms of vegetarian glucosamine available as well. In addition to varying forms of glucosamine, there are a variety of forms the supplement comes in including tablets, powders and liquid glucosamine. The generally recommended dosage for glucosamine is 500 mg, 2-3 times a day.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “Glucosamine hydrochloride has been reported to be better absorbed by the body.” Conversely, WebMD.com says, “some researchers believe that glucosamine hydrochloride might not work as well as glucosamine sulfate. They think the “sulfate” part of glucosamine sulfate is the important factor because sulfate is needed by the body to produce cartilage.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, “It is believed that the sulfate moiety provides clinical benefit in the synovial fluid by strengthening cartilage and aiding glycosaminoglycan synthesis. If this hypothesis is confirmed, it would mean that only the glucosamine sulfate form is effective and non-sulfated glucosamine forms are not effective.” More studies are needed to know definitively which form of glucosamine is the most effective against osteoarthritis.
Most glucosamine supplements also contain additional ingredients such as Chondroitin and MSM. These ingredients also help in easing joint stiffness and pain associated with osteoarthritis. While glucosamine is generally considered to be safe, it’s always important to consult a medical professional before starting a new supplement program.
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