If you are looking for a solution to joint pain and aches, supplementing with glucosamine may be your best bet. Glucosamine plays a vital role in the body’s critical processes, some of which you might not be aware of because glucosamine isn’t generally known. Interestingly, it is an essential ingredient used in producing several medications, especially those for bone health. In any case, read on and find all there is to know about supplementing with glucosamine.
Tidbits About Supplementing with Glucosamine
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring sugar that is found in the fluid surrounding joints in the body. It is also found in bone marrow, shellfish, and in some fungi. It is known biologically to play a vital role in building and repairing cartilage and ensuring the viability of joints. A lot of people, mostly high impact athletes and the elderly, take glucosamine supplements. They do this in the hope that it boosts and sustains their joint health.
Like glucosamine, chondroitin is another naturally occurring sugar around joints. Both of these sugars are typically taken alongside each other as supplements. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, about 4% of American adults use glucosamine and chondroitin supplements as of 2018. When placed in contrast to a value of 2.6% in 2012, this value shows that more people have started supplementing with glucosamine. Currently, these supplements are the second most popular dietary supplements after fish oil and omega-three acids.
Although some have questioned the use of glucosamine supplements stating the lack of sufficient evidence, we do know it works. In this article, find out all there is to know about supplementing with glucosamine.
The Potential Benefits of Supplementing with Glucosamine
Glucosamine supplements are mostly found in two forms, either tablets or capsules. However, since some prefer it, you can now also find it in injectable form. Although the different effects of the types of glucosamine aren’t known, medical studies affirm three types. These types include glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetyl glucosamine.
Most of this supplement’s popular brands combine it with other substances like shark cartilage and chondroitin sulfate, all with the hope of increasing its efficiency. Either way, some of the common uses of glucosamine supplement includes:
Support for Healthy Joints
One of the primary functions of glucosamine in the body is to support the healthy development of joint tissues. Mostly it is useful in developing articular cartilage, which is a smooth tissue that covers the end of bones’ joint surfaces. It is also vital in the metabolism of synovial fluid, responsible for minimizing friction and facilitating easy joint movement. In more straightforward terms, glucosamine is vital if your joint will function as it ought to.
There is quite a number of research on this benefit, some of them indicating that it prevents cartilage breakdown. Another also supports the claim that it reduces collagen degradation in the knees. All in all, these results suggest a protective effect on the joint by glucosamine supplement. This explains why most of its users are adults and high-impact athletes who are prone to joint degradation.
Treating Bone And Joint Disorder
By now, you have an idea of how important glucosamine is to the joint. Asides from other benefits, it is also used to treat symptoms and disease progression linked with osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
These degenerative conditions are primarily associated with reduced mobility and pain, which points to why many desperately look for relief. It is mostly found in adults, but there are incidences of it in younger people.
Honestly, while glucosamine is used to treat these bone and joint disorders, more evidence from research is still needed to support it. The required study will be mostly focused on the mechanism and the best mode of glucosamine application for bone and joint disorder.
Treating Inflammatory Diseases And Other Conditions
Another angle through which supplementing with glucosamine comes in handy is through its effect on treating inflammatory diseases and other medical conditions. A little bit of each is explained here.
- Interstitial Cystitis: Interstitial cystitis is associated with a deficiency of glycosaminoglycan. This compound is a derivative of glucosamine and, as such, can be easily treated by supplementing with it. Of course, more research is still needed to provide support to this claim, but it is known that glucosamine resolves it quickly.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): As interstitial cystitis, IBD is linked with a deficiency of glycosaminoglycan. Although very little research supports it, pharmaceutical companies that produce medication for IBD use glucosamine as a significant ingredient. Further reports after the use have shown its effectiveness in management.
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Glucosamine supplement is used as an adjunct in treating multiple sclerosis. It is used as a therapy for relapsing-remitting MS. While glucosamine supplement does not work for all types of MS, it is known to affect this type.
- Glaucoma: Glucosamine sulfate affects the eye by reducing inflammation and antioxidant effect on the retina. Controlled use of the supplement will suffice in treating the condition, but excessive glucosamine intake will harm people with glaucoma.
While glucosamine is an effective treatment for a wide variety of conditions – at the very least, users report positive results – there is no conclusive data on its impact. If you consider using a glucosamine supplement for any of these benefits, keep in mind the quality of the product you use. Ingredients used in producing the supplements generally go a long way in deciding how well the effects are expressed in its users.
Possible Side Effects
The National Institute of Health stated that glucosamine supplements are widely safe, and side effects are mild and infrequent. Notwithstanding, these side effects can happen. Some of them include rashes, headaches, diarrhea, indigestion, and constipation.
Additionally, there is a possible unknown risk for cancer, diabetes, asthma, blood, and circulation issues. The effect is also not known in pregnancy and breastfeeding. All in all, take caution before you use any supplements, mostly glucosamine supplements.
Glucosamine exists naturally in your body and plays a vital role in joint maintenance. If you are looking for relief from joint disorder or any other related inflammatory conditions, consider supplementing with glucosamine. In any case, remember to consult with your doctor before starting on the process. Stay healthy!