Glucosamine is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in both human and animal tissues. In humans, it helps form cartilage and is commonly used as a dietary supplement to treat joint disorders like osteoarthritis.
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What Is It?
What Does It Do?
The glucosamine in your body helps keep up the health of your cartilage — the rubbery tissue that cushions bones at your joints. But as you get older, your levels of this compound begin to drop, which leads to the gradual breakdown of the joint.
It is a naturally occurring chemical found in the human body. It is in the fluid around joints. Additionally it exists in other places in nature.
There are different forms of it including glucosamine sulfate, hydrochloride, and N-acetyl glucosamines. These different chemicals have some similarities, but they may not have the same effects when taken as a dietary supplement. Most of the scientific research on it has involved glucosamine sulfate.
How much glucosamine should you take?
In most studies on treating osteoarthritis, the typical dose was 500 milligrams of glucosamine sulfate, three times a day. Ask your doctor what he recommends for you. Some experts suggest you take it with meals to prevent an upset stomach.
Can you get glucosamine naturally from foods?
Joints are cushioned by the fluid and cartilage that surround them. In some people with osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down and becomes thin. This results in more joint friction, pain, and stiffness. Researchers think that taking its supplements may either increase the cartilage and fluid surrounding joints or help prevent breakdown of these substances, or maybe both.