Glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance found in the fluid around joints. Other tissues that contain glucosamine include the skin, nails, bones, and ligaments. Additionally, it also exists in bones, bone marrow, shellfish, fungus, poultry, cattle, and certain cheeses.
The neutral form of Glucosamine is one of the most effective and widely used over-the-counter dietary supplements to enhance joint health and treat diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Glucosamine was developed in the 1960’s, in Italy by pharmacologist Professor Luigi Rovati, the founder of the Rottapharm Madaus pharmaceutical conglomerate – one of the world’s leading providers of glucosamine sulphate and specialised in osteoarthritis and arthritis.
In 2012, about 2.6 percent of individuals in the United States took glucosamine, chondroitin, or both supplements, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Chondroitin is similar to glucosamine and is found in joints naturally.
Form and Function
This chemical is utilized by the body to reproduce other chemicals involved in building ligaments, tendons, cartilage and other thick fluids around the joints. It is found in varied forms such as glucosamine hydrochloride, glucosamine sulfate and N-acetyl glucosamine. The most common one and well-researched is ‘glucosamine sulfate’.
The majority of glucosamine, in supplement form, is made from ‘chitin’ extracted from the shells of shellfish such as shrimp, lobsters, and crabs. Manufacturers have introduced glucosamine products derived from the fungus ‘Aspergillus Niger’ and fermented maize to satisfy the needs of vegetarians and those who are allergic to shellfish.
Glucosamine is used by the body to create and repair cartilage, which is a connective tissue that protects the bones in the joints by being flexible, strong, and springy. It acts as a cushion between the bones, preventing them from rubbing together. As people age, the cartilage can become less flexible and begin to break down and cause discomfort, inflammation, and tissue destruction, as seen in osteoarthritis.
Benefits of Glucosamine
- The supplements can either enhance cartilage and fluid around joints, or assist prevent their degradation, or both.
- Number of studies confirm the anti-inflammatory effects of glucosamine achieved by inhibiting various inflammatory signals. Inflammation is a major driver of the aging process and is implicated in cancer and cardiovascular disorders.
- The supplementation reduces cancer mortality risk by 13%, respiratory diseases by 41%, and other causes by 33%, as well as decreasing all-cause mortality by 18%.
- It has been found to reduce platelet aggregation in a similar fashion to aspirin. Platelet aggregation occurs when platelets in the blood cluster together to cause blood clots (thrombus), which can restrict blood flow, deprive tissues of nutrition, and result in a stroke or heart attack.
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Shubham Pharmachem’s blog posts have been written with the information gathered from approved medical journals and websites online. Our research and technical team strive to provide relevant information through such articles. We strongly advise readers to not consume or administer any medication without prior consultation with their doctor.