The body naturally produces glucosamine. Also used as a dietary supplement, it helps in the treatment of bone and joint disorders.

Chemically classified as an amino sugar, its primary function is to develop and maintain cartilage in the joints.

Glucosamine supplements are usually made from animal and non-human tissues like fungi, animal bones, and shellfish shells.

The following are ways that glucosamine benefits our health.

Reduce Inflammation

Knee Pain

Glucosamine supplements may help reduce inflammation. According to some studies:

  • Glucosamine has a significant anti-inflammatory impact when applied to cells involved in bone formation
  • Glucosamine works great with chondroitin, a similar compound
  • People taking chondroitin and glucosamine supplements saw a 36% reduction in inflammatory markers

Healthy Joints

Articular cartilage, along with synovial fluid, helps bones move freely with minimal friction, allowing for painless movement.

  • Glucosamine helps in the formation of articular cartilage and synovial fluid
  • Glucosamine may prevent the breakdown of cartilage
  • Cyclists in a study found reduced collagen degradation when taking glucosamine supplements

Treating Bone and Joint Disorders

X-ray of a foot

  • Glucosamine is frequently taken to treat bone and joint disorders
  • Daily use may offer long-term treatments for osteoarthritis
  • May reduce pain, maintenance of joint pain, and overall slow disease progression
  • May reduce rheumatoid arthritis markers

Other Uses

People use glucosamine to treat various chronic inflammatory disorders. It is used to treat:

  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Glaucoma
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

According to most research, glucosamine does help with managing osteoarthritis symptoms, but may be less effective in other uses.

It is safe for most people to use without worrying about negative side effects.

It may cause some mild gastrointestinal discomfort and people with diabetes may avoid it, as it can worsen blood sugar control.

Talk to your doctor before taking glucosamine supplements.

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