Glucosamine: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects
Glucosamine is quite important in cartilage build and repair. Glucosamine supplements are also taken to boost up joints health.
Glucosamine is actually a natural sugar that is stored in the fluid around joints. It is also found in animal’s bones, fungi, and shellfish.
The glucosamine found in supplements is taken from the shells of shellfish. Other synthetic forms of glucosamine come in different forms, such as capsules, tablets, and injections.
Having different kinds of glucosamine, it is difficult to know their different effects.
These kinds include:
- N-acetyl glucosamine
- Glucosamine hydrochloride
- Glucosamine sulfate
Some of the supplements are used in combination with other ingredients including, shark cartilage, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and chondroitin.
Some of the supporters of glucosamine claim some health problems such as:
- High cholesterol
- Ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease)
- Temporomandibular joint disorder
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Glucosamine Health Benefits
1. Chondroitin & glucosamine for Osteoarthritis
Glucosamine is helpful in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis specifically. There are some studies that contradict this claim.
Chondroitin, which is a compound present in cartilage when combined with glucosamine, has been found to be effective for osteoporosis, similar to the other medication called celecoxib.
Chondroitin & glucosamine are essential for bone and joint health, and they prevent osteoarthritis.
2. Glucosamine tablets for reducing Inflammation
Chondroitin and glucosamine supplements are helpful in reducing chronic inflammation, which is associated with many health problems, including arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.
Studies have indicated that regular intake of glucosamine supplements may lower inflammation. Moreover, its regular consumption can decrease the potential risk of other chronic conditions as well.
3. Glucosamine supplement for Bone Health
Some of the studies suggest that glucosamine supplements may slow down the progression of post-menopause osteoporosis.
More researches are required in this area. Glucosamine aids in promoting bone growth by preventing bones from becoming weaker.
These supplements are quite beneficial for those who are already at risk of developing osteoporosis.
4. Reduces Back Pain
Glucosamine may not be helpful for people with degenerative lumbar osteoarthritis ad chronic lower back pain.
Side Effects of Glucosamine
Typical side effects of glucosamine are mild in nature which includes constipation, nausea, diarrhea, and heartburn.
Some severe but rare side effects include headaches, drowsiness, and skin reactions. Consuming these supplements along with food may decrease side effects.
- People with already suffering from health conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, high blood pressure, and glaucoma should first consult a doctor before taking glucosamine supplements.
- People with allergies to shellfish should be cautious as most of the supplements are made up of shells of crabs, lobsters, and shrimp.
- It is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women to take glucosamine supplements because not much researches claim its safe use.