28 Feb Does Glucosamine really work? What are the benefits?
Whether you’re into sports or are just looking for extra support, Glucosamine is an incredibly popular supplement – and something worth looking at. We explore what this natural compound is and the range of glucosamine potential effects, before looking at the research to see if it really works and if it could be of benefit for you.
What is glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a compound found naturally within your body – more specifically, cartilage. This is strong tissue that helps to support, cushion and protect your joints. As well as in the body, glucosamine is found in some animals and nonhuman elements, including animal bones, shellfish shells and fungi, so many glucosamine supplements are created from these natural sources. 1
- Glucosamine supplements come in powder but are most commonly sold as tablets and capsules for quick and easy supplementation.
How to get glucosamine naturally?
Unfortunately, you can’t. As mentioned above, it’s found in animals but within their bones and shells, so not possible for you to consume within your diet. This is why glucosamine supplementation is incredibly popular.
Types of Glucosamine and Differences
Glucosamine comes in many different chemical forms, including glucosamine sulphate, glucosamine hydrochloride and N-acetyl glucosamine.2
1. Glucosamine Sulphate – this is glucosamine within the body that is bound to sulphur – a chemical element that belongs to the oxygen group. Out of the body, it is almost always derived from shellfish. So, if you have a shellfish allergy, it’s best to avoid it.
2. Glucosamine Hydrochloride – this is glucosamine within the body that is bound to chloride. Unlike glucosamine sulphate, it’s found in sources other than shellfish, making it a good alternative for those with allergies.
3. N-Acetyl Glucosamine – this is glucosamine within the body that is bound to acetic acid, which has similar potential benefits to the other forms of glucosamine.
How does glucosamine work?
Put simply, the body uses glucosamine to build and repair cartilage. Glucosamine occurs naturally in the body, but as we get older our levels begin to drop, and this reduction is believed to contribute to the deterioration of our joints, so it’s usually at this stage individuals begin to look at supplementing glucosamine. Also, despite their age, athletes of all kinds (including regular gym-goers) could also begin to supplement this natural compound as they attempt to offset the effects of a rigorous training schedule.3
So how can the glucosamine effects help? Well, by bolstering the amount in your body and keeping these essential levels topped up, the glucosamine can function as it should. As a result, this could help keep you active as you age or provide much needed support for those taking part in frequent exercise or competitive sports of any kind.
Glucosamine: What are the potential benefits?
When it comes to research there are a number of studies that suggest glucosamine effects may provide on-going support to your joints. Existing naturally within your body, it is thought that glucosamine promotes the creation of different chemical compounds which make up the structure of both cartilage and synovial fluid – the fluid that lubricates your joints and minimises friction between your bones. An example of this would be collagen, which could help promote smooth movement and maintain an active lifestyle. As a result, ensuring you have a regular and increased intake of glucosamine may help support joints.
How much glucosamine do I take daily?
The typical dosage of glucosamine is approximately 500-1,500mg per day, for both men and women depending on each country. This can be taken at once, or in small doses throughout the day. Glucosamine is often taken in combination with chondroitin sulphate.5 This can be found in food but only in trace amounts, so supplementation is key to increasing the levels within your body.
Both glucosamine and chondroitin offer a great, natural option for individuals who are unable to manage their glucosamine or/and chondroitin levels.6 However, it’s important to remember that there are a number of mild side effects such as bloating, nausea, diarrhoea and constipation, so stop using these supplements if they cause any issues, and talk to your doctor before taking any form of supplementation and if you’re unsure about whether you should continue taking them.
When is the best time to take glucosamine?
Although glucosamine can be taken at any time, it’s often taken with meals. This helps avoid potential side effects such as an upset stomach.. This is the same when taking both glucosamine and chondroitin together.
Glucosamine: What does science say?
- Glucosamine is a compound found naturally within your body – more specifically, cartilage.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin are often taken together to raise essential levels within the body.
- While this is a popular supplement, the research is not conclusive and there are no current guidelines or firm scientific recommendations regarding glucosamine supplementation.
Discover Naturecan’s Glucosamine Chondroitin
Ideal for people leading active lifestyles, our Glucosamine and Chondroitin Capsules offer a simple way to support mobility and joint health, with the use of Vitamin C to support normal bones & cartilage¹, while contributing to the normal functioning of the immune system³, and metabolism⁴ particularly during exercise. As mentioned earlier, these compounds are often taken together as a supplement due to glucosamine and chondroitin being the structural components of cartilage.This makes our capsules a great choice for anyone taking part in rigorous exercise. For added mobility support, our easy-to-take capsules also contain copper, which contributes to the maintenance of normal connective tissues.
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- Vitamin C contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of bones and cartilage.
- Copper contributes to maintenance of normal connective tissues.
- Vitamin C contributes to the normal function of the immune system
- Vitamin C contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism.
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