How Glucosamine Plays a Role in Joint movements

How Glucosamine Plays a Role in Joint movements

How Glucosamine Plays a Role in Joint movements


hat is Glucosamine? 

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring molecule within the human cartilage (the tissue that cushions joints). It is also a popular dietary supplement that is used to treat bone and joint disorders. Glucosamine is found in several forms including glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetyl glucosamine. Although similar, these variants might play different roles when consumed as dietary supplements.

Health benefits of Glucosamine


  • When taken orally, glucosamine supplements like glucosamine sulfate might offer pain relief for individuals suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, or spine. It might also relieve rheumatoid arthritis-associated pain.

  • Although the molecule’s mechanism isn’t completely understood, it appears to readily reduce inflammation. Glucosamine sulfate provided an anti-inflammatory impact when it was applied to cells that were involved in bone formation.

  • Glucosamine is also used to treat several varieties of chronic inflammatory diseases including interstitial cystitis, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and temporomandibular joints.

  • As a part of its natural existence, glucosamine supports the healthy development of tissues between the helps for several chemical compounds involved in the creation of articular cartilage and synovial fluid. Supplemental glucosamine can help protect your joint tissues by preventing the breakdown of cartilage.

  • Helps treat bone and joint disorder and the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis as well as osteoporosis.

  • Chronic administration of patented crystalline glucosamine sulfate has disease-modifying effects alongside a reduction in the need for total joint replacement surgery which lasted at least 5 years after discontinuing treatment.

Role of glucosamine in joint movements


Articular cartilage is a smooth white tissue that covers the ends of your bones where they meet to form joints. This tissue alongside a lubricating liquid known as synovial fluid allows bones to move freely across one another, reducing friction and enabling painless movement at your joints. Glucosamine helps in the formation of several chemical compounds that are involved in the creation of this synovial fluid as well as articular cartilage. Taking glucosamine supplements might protect joint tissue by preventing the breakdown of cartilages.

Glucosamine and chondroitin both occur naturally in the human body and are needed for the biosynthesis of a substance called ‘proteoglycan’ which is a major component of substances that exists between cells. Proteoglycans form large complexes like ‘collagen’ which plays an important role in the building of joint cartilage. And cartilages in our joints are those that make it easier to move. Joint cartilages allow the bones to glide over each other with minimal friction.

Glucosamine sulfate helps decelerate the rate of joint cartilage degeneration and thereby plays a vital role in joint movements. Glucosamine helps renew cartilages. Both glucosamine and chondroitin are both naturally found in cartilages and it helps the cartilage retain water.

How good is glucosamine for your joints?


Pharma companies have long been promoting glucosamine supplements to treat osteoarthritis and other joint-related ailments. Several prescription drugs also contain glucosamine in several quantities. Glucosamine plays a crucial role in proteoglycan synthesis and lowering the activity of enzymes that damages your cartilage lining the parts of the bones, especially in the joints that rub against one another. People who regularly consumed 1,500 mg of crystalline glucosamine sulfate experienced relief in osteoarthritis symptoms.

Can glucosamine be taken to prevent joint inflammation?


Yes. Studies have demonstrated that regular use of glucosamine as a preventative complementary medicine effectively prevented osteoarthritis. Researchers have also revealed the protective effects of glucosamine supplementation on knee joint health in young cyclists and soccer players.

There is evidence that glucosamine reduced the degradation of type II collagen which forms the foundation of joint cartilage. Regular supplementation with glucosamine sulfate has been proven to have a small to moderate preventative effect by decelerating the rate of joint cartilage degeneration when you take it for at least three consecutive years.

Which is better for the joints- glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine hydrochloride?


Glucosamine sulfate. Studies have demonstrated that glucosamine sulfate is a better option compared to glucosamine hydrochloride in improving joint pain symptoms. Glucosamine sulfate not only helps slow down osteoarthritis progression but also helps decelerate the narrowing of the joint space when taken for at least three years. One meta-analysis has proved that products with glucosamine hydrochloride don’t help much in improving joint pain induced by osteoarthritis.

Does glucosamine cause regeneration of cartilages?


Although there isn’t any direct evidence to suggest that glucosamine causes cartilage regeneration, the use of glucosamine sulfate in knee osteoarthritis helps prevent the joint space narrowing.

What other supplements are taken alongside glucosamine to treat joint problems?


Glucosamine sulfate is often taken alongside chondroitin sulfate and is proven to have beneficial effects on cells in joints. Studies have indicated that there might be a positive effect on osteoarthritis when these two were taken together.

What are the side effects of glucosamine supplements?


When administered as a shot, glucosamine sulfate is considered quite safe, especially when injected into the muscle twice per week for up to a period of 6 weeks. However, glucosamine supplements can sometimes cause mild side effects such as nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, and constipation. In rare cases, it can also cause extremely adverse effects including skin reactions, headaches, and drowsiness.

Is it safe to take glucosamine for a long time?


Several forms of glucosamine have been prescribed for different durations to treat different cases. Some studies have demonstrated that glucosamine needs to be taken for at least two to four months to achieve the necessary benefits. Some people might experience improvement sooner, but in most cases, it is recommended for a longer duration.

Though the compound has been used to treat different kinds of bone and joint conditions as well as inflammatory diseases like interstitial cystitis, Inflammatory bowel disease, and temporomandibular joints, studies demonstrated that glucosamine has been effective when taken for long-term. Glucosamine is safe for most individuals at a dosage of 1,500 mg per day but could cause a few mild side effects.

Who shouldn’t take glucosamine?


Individuals with shellfish allergies should take glucosamine with caution since they could have reactions. It is better to discuss with your healthcare provider before taking glucosamine supplements, especially if you have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, kidney diseases, heart diseases, high blood pressure, or bleeding disorders.


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