Glucosamine (C6H14NO5) is a dietary supplement distributed as a salt — usually as glucosamine HCl, glucosamine sulfate potassium, or glucosamine sulfate sodium. A typical dosage is 1,500 mg per day. The salt complexes, glucosamine sulfate * KCl or glucosamine sulfate * NaCl, or the hydrochloride, glucosamine sulfate * HCl, are required for stabiliity. more...
Glucosamine sulfate is a synthetic version of a compound the human body makes to stimulate the growth of cartilage. The idea is that such compounds help rebuild cartilage and reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
The supplement is an acceptable treatment in veterinary medicine, but the Arthritis Foundation and the American College of Rheumatology have not yet officially recommended it for humans, despite a large body of evidence supporting its use and the fact that it is considered a drug in several countries around the world. The United States Food and Drug Administration does not approve any dietary supplement, and, as such, at this time glucosamine is sold as a nutritional supplement and therefore does not need evidence of safety and efficacy. Glucosamine has been studied for over 20 years. As a natural substance that is already present inside the body, evidence bears out that glucosamine appears to be quite safe. One caveat - there is limited evidence that individuals with an allergy to shellfish should avoid glucosamine, as it is is usually derived from shellfish. There are vegetarian sources available.
Current research shows it may play a role in relieving pain associated with osteoarthritis. As used, it is often paired with MSM. The National Institutes of Health conducted a multi-arm, placebo-controlled study to see the effects of chondroitin and glucosamine on osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Recent results of a 6-month clinical trial indicate that chondroitin sulfate (1.2 g) plus glucosamine (1.5 g) daily were as effective in relieving osteoarthritic knee pain as Celebrex, but more study would be helpful.
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