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Glucosamine As An Arthritis Medication - Here's The Real Facts

Mar 8, 2008
There are a many different opinions on treatments for arthritis. A commonly used arthritis medication called glucosamine has recently been getting a lot of attention. Lets take a closer look at this interesting product.

What is it? - Glucosamine is an amino sugar that is naturally found in the human body and in other animals. Commercially it is produced from the shells of crustaceans. It is widely held up as being of use to patients who suffer from osteoarthritis. This is a condition where the cartilage covering the ends of bones in a joint becomes worn down. This results in inflammation, pain and swelling. It is estimated that there are over 20 million sufferers of osteoarthritis in the US.

How does it work? - It is believed that glucosamine works by helping to restore damaged cartilage. This is important because cartilage provides protection and shock absorption in a joint. It may also have an anti-inflammatory effect. The product is commonly used in combination with chondroitin.

How is it taken? - For arthritis medication, glucosamine is taken in either a liquid or tablet form. It is recommended that around 1500mg per day is taken. This maybe achieved by taking a 500mg tablet 3 times daily. This has been found to be effective in clinical trials. Some products provide considerably less than this figure so it is worth checking before making a purchase.

Is it licensed? - Glucosamine is not licensed by the FDA for use as a medical product in humans. However, it is currently classed as a dietary supplement and can be marketed provided that no specific claims to treat a specific condition are made.

Is it safe? - Glucosamine id taken internally as a food supplement. There have been numerous studies carried out that have concluded that the taking of glucosamine is safe. Because it is derived from the shells of crustaceans, those with a seafood allergy may want to proceed with caution.

Does it actually work? - There have been a number of scientific studies to evaluate the effectiveness of glucosamine. A growing number have concluded that there is a clear benefit of using glucosamine especially if it is used in combination with chondroitin. Other studies have failed to show a benefit over placebo.

Where can I get it? - Glucosamine is available for a number of suppliers including health food stores, online retailers and mail order supplement suppliers. Ensure that you use a reputable company to obtain the product from. Some products have very low levels in them and others have poorer quality ingredients.

I want to try it - If you would like to try glucosamine, speak to your doctor first. Do not think of it as a miracle cure, but as an addition to a sensible treatment plan that also includes suitable exercise, good diet and weight reduction (if needed). The recommended dose to take on a daily basis is a tablet containing 500mg of glucosamine and 400mg of chondroitin, three times each day. Do not stop taking any medication that your doctor has prescribed for you to take, as glucosamine is only intended as a supplement.
About the Author
Find out more about natural treatments for arthritis by visiting www.arthritispainadvice.com. You maybe surprised at the latest thoughts on herbal treatment for arthritis. You can also find out about the latest tips on rheumatoid arthritis diets.
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