Glucosamine is an amino sugar often made from shellfish or prepared in the laboratory. There can be many benefits of glucosamine, which is available in two forms, glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulphate. Nutrabiotics uses the natural form of glucosamine, which is naturally sourced from shellfish.
Glucosamine is found naturally in your body and plays an important role in making glycosaminoglycans and glycoproteins, which are essential building blocks of many parts of your joints, including ligaments, tendons, cartilage and synovial fluid. Animal studies have found that taking glucosamine can delay the breakdown of cartilage as well as rebuild it.
The body’s natural glucosamine is used to make and repair joint cartilage, but taking a nutritional supplement that contains glucosamine can help repair the damaged cartilage by adding to the body’s supply of glucosamine. Taking a daily dose of glucosamine can also help to improve mobility and address the pain of arthritis.
The benefits of glucosamine for osteoarthritis
Glucosamine is an ingredient commonly used in supplements taken by people suffering osteoarthritis, the most common form of joint disease. In osteoarthritis, cartilage – the material that cushions joints – becomes stiff and loses elasticity. This makes the joint prone to damage and may lead to pain, swelling, loss of movement, and further deterioration. Glucosamine is thought to help slow or prevent the degeneration of joint cartilage, the underlying cause of osteoarthritis pain.
Studies suggest that glucosamine may have the following effects:
- Reduce osteoarthritis-related pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints.
- Improve function in people with knee and hip osteoarthritis
- Provide continued relief or symptoms for up to 3 months after someone stops treatment.
Further benefits of glucosamine
A glucosamine supplement can also help to reduce cartilage breakdown and maintain collagen synthesis in athletes involved in various sports, including football and cycling, as well as high impact sports such as running. In a study where 106 athletes with an acute knee injury took either glucosamine or a placebo, those that took glucosamine saw a significant improvement in knee flexion and extension, compared to the other group.
Glucosamine works particularly well with chondroitin and when taken together can strengthen joints. This combination works particularly well for people that like high intensity workouts, which can be demanding and can put a lot of pressure over the bones and especially over the joints.
Whilst sports performance can’t always be guaranteed a pain-free experience, glucosamine taken on its own or with chondroitin may help to keep those joints strong and less painful for longer.
If you have diabetes, it is recommended to speak to a health professional before taking glucosamine, as it might increase your blood sugar level and mean that you need to adjust your treatment to make sure it carries on working.
As glucosamine is often made from shellfish, if you have an allergy, it is also recommended that you look for a non-shellfish alternative.