What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine occurs naturally in the body, and is needed to produce some of the materials that make up joint tissue, called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs).
Glucosamine is found in the shells of prawns and other crustaceans.
Most of the glucosamine that is found in nutritional supplements is derived from the exoskeletons of prawns, lobsters and crabs.
What does glucosamine do?
Glucosamine is a popular supplements for the management of the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
a degenerative joint disease and is characterised by a degeneration of cartilage in the joints. It is primarily a disease of ageing, and the main symptoms include: pain, stiffness, limitation of movement and swelling.
Clinical trials have found that taking 1500 mg of glucosamine per day may lead to improvements in pain, as well as reductions in joint stiffness and limitations of physical function for people who are suffering from osteoarthritis.
How does glucosamine work?
Glucosamine stimulates the body to produce GAGs – which are building blocks of cartilage. It also plays a role in producing the other components of joint tissue such as tendons and synovial fluid.
It may stimulate production of hyaluronic acid – which helps the synovial fluid in the joint capsule to lubricate and acts like a shock absorber.
As some people age they lose the ability to produce sufficient amounts of glucosamine in their body.
What to look for
Glucosamine is available as glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride and N-acetylglucosamine. Glucosamine sulfate is the form that most of the research has been done on.
References available on request