Do Glucosamine Supplements Work for Arthritis?


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 treatment, however there are just a few methods to probably sluggish 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.

Glucosamine is a pure amino sugar produced by your physique. It is usually a dietary complement marketed instead remedy 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 offered within the type of tablets, capsules, gentle gels or drink mixes. There are two most important varieties: 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 (3).

Moreover, a number of research counsel that taking glucosamine dietary supplements might cut back collagen breakdown (4, 5).

The dietary supplements may additionally work by reducing inflammation, which is likely one of the most important 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 should not fully certain the way it works, however research counsel it could cut back cartilage breakdown.

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 kinds 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” each day for half a yr lowered ache and improved operate greater than a placebo.

The advantages appeared just like a each day three g dose of acetaminophen — a generally used ache reliever (7).

One other two research, which included round 200 folks, confirmed that taking 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate each day for 3 years improved their general signs — together with ache, stiffness and performance — in comparison with a placebo (8, 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 varieties didn’t present any vital advantages (10).

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

Abstract: The advantages of this complement are controversial. Some research counsel that glucosamine sulfate might barely enhance osteoarthritis signs when taken for at the very least half a yr.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

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

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune illness wherein the immune system assaults the joints. Not like osteoarthritis, it’s not 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 could be made.

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

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

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

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

Glucosamine high quality is carefully 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 and marketing is probably not as strictly managed.

In case you are shopping for American dietary supplements, select those who have a high quality certification from a third-party company. These embrace Informed Choice, NSF International and the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP).

Moreover, glucosamine is commonly offered 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 cut back ache when used alone or together with glucosamine (16).

Abstract: If you happen to determine to complement with glucosamine, select merchandise that comprise the sulfate kind and have a high quality certification.

Usually, glucosamine needs to be taken with meals thrice per day.

Doses often vary from 300–500 mg with every meal, including as much as a complete each 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. Ensure to observe the directions on the packaging.

These dietary supplements are thought of secure and no critical unwanted effects have been reported. Flatulence is the commonest grievance.

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

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

Glucosamine is a controversial complement.

Many research haven’t detected any vital advantages, whereas others counsel the sulfate kind might cut back the signs of osteoarthritis and delay or sluggish its growth.

Nonetheless, some scientists nonetheless doubt the effectiveness of glucosamine or take into account its small advantages clinically irrelevant.

Whereas glucosamine isn’t any magic resolution, others level out that dietary supplements can’t damage and could also be higher than no remedy in any respect.

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