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Last Modified: October 17, 2014

What is Glucosamine? – The Basic Facts

Janice CarsonJanice Carson

Glucosamine is a major component of the bio-molecular makeup of cartilage, including the cartilage found in joints. It is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the body, but can be found in abundance in certain areas in nature, such as the exoskeletons of arthropods like crayfish and lobsters. In fact, this is often where glucosamine is harvested as a supplement for joint pain. So what is glucosamine good for? This supplement, through playing such a pivotal role in cartilage and joint health, is believed to lessen the degeneration of cartilage, in particular among sufferers of osteoarthritis. So, what is glucosamine effectiveness? This substance has shown some very promising results that it can affect long-term joint health and osteoarthritis treatment.

What is glucosamine effectiveness is determined by the condition that it’s being used to treat. As a general health supplement, it may enhance cartilage and bone growth. However, for osteoarthritis sufferers, the actual benefits may take a while to take effect. In addition, studies through the 1980s and 1990s suggest this supplement is best taken as glucosamine sulfate, which seems to increase the overall effectiveness. Either way, it will still take some time to figure out what is glucosamine levels of results. Typically, after 1-2 months glucosamine users for osteoarthritis will report lessened pain. And, in some studies, patients taking glucosamine eventually required far fewer NSAIDs to treat their arthritis.

When figuring out what is glucosamine good for, it’s important to understand that it’s not a cure-all for arthritic conditions. Unfortunately, there currently exists no known cure for either rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. However, this does not mean that people do not claim total relief from arthritic symptoms after following certain lifestyle changes. It’s just that these arthritic “cures” cannot be currently linked back to one specific treatment that resulted in the alleviation. Glucosamine may not cure your arthritis, but it would make an effective addition to an arthritis treatment strategy.

What is glucosamine going to cause in side-effects? Currently, glucosamine is considered safe. Although, some patients are driven to take excess amounts of the vitamin to try and see faster results. In these cases, there have been some indications of too much glucosamine causing pancreatic damage. For this reason, supplements should generally be handled with some level of caution. Even a totally natural remedy may still have some negative health effects if not used in moderation. In addition, patients with allergies to shellfish should most certainly avoid glucosamine.

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