Glucosamine, an amino sugar composed of glucose and the amino acid glutamine is found naturally in the body. The main function of it is to make and repair joint cartilage. Glucosamine is often combined with chondroitin sulphate a natural component of cartilage, which absorbs fluid into the connective tissue and keeps the cartilage healthy. Glucosamine production slows down as we age. Thus, glucosamine supplementation adds to the body's supply of glucosamine.
Glucosamine supplementation has the following benefits.
Glucosamine is essential in the production of glycosaminoglycan, a molecule that helps to repair cartilage and other body tissues.
Glucosamine is widely used for the treatment of osteoarthritis, especially for knee osteoarthritis. It can help ease the pain of knee osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine weakens the advancement of knee osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine supplements are found efficient in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic venous insufficiency, and skin diseases.
Short-term use of glucosamine doesn’t have much safety issues. However drowsiness, headache, insomnia, and mild and temporary digestive complaints may accompany gulcosamine supplementation. There are no well known drug interactions with glucosamine.
One should watch out for the following when taking glucosamine supplements.
As some supplements are manufactured from shellfish, those who are allergic to shellfish should confirm that the supplement they use is from a non-shellfish source.
Those who are currently taking anti-clotting or anti-platelet medication and those who have bleeding disorders should avoid glucosamine supplementation as it may increase the risk of bleeding.
Pregnant and lactating women should consult a doctor before taking glucosamine since the safety of it in them has not been studied yet.
Glucosamine supplements act slowly and it takes a month or so to experience its effect. So it should be taken regularly. Glucosamine is available in the form of capsule, powder, liquid, and tablet. The recommended dose for treatment of osteoarthritis is 1500 milligrams daily. It can be taken in one dose or it can be split up into three equal doses of 500mg, thrice a day. To be on the safer side, it is always a wise decision to discuss the glucosamine dosage with a doctor, as there are various factors that can affect the ideal glucosamine dosage. A high glucosamine dosage can lead to serious bleedings.