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Glucosamine, nature's joint pain healer?

Apr 29, 2008
Glucosamine is naturally present in the body. It consists of glucose as well as the amino acid glutamine. Glucosamine is necessary in the formation of a molecule that aids in the development and restoration of cartilage as well as various other tissues in the body. The speed at which we produce Glucosamine decreases with age.

Glucosamine is considered an amino sugar, and it is an important precursor to other critically important body chemicals, among them the glycosylated lipids and proteins. It is what forms exoskeletons for crustaceans like shrimp, lobsters and crabs, fungi, and arthropods or insects, and is one of the most common monosaccharides found in nature. To make glucosamine commercially, these exoskeletons are broken down by the process of hydrolysis to release the compound.

Glucosamine is a popular and effective treatment for arthritis, or inflammation and deterioration of the joints. It is sold as a supplement in liquid or capsules, but is also used in some cosmetics and some sports drinks.

Glucosamine is frequently pooled with Chondroitin Sulfate, a molecule naturally found in cartilage. Chondroitin gives cartilage elasticity and is thought to stop the destruction of cartilage by enzymes. Glucosamine is occasionally combined with Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, in dietary supplements. Glucosamine supplements are widely used for osteoarthritis, chiefly knee osteoarthritis. In osteoarthritis, cartilage becomes rigid and loses its elasticity. This makes the joint prone to damage and may lead to ache, puffiness, loss of movement and further worsening.

Because glucosamine is naturally used by our bodies to create and mend joint cartilage, using glucosamine as a nutritional supplement is thought to aid in this. There is cautious optimism that glucosamine might lessen the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, and could even slow the onset of the conditon. Presently, physicians typically recommend a three month dose of glucosamine. If no progress is made after this time, its use is discontinued. A normal prescription for osteoarthritis consists of 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate to be taken once a day.
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Check out Jamaal Harrison's free video on supplements.
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