Glucosamine - Benefits, Dosage and Side Effects

by Abhishek Chauhan

Glucosamine is the chemical compound that maintains the cartilage in our joints. This is an amino sugar found naturally in the human body that helps ensures pain free, flexible movement of the body. 

During movement, our bones tend to come closer to each other, raising chances of friction. The cartilage prevents them from scraping against one another by offering protective padding.

Glucosamine benefits the body by helping you build, maintain, and repair connective tissues like cartilage that safeguards the bones in all the joints.  

But what happens when the cartilage starts to deteriorate due to age? 

With age, people start experiencing pain or swelling in the joints and this could also lead to tissue breakdown. In such cases, you may require additional supplements like glucosamine vitamins to get rid of the discomfort.

What Are Supplemental Glucosamine Vitamins?

Besides its presence in the human body, Glucosamine is also found in animal bones, shellfish shells and fungi. Usually, the supplemental glucosamine vitamins are commercially produced from these sources. 

These supplements come in the form of tablets and capsules and are also available in injection form. There are different kinds of glucosamine supplements available and it includes N-Acetyl glucosamine, glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. These are recommended based on the condition of the patient.


Why Is Glucosamine Used For Joint Ailments?

When the natural cartilage is eroded due to age or other factors, pain and inflammation are often observed. The severe pain can sometimes affect the mobility of the person. This is where supplemental glucosamine vitamins can make a big difference. They not only help rebuild the cartilage and fluid that cushions the joints but also slows down further breakdown of the existing cartilage. 

Glucosamine supplements can help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by the deterioration of natural cartilage in the joints. These supplements are very popular among those suffering from painful ailments and are mainly used for:

1. Osteoarthritis relief

Those who suffer from severe knee pain arising from osteoarthritis find great relief from the consumption of glucosamine supplements. There is some indication that these supplements may curb the degeneration of this joint. 

2. Reducing inflammation

Regular ingestion of glucosamine may reduce the inflammation typically caused by cartilage breakdown especially in the joints. 

3. Lower back pain relief

Pain in this region arising from degenerative lumbar osteoarthritis is also often handled with glucosamine supplements. 

4. Curbing osteoporosis progression

For women who have just crossed the menopause stage, osteoporosis is a significant risk. There is some evidence to show that glucosamine vitamins can help support bone health and thus prevent premature bone weakening.  

5. Dosage

One important question to ask before you start taking the supplement is - How much glucosamine should I take? 

Just like any other medication or supplement, it is important to pay attention to the appropriate dosage. The recommended glucosamine dosage is 500 milligrams per day and it has to be consumed along with your meal. However, make sure to check with your physician about the dosage that will work for you.

Also Read: Things You Must Know Before Taking Glucosamine Supplements

Glucosamine Side Effects

As with all supplements, glucosamine also may have some side effects in some people. Usually, the side effects are a risk when the appropriate dosage is not followed. Some of the most common side-effects are as follows: 

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Stomach upset
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Drowsiness

Those who are allergic to shellfish must be extra cautious when buying and using glucosamine vitamins. These may cause adverse reactions since most glucosamine supplements are derived from shellfish shells.

Supplements may interact with other medications in some cases. If you have any other long- standing ailments, such as high blood pressure or heart disease, do check with your physician before taking any supplements. 

If you are on any medication for heart conditions or you take blood thinners or medication for diabetes, it is important to ask the doctor for advice on whether or not you can take these vitamins.

To Conclude

Glucosamine vitamins are popular for the relief they offer from the severe pain that arises when the cartilage begins to break down, thus eroding the padding at the joints. This is a common issue among people with age being the most important factor contributing to it. So if you are experiencing such issues, then you should surely consider these vitamins after consulting with your doctor.