Glucosamine for Joint Health? What the Research Suggests
What is Glucosamine?
You may have heard of glucosamine before - especially if you've been looking for a natural way to support joint health and mobility. This organic compound is found in connective tissue in the body such as cartilage, and is essential in helping form joint proteins and lipids. This is because glucosamine acts as a precursor building block for many connective tissues. Without glucosamine, the synthesis and maintenance of the following connective structures in the body would suffer:
Cartilage in the joints necessary for smooth joint gliding and physical activity
Synovial fluid, which acts as a nutrient in the upkeep of joints and shock absorber
Tendons and ligaments which provide tensile strength, passive stability of joints and optimum bone articulation
As a nutrient, glucosamine is usually extracted from shellfish or fermented grains, and some can even be found in bone broth. Many forms of glucosamine exist, such as glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetyl glucosamine, with the former being the most popular in supplements and clinical studies. The chemical structure of glucosamine is nearly identical to that of common table sugar; however slight organic structural differences account for the many positive health benefits of this molecule.
Here's What the Research Says
The positive health effects of this naturally occurring amino sugar have been thoroughly explored in modern research. For example, a recent systematic review and network meta analysis of randomized controlled trials was conducted on glucosamine by Kongtharvonskul et al. in 2015. This meta analysis included 505 studies, and the results suggest that glucosamine is effective at significantly improving pain scores for those with osteoarthritis (1).
One of the most rigorous studies on glucosamine, called the Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT), has also highlighted the pain-relieving benefits of glucosamine. The study was conducted over 8 weeks, and the majority of participants with previously high levels of joint pain reported significant pain relief after taking glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate (2).
Glucosamine has been shown to possess natural anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it suitable for combating arthritis and osteoarthritis. Glucosamine can also help improve joint mobility, range of motion, and overall joint health. Many people have also experienced relief from joint pain with the help of glucosamine supplements.
How Can I Take Glucosamine to Help Strengthen my Foundation of Health?
To improve joint health and combat joint pain, one can consume 1,500 milligrams daily in the form of glucosamine sulfate (3). Glucosamine has been demonstrated to be safe in a number of studies even when consumed at 2000mg per day (4).
Glucosamine is an excellent natural way to improve joint health. Several other natural compounds have been shown to combat joint pain and optimize joint mobility. These include chondroitin sulfate, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and turmeric curcumin.
1. Chondroitin Sulfate
Alongside glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate is one of the most widely used joint support supplements because it naturally modulates cartilage synthesis and improves tissue recovery. In fact, the US Arthritis Foundation suggests chondroitin sulfate when used with glucosamine may reverse cartilage loss (5) Many studies have demonstrated the efficacy of chondroitin in helping treat osteoarthritis and joint pain, such as the previously mentioned GAIT study (2). Both chondroitin and glucosamine are also known to be very safe, and especially compared to other joint pain medications such as NSAIDs. Chondroitin is sourced naturally from animal tissue.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring sulfur compound that is present in foods such as tomatoes, swiss chard, alfalfa sprouts, and many different fruits. One of the most well-researched benefits of MSM is that it helps optimize joint health, and manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis. This is because MSM contains sulfur, an element that is critical in a number of internal biochemical pathways. A recent study involving 118 patients with osteoarthritis demonstrated that when matched against a placebo, MSM improved overall joint health in terms of joint inflammation and mobility (6). Furthermore, this study demonstrated a synergistic effect between MSM and glucosamine, meaning the health benefits were better when taken together than separately.
If your daily life is plagued by ongoing pain and inflammation in the joints from arthritis, turmeric curcumin could be the savior you've been searching for. Many studies have found that the anti-inflammatory activity of turmeric curcumin might exceed that of conventional arthritis medications, and make it completely suitable for combating arthritis (7, 8, 9). Luckily, with turmeric curcumin, you can reap all the benefits without having to bear the brunt of serious side effects of prescription pain killers.
Choose A Supplement with All These Ingredients
The joints in the body are essential for movement. As we age, our joints gradually lose their flexibility and become stiff. As a result, movement becomes difficult and some may experience pain while trying to move them. While we cannot stop the aging process, we can surely modify our diets to nourish the joints and improve their functioning. In the meantime, taking a quality dietary supplement like Lumen Naturals Joint Restore can go a long way in helping you reclaim joint health and mobility. Supplementing makes it convenient to get the right amount of nutrients in a modern diet.
Glucosamine is a safe and natural alternative to certain pain medications to combat joint pain. Studies have shown that consumption of glucosamine is absolutely safe at doses of 1500mg a day (3). Long-term use of pain medications, on the other hand, have many negative health effects (10). Even worse, the risk of overdosing is a serious concern with many painkillers. In sum, taking a glucosamine supplement provides a myriad of health benefits without any serious adverse side effects. As outlined above, many natural compounds and foods work alongside glucosamine to give the best effects. These include chondroitin sulfate, MSM, and turmeric curcumin.
To strengthen your foundation of health, and take advantage of the wonderful benefits of the glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, turmeric curcumin (and more), give Lumen Naturals Joint Restore a try. One bottle of our top-selling supplement is packed full of 60 vegetable capsules containing only the best joint support ingredients. Get yours today and improve your joint health with natural ingredients!
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1. Kongtharvonskul, J., Anothaisintawee, T., McEvoy, M., Attia, J., Woratanarat, P., & Thakkinstian, A. (2015). Efficacy and safety of glucosamine, diacerein, and NSAIDs in osteoarthritis knee: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. European journal of medical research, 20(1), 24.
2. National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health. (2008). The NIH glucosamine/chondroitin arthritis intervention trial (GAIT). Journal of pain & palliative care pharmacotherapy, 22(1), 39-43.Chicago
3. Richy, F., Bruyere, O., Ethgen, O., Cucherat, M., Henrotin, Y., & Reginster, J. Y. (2003). Structural and symptomatic efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin in knee osteoarthritis: a comprehensive meta-analysis. Archives of Internal Medicine, 163(13), 1514-1522.Chicago
4. Hathcock, J. N., & Shao, A. (2007). Risk assessment for glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 47(1), 78-83.Chicago
5. Arthritis Foundation. (2018). Chondroitin Sulfate for Arthritis. Retrieved June 18, 2018, from https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/supplements-herbs/guide/chondroitin-sulfate.php
6. Usha, P. R., & Naidu, M. U. R. (2004). Randomised, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled study of oral glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane and their combination in osteoarthritis. Clinical drug investigation, 24(6), 353-363.Chicago
7. Chandran, B., & Goel, A. (2012). A Randomized, Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis. Phytotherapy Research, 26(11), 1719–1725. http://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.4639
8. Belcaro, G., Cesarone, M. R., Dugall, M., Pellegrini, L., Ledda, A., Grossi, M. G., … Appendino, G. (2010). Product-evaluation registry of Meriva®, a curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex, for the complementary management of osteoarthritis. Panminerva Medica, 52(2 Suppl 1), 55–62. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20657536
9. Deodhar, S. D., Sethi, R., & Srimal, R. C. (1980). Preliminary study on antirheumatic activity of curcumin (diferuloyl methane). The Indian Journal of Medical Research, 71, 632–4. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7390600
10. Baldini, A., Von Korff, M., & Lin, E. H. (2012). A review of potential adverse effects of long-term opioid therapy: a practitioner’s guide. The primary care companion to CNS disorders, 14(3).
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