Are you considering taking glucosamine for joint health? It’s been available as a supplement for over a decade, however, not all products are effective, and claims can be misleading. Let’s take a look at what research can tell us about glucosamine and how to get it safely.
Glucosamine is a natural component in your body that helps build essential joint cartilage. Healthy cartilage is needed for effortless joint movement. If cartilage gets damaged, it leads to joint problems like inflammation, swelling, and pain. As we age, our natural glucosamine levels decrease, which can contribute to joint wear and tear, possibly leading to osteoarthritis (OA).
But how does it work?
Scientists aren’t quite sure. It’s been suggested that glucosamine travels from your bloodstream to the joints once absorbed. There, it contributes to building the glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) required for cartilage. Imagine it this way — constructing a wall requires various materials: bricks, mortar, and water. Similarly, building strong cartilage in your joints requires certain building blocks, glucosamine included.
Can glucosamine supplements help?
A number of studies suggest that supplementing with glucosamine sulfate may have some benefit in relieving pain in the joints and slowing down the progression of joint damage. These results are promising, but remain inconclusive and studies are ongoing.
There are several forms of glucosamine available in supplements, and contents can vary so it's important to exercise caution. Check the ingredients and be aware of any potential side effects and interactions they may cause.
Where is glucosamine found naturally?
Finding glucosamine-rich foods can be challenging since typical sources like eggshell membranes and crustacean shells are not edible or appetising. Some people find bone broth appealing; this involves simmering shells, and animal bones and joints to create a rich broth.
Dietary sources may not have a big impact on how your body makes and uses glucosamine, however foods with anti-inflammatory properties can still help keep your joints healthy and lessen pain and stiffness.
Adam's Back is a team of dedicated complimentary health professionals. Our aim is to support you in finding drug-free solutions for better health.