Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are natural substances found in and around the cells of cartilage. Glucosamine is an amino sugar that the body produces and distributes in cartilage and other connective tissue, glucosamine sulfate is a chemical found in the body used to produce a variety of other chemicals that are involved in building tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and the thick fluid that surrounds joints. Chondroitin sulfate is a complex carbohydrate that helps cartilage retain water. Glucosamine is vital for building cartilage. Joint cartilage requires glucosamine because it is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s) meaning glucosamine makes GAG’s which are a major component of joint cartilage. Sulfur needs to be incorporated into cartilage in order to make and repair it which glucosamine plays a crucial role in incorporating sulfur into cartilage.
Why Do We Need Glucoamsine Sulphate?
What Is Glucoamsine Commonly Used For?
Glucosamine sulfate is commonly used for arthritis, more specifically the most common type of arthritis called osteoarthritis. Also called degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of cartilage (the connective tissue that cushions the ends of bones within the joint) commonly affects the hands and large weight-bearing joints, such as the knees. In osteoarthritis the cartilage breaks down and becomes thin resulting in more joint friction, pain, and stiffness. Some research suggests taking glucosamine supplements may either increase the cartilage and fluid surrounding joints or help prevent breakdown of the the cartilage, or perhaps both.
Where Do You Find Glucoasmine?
It is naturally present in animal bones, bone marrow, shellfish and fungi. Glucosamine sulfate harvested for dietary supplements is often from the shells of shellfish however it can also be made in a laboratory. Most of the scientific research done on glucosamine has been done on the form glucosamine sulfate. Glucosamine supplements often have other ingredients added in, including chondroitin sulfate, MSM or shark cartilage currently there is no scientific proof that these combinations are of any more benefit than glucoasmine alone.
How Much Glucoasmine Should You Take?
The research around using glucoasmine for osteoarthritis has been conducted on the oral dose or 1500mg once daily or 500 mg three times daily. Glucosamine is also in some skin creams used to control arthritis pain so far there is no evidence that glucosamine can be absorbed through the skin. As a result any benefits perceived by using these topical creams is suspected to arise from other active ingredients in the cream not from the glucoasmine.
When Should You Expect Results?
Unlike other medications where any symptoms of pain can be relieved relatively quickly the research suggests glucosamine sulfate effects take about 4-8 weeks to be realised and that glucoasmine may continue to provide relief of symptoms up to 3 months after stopping the supplement.
Does It Work In Everyone With Osteoarthritis?
Glucosamine sulphate does not seem to reduce pain in everyone using it, as some people report no benefit and most studies appear to indicate that if you have osteoarthritis and your symptoms of pain are moderate-to-severe, glucosamine may help, otherwise it is probably no better than placebo. Some research indicates that with more mild or more severe cases and long standing osteoarthritis glucoasmine might not work very well. There is some evidence that people who take glucosamine sulfate might be less likely to need total knee replacement surgery.
What Research Suggests Glucoasmine Could Do For You:
Glucosamine can help patients with osteoarthritis. Several scientific studies have shown that glucosamine supplements may help patients with osteoarthritis (OA), especially OA of the hip or knee.
• Reduces osteoarthritis-related pain
• Improves function in patients with knee or hip osteoarthritis
• Reduces stiffness
• Reduces swelling in the joints
• Continues to provide relief of symptoms up to 3 months after patients stopped treatment