Glucosamine is naturally occurring in the body and plays an important role in maintaining healthy ligaments, cartilage and the fluid that surrounds the joints. You will find it comes in supplement form which often contain glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetyl glucosamine. The former two are taken mainly by those who suffer from osteoarthritis, as well as similar conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Those are just a couple of the benefits you can expect when taking glucosamine supplements. However, there is a lot more to this than you may think. It’s with this in mind we explore more and answering your questions about the benefits of taking glucosamine.
What is glucosamine?
- Glucosamine is a compound that naturally occurs in the body and is chemically classified as amino sugar.
- Found in other sources such as shellfish shells, animal bones, fungi, and other natural sources.
- Plays an important role acting as a building block for many molecule functions in the body. Primarily for helping the body to produce cartilage for the joints.
- Contains anti-inflammatory properties meaning it can help with joint pain, but there are still several studies to be carried out to determine the true results.
- Known for helping those suffering from osteoarthritis and other related concerns.
Is it good to take glucosamine daily?
Yes, glucosamine is considered safe to take daily, but only if you have received all clear from a doctor to ensure you take the correct dosage. Speaking of dosage, the typical dose of glucosamine is 1,500 to 3,000 mg per day. The main forms of glucosamine found in supplements are,
- Glucosamine sulfate
- Glucosamine hydrochloride
- N-Acetyl glucosamine
All three act in similar ways and provide the same anti-inflammatory results, but the one that has proven the highest preforming in the trio is glucosamine sulfate.
Following extensive scientific research showing optimal results reducing symptoms found with osteoarthritis. Although glucosamine is considered safe to take, there are some side effects you must remain mindful of such as,
It can also affect blood sugar and insulin levels so those with diagnosed diabetes should check with their GP if they are wanting to start taking glucosamine supplements on a regular basis.
Is glucosamine bad for kidneys?
Not really, this is because many suffering from chronic kidney disease are often prescribed glucosamine to help to treat and maintain the problem. Having said that, it is advisable for patients with kidney impairments to consult with a doctor before introducing glucosamine supplements into their daily routine. There continues to be continuous research underway regarding the results so keeping up to date with the latest data will help you find the best formula for you.
Can glucosamine make joints worse?
Yes, it can if you are taking the wrong dosage for the wrong reason. There have been several studies performed to find out how effect glucosamine is for relieving joint pain. Finding the best form of glucosamine to improve the health and general function of the joints would often include a combination of chondroitin and glucosamine. This is because chondroitin is another supplement that has been proven to help with the production of cartilage and simulate the repair of the mechanisms and how they function in the body.
As I have already expressed in previous sections, it is vital to check with a doctor about which type of glucosamine and dosage level is best suited for your needs.
Does glucosamine help with weight loss?
Yes, it can, it has been proven that one of the main benefits of taking glucosamine, especially if you are classified as overweight, is how it can help with maintain and losing weight. This is because it can assist the body by breaking down amino acids which is basically the body turning carbohydrates into energy and preventing them from being stored as fat.
Having said that, taking glucosamine can cause weight gain. This often occurs if you change your eating habits or have a diet that contains a lot of carbohydrates. To avoid this, it is recommended to have a healthy lifestyle, keep a meal plan, and have an idea of the ideal nutritional guide best suited for your needs and body type.
Can glucosamine cause liver damage?
There have been some rare cases of glucosamine causing damage to the liver, especially if there is existing damage caused or you are currently recovering from liver injury. Due to the rarity of this concern, you will find taking a glucosamine supplement will help with any concerns you have with joint pain or the breakdown of cartilage. Many find that a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin will result in quicker more effective results at alleviating joint pain with the minimal impact on the liver.
The dosage of each supplement product varies greatly so always ensure you read the product packaging as this will help you understand the correct amount to take and ideally when to take your supplements.
How long should I take glucosamine?
Generally speaking, it is perfectly safe and effective for most adults to take a supplement for up to 2 years, for other forms of glucosamine, such as N-acetyl glucosamine there is a significantly less time of 6 months, after this you must revisit the product to ensure it is delivering results.
If you find you suffer from any of the side effects previously mentioned, it is advisable to stop taking the supplement and take some time to look for an alternative.
There you have a little more information about the benefits of taking glucosamine, don’t forget, if there are any further questions, you can come and find one of our health experts over on Instagram.