Do Glucosamine Dietary Supplements Work For Arthritis?

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Glucosamine is a well-liked dietary complement used to deal with osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative illness brought on by inadequate regeneration of cartilage in joints, most frequently within the knees and hips.

It will get worse over time and causes joint ache, difficulties strolling and incapacity.

There is no such thing as a recognized remedy, however there are a couple of methods to doubtlessly gradual the method. Many individuals attempt to stave off osteoarthritis by taking glucosamine dietary supplements.

However do they actually work? This text takes a have a look at the proof.

What Is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a pure amino sugar produced by your physique. It’s also a dietary complement marketed as a substitute therapy for osteoarthritis.

The best pure focus of glucosamine is in joints and cartilage the place it makes up the construction of glycosaminoglycans, compounds important for joint well being (1).

Dietary supplements are usually processed from crustacean shells or produced by the bacterial fermentation of grains (2).

They’re broadly obtainable and bought within the type of tablets, capsules, comfortable gels or drink mixes. There are two essential sorts: glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride.

The best way glucosamine impacts arthritis is unclear. Scientists imagine naturally occurring glucosamine helps defend the cartilage inside your joints (Three).

Moreover, a number of research counsel that taking glucosamine dietary supplements could scale back collagen breakdown (four, 5).

The dietary supplements may work by decreasing irritation, which is likely one of the essential causes of joint cartilage breakdown in osteoarthritis sufferers (6).

Nevertheless, the effectiveness of those dietary supplements is debated.

Abstract: Glucosamine is a dietary complement typically used to deal with osteoarthritis. Scientists usually are not completely positive the way it works, however research counsel it could scale back cartilage breakdown.

Do These Dietary supplements Work for Arthritis?

Pile of White Capsules

Glucosamine is likely one of the world’s hottest dietary supplements. It’s additionally among the many most controversial.

Right here is the analysis about the way it impacts the 2 widespread forms of arthritis.


Whereas many research conclude that glucosamine has no advantages for osteoarthritis, others point out that it could relieve joint ache and different signs over time.

This particularly applies to glucosamine sulfate salts, a formulation patented by the pharmaceutical firm Rottapharm.

One managed examine in 318 adults with osteoarthritis discovered that taking 1,500 mg of the “Rotta formulation” day by day for half a yr lowered ache and improved operate greater than a placebo.

The advantages appeared just like a day by day Three-mg dose of acetaminophen — a generally used ache reliever (7).

One other two research, which included round 200 individuals, confirmed that taking 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate day by day for 3 years improved their total signs — together with ache, stiffness and performance — in comparison with a placebo (eight, 9).

Nevertheless, these research had been probably industry-influenced since Rottapharm financed all three. At the moment, no massive, long-term, industry-independent research on the effectiveness of glucosamine can be found.

An impartial evaluation of a number of high-quality research concluded that the “Rotta formulation” improved sure measures of ache and performance greater than a placebo, whereas different kinds didn’t present any important advantages (10).

That stated, the advantages of taking glucosamine sulfate are small and a few researchers think about them clinically irrelevant (11).

Abstract: The advantages of this complement are controversial. Some research counsel that glucosamine sulfate could barely enhance osteoarthritis signs when taken for no less than half a yr.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis shouldn’t be confused with rheumatoid arthritis, which is far much less widespread.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune illness during which the immune system assaults the joints. Not like osteoarthritis, it isn’t brought on by on a regular basis put on and tear.

Scientists have typically assumed that glucosamine has no advantages for rheumatoid arthritis.

Nonetheless, one examine in 51 adults with rheumatoid arthritis suggests in any other case. It discovered that taking 1,500 mg of glucosamine hydrochloride for 3 months improved self-assessed signs greater than a placebo (12).

Nevertheless, extra research want to verify these findings earlier than any strong conclusions might be made.

Abstract: Restricted proof signifies that glucosamine hydrochloride could enhance signs in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. Nevertheless, extra research are wanted.

Tips on how to Purchase Glucosamine

White Bottle and Pills on a Blue Background

These dietary supplements are broadly obtainable and straightforward to search out.

Glucosamine sulfate seems to be simpler than glucosamine hydrochloride, so in case you resolve to attempt these dietary supplements, your greatest guess is the sulfate kind (13, 14).

One other issue to think about is the standard of the product you might be shopping for. One examine discovered that the quantity of glucosamine in dietary supplements was typically decrease than reported (15).

Glucosamine high quality is intently monitored in most European international locations the place it’s marketed as a pharmaceutical. In North America, it’s categorized as a nutraceutical, and its manufacturing and advertising is probably not as strictly managed.

In case you are shopping for American dietary supplements, select those who have a top quality certification from a third-party company. These embrace Knowledgeable Selection, NSF Worldwide and the US Pharmacopeial Conference (USP).

Moreover, glucosamine is usually bought together with chondroitin sulfate, a complement additionally used to scale back the signs of osteoarthritis.

Its effectiveness is debated, however some research counsel it could scale back ache when used alone or together with glucosamine (16).

Abstract: In case you resolve to complement with glucosamine, select merchandise that comprise the sulfate kind and have a top quality certification.

Dosage and Aspect Results

Typically, glucosamine needs to be taken with meals 3 times per day.

Doses often vary from 300–500 mg with every meal, including as much as a complete day by day dose of 900–1,500 mg. Most research used 1,500 mg per day.

Salts of glucosamine sulfate or the “Rotta formulation” solely have to be taken as soon as per day. Make sure that to comply with the directions on the packaging.

These dietary supplements are thought-about secure and no severe unwanted effects have been reported. Flatulence is the most typical criticism.

Research additionally point out that glucosamine injections could worsen insulin sensitivity, however dietary supplements don’t appear to have the identical impact (17).

Abstract: Glucosamine dietary supplements are thought-about secure and don’t have any severe unwanted effects. The usual dosage is 1,500 mg per day.

The Backside Line

Glucosamine is a controversial complement.

Many research haven’t detected any important advantages, whereas others counsel the sulfate kind could scale back the signs of osteoarthritis and delay or gradual its improvement.

Nonetheless, some scientists nonetheless doubt the effectiveness of glucosamine or think about its small advantages clinically irrelevant.

Whereas glucosamine is not any magic resolution, others level out that dietary supplements can not damage and could also be higher than no therapy in any respect.

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