Glucosamine is an important building block made by the body to manufacture specialized molecules called glycosaminoglycans, which are found in healthy joint tissue and cartilage. As we get older, we get less effecient at making glucosamine and demand in the joints outstrips supply leading to joints being progressively worn away.
Glucosamine sulphate, derived from the shells of crustaceans such as lobster and crab, is used to make up the deficiency in production by the body. Vegetarian sources of glucosamine are also available for anyone with a shellfish allergy.
What it does
- Joint Protection and Repair: Glucosamine is utilised by the joints to repair, strengthen and improve the integrity of the cartilage, in addition to improving the viscosity of the synovial fluid in joints.
- Connective Tissue Injury: Damage to cartilage and soft tissues in and around joints can also be due to sports injury, heavy lifting, etc. Chondrocytes in the joint use glucosamine to produce glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and glycoproteins, which repair the joint and improve mobility by strengthening the cartilage and connective tissues. These compounds are also important in the repair of bone tissue in the case of fracture or age-related bone loss.
- Intestinal Permeability: Glycosaminoglycans and glycoproteins, an integral part of cell membranes and connective tissue can help stabilise the tissue lining the gut. Supplementing glucosamine can be helpful where there is intestinal damage due to conditions such as chronic candidiasis, alcoholism or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Vascular Health: Provides support and elasticity to artery walls as well as protection and aid to repair.
|Ankylosing spondylitis||Osteo arthritis||Cardiovascular health|
|Varicose veins||Sports injuries||
Chondroitin is often used alongside glucosamine to support its action.
Although interactions are rare, diabetics should be monitored regularly as a precaution, if they intend to use glucosamine.
If you are allergic to shellfish, make sure that you take a vegetarian form of glucosamine.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with glucosamine.
Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using glucosamine.