According to the CDC, over 32.5 million US adults suffer from osteoarthritis. This is a painful degenerative condition, which causes the supportive cartilage between the joint bones to deteriorate. Glucosamine has emerged as one of the most effective supplements that people have tried as a part of alternative osteoarthritis therapy.
Here’s everything that you need to know about glucosamine supplements.
What Are Glucosamine Supplements?
Glucosamine is a natural compound found in the fluid around the joints in the body. It is an amino sugar that is synthesized from glucose and is an intermediate compound that is incorporated into the articular cartilage, often known as its building block.
Science says that the production of glucosamine in the body gets impaired as people age and there are no known food sources of glucosamine. So currently its only source is supplements.
Glucosamine is found in the exoskeleton of shellfish such as lobsters, shrimp, and crabs. Glucosamine supplements are harvested from the shells of shellfish and are available in several forms such as glucosamine sulfate, N-acetyl glucosamine, and glucosamine hydrochloride.
However, the consumption of these shells directly is medically prohibited.
Do Glucosamine Supplements Really Work?
Science has recently started backing the powerful effects of glucosamine on joint health. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider including glucosamine supplements in your diet:
1. Lowers inflammation
As is always thought, osteoarthritis is not just the ‘wear and tear’ of the cartilage and joint degeneration. It is also closely tied to inflammation. When there is an elevated production of proinflammatory cytokines, there is a constant progression of the disease. Furthermore, chronic inflammation also leads to other serious conditions such as cardiac problems, diabetes, and cancer.
Studies say that glucosamine exhibits anti-inflammatory effects by reducing the levels of pro-inflammatory factors like interleukin 1 and 6 and enhances the syntheses of proteoglycans that restrict cartilage degradation and enhance joint function.
2. Treats Joint Pain
Also known as degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage around the ends of the bones breaks down. This causes the bones in the joints to rub with each other, which leads to mild or severe pain.
A common question associated with this supplement is - how does glucosamine help with joint pain?
Glucosamine (see also 'Glucosamine - Does It Affect Blood Sugar?') is known to protect chondrocytes. These are the cells that help maintain cartilage structure and reduce joint pain in the process. Randomized trials have shown that glucosamine reduces joint stiffness and pain leading to improved mobility.
Also Read: 9 Health Benefits of Turmeric Supplements
Who Cannot Take Glucosamine Supplements?
While this is a safe supplement, certain categories of people should never take glucosamine for joint pain without consulting their doctor. These include people:
- Suffering from glaucoma, asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
- Breastfeeding or pregnant women.
- Since these supplements are made from shellfish extracts, anyone who has a shellfish allergy must avoid taking these supplements.
- People over the age of 60.
Are There Any Adverse Effects of These Supplements?
Though the side effects of glucosamine are rare, they do exist. People may experience:
- Mild side effects include gastrointestinal symptoms like gas, flatulence, constipation, heartburn, and bloat.
- Serious side effects may include nausea, dizziness, or abnormal heartbeats.
How to Increase the Efficacy of Glucosamine Supplements?
The side effects of glucosamine supplements can be easily managed by:
- Speaking to your doctor before including this supplement in your routine.
- Consuming them after your meals. This prevents gastrointestinal symptoms and improves their bioavailability.
- Not adjusting their dosage on your own. Let your doctor prescribe the appropriate dosage depending on the severity of your symptoms.
- Since glucosamine supplements are a part of complementary therapy, you should continue your daily regimen of exercise, diet, and other therapies.
How to Choose the Best Glucosamine Supplement?
To gain all the benefits of glucosamine, it is essential to select only the best glucosamine joint supplement (see also 'Joint Supplements: Best Options for Joint Pain'). While there are several joint supplements in the market today, here’s how you can choose the best-performing one:
- Look for high-quality ingredients.
- It must be supplemented with other joint-benefitting compounds such as turmeric & ginger extract, selenium, chondroitin, Bioperine, and more.
- It should be approved by the FDA.
Physio Flex Pro checks all the above conditions for the best and the most credible glucosamine supplements. The supplement is made with lab-test A-1 grade ingredients that are extracted from natural sources. In addition to glucosamine, it includes Selenium Citrate, Bromelain, Ginger Extract, Turmeric Extract, Chondroitin Sulfate, Bioperine, and Methylsulfonylmethane. It is a USA-made product that is approved by cGMP, an FDA-registered facility.