The Main Health Benefits of Glucosamine Supplements
Glucosamine is a popular health supplement with many alleged benefits. It is found naturally in mushrooms, shellfish and bone marrow, but is also synthesised for use in various health products. In this article we drill down into the health advantages of glucosamine and look at how it helps alleviate certain conditions; in particular, the debilitating impact of age-related arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine Supplements To Treat Osteoarthritis
The best-known health benefit of glucosamine is its positive effect on the symptoms of osteoarthritis. This is well attested by clinical trials, which show glucosamine actively slowing down the progression of osteoarthritis. It has also been shown to reduce arthritic pain, muscular stiffness and swollen joints – especially when used in conjunction with chondroitin sulphate.
Why does glucosamine have this effect? Studies suggest that its anti-inflammatory properties are the reason why patients report reduced swelling, pain and stiffness in joints affected by osteoarthritis.
However, not everyone is convinced. The charity Arthritis Research UK conducted several trials on the impact of glucosamine and other nutritional supplements on arthritic symptoms, rating treatments on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most effective. Glucosamine came out with a meagre rating of 2, indicating that its proven impact is modest at best.
Clearly, glucosamine supplements should not be used to replace medical treatments for arthritis, but may assist in relieving symptoms, especially when taken in conjunction with anti-inflammatory medication.
Faster Recovery From Joint Injury
Injuries of the joints – especially the knees – are a constant risk for athletes and can debilitate you for months. Taking glucosamine supplements while recovering from an injury can help you re-gain greater flexibility in a shorter amount of time, according to a 28 day study on injured US athletes. It can also strengthen your cartilage to cushion your joints and reduce the risk of serious joint injuries.
Glucosamine’s anti-inflammatory properties are useful for treating other conditions. For example, a Japanese study conducted in 2008 suggested that glucosamine reduced symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease – including Crohn’s disease – by suppressing colonic inflammation.
Multiple Sclerosis sufferers may also find benefit in glucosamine, after a University of California study found that N-acetyl glucosamine reduced the auto immune response that destroys myelin and causes nerve damage in MS.
Recommended dosage varies according to the type of supplement and intended purpose.
There are three types of glucosamine supplement:
- Glucosamine hydrochloride
- Glucosamine sulphate
- N-acetyl glucosamine
Of these, glucosamine sulphate is the most commonly used in health supplements, and is the variant cited for use in osteoarthritis treatment.
People taking glucosamine to counteract osteoarthritis pain or joint injury should supplement with 800 mg to 1500 mg per day to gain the full physical effect. If symptoms improve, this can be reduced to a maintenance level of 1000 mg.
Athletes who simply want to maintain healthy joints and cartilage can supplement with a lower dose of 250 mg to 500 mg per day.
Shop For Glucosamine Supplements
Discover the health benefits of glucosamine for yourself with one of our affordable range of glucosamine supplements. We sell glucosamine in a variety of dosage and packet sizes. It combines well with other minerals and nutrients, so you may be interested in our Glucosamine Sulphate 2KCL or Glucosamine Sulphate Plus tablets, which combine glucosamine with chondroitin, one of the major building blocks of cartilage.