Glucosamine is a type of amino sugar that occurs naturally in the cartilages of the body. It keeps the body joints supple by lubricating them. Although glucosamine is manufactured by the body, the amount of natural glucosamine might not be adequate to take care of cartilages damaged by osteoporosis. Intake of dietary supplements containing glucosamine is usually recommended for supplying the body excess glucosamine necessary for repairing and lubricating the damaged joints. Glucosamine supplement is one of the most popular non-vitamin and non-mineral nutritional supplements taken for healthy living.
Benefits of glucosamine supplements
Treats joint pain
Studies have shown that glucosamine is capable of reducing joint pain and inflammation. Damaged cartilages in the joint worsen the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Cartilages act as rubbery cushions that facilitate movement of the joints. The cartilages in the joints are subject to constant wear and tear. This wear and tear process accelerates with age.
Aged individuals often suffer from joint stiffness. Glucosamine could repair the damaged cartilage. It could protect the cartilages from destructive hormones. Researchers believe the glucosamine supplements might halt osteoporosis.
Glucosamine supplements containing glucosamine sulfate are found to be more effective than non-sulfated glucosamine in treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Besides treating osteoarthritis pain, glucosamine supplements might be used for healing inflammation and joint pain in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Inflammatory bowel syndrome
Some studies suggest that glucosamine supplements could be used for treating inflammatory bowel disease. People suffering from ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease might benefit by taking this dietary supplement.
Glucosamine supplement dosage
Glucosamine used in making nutritional supplements are extracted from chitin, a glucose derivative, found on the shells of lobsters, crabs and shrimps.
Glucosamine supplements might contain chondroitin sulfate or methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Usually 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate per day is sufficient for treating osteoarthritis. The daily glucosamine requirement is divided into three 500 mg doses and taken thrice a day. To alleviate the joint pain, studies have shown that glucosamine supplements should be taken for 30 to 90 days.
Side effects of glucosamine supplements
People with shellfish allergy might not tolerate glucosamine derived from shellfish. Prolonged consumption of glucosamine supplements, beyond 90 days, might cause stomach problems, skin reactions, insomnia and increased sensitivity to sunlight.