N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine is also known by other names such as GlcNAc, 2-acetamido-2-deoxyglucose, D-Glucosamine, Acetylglucosamine, Glucosamine, NAG, N-A-G and Poly-NAG.
N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine is a monosaccharide derivative of glucose.
Chitin, a polymer of N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine is found in the cell walls of fungi, exoskeletons of crustaceans and insects and the beaks of cephalopods. N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine can be derived from Chitin and be produced synthetically.
Enough clinical trials have not been done to prove the efficacy of N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine. There are conflicting reports about the efficacy of N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine.
Glucosamine occurs naturally in healthy cartilage. Glucosamine supplementation helps in building and mending of connective tissue.
Preliminary research indicates that N-Acetyl-D-Glucosaminealong with Chondroitin injections has helped ease pain arising from advanced lumbar degenerative disc disease.
Who can benefit from taking N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine
N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine improves flexibility in athletes with severe knee injuries; although it is not proven to relieve pain.The relief could be because of the anti-inflammatory action of glucosamine and improved joint function.
Glucosamine sulfate derived from N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine is sold as a treatment for osteoarthritis. It slows progression of arthritis and may even reverse it to an extent. However, the efficacy of NAG in the treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee is far more pronounced than osteoarthritis of the other body parts.
N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine is also suggested as a treatment for auto-immune diseases.
N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine may help protect the lining of the stomach and intestines. Hence, it is suggested in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.
Animal tests have shown that the insulin level in the body increased, leading to an increase in cholesterol. However, insulin levels have not significantly increased in humans taking N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine. Also, glucosamine does not seem to significantly affect blood sugar control in people with type-2 diabetes.
It is suggested to discontinue intake of N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine 2 weeks prior to surgery as it may affect blood sugar levels and interfere with its control.
A typical dosage of glucosamine salt is 1,500 mg per day.