There have been numerous studies that have shown glucosamine is known to dull the pain of arthritis, and it also has many benefits for osteoarthritis. Glucosamine can be taken as an over-the-counter dietary supplement and it is known to be completely safe. It is a natural and non-toxic compound and can help to ease joint discomfort and may even help to improve the overall structure of your joints.
Glucosamine is best known as an amino sugar that is vital in constructing connective tissue and healthy cartilage. It is extremely critical in helping the body for protective tissues such as proteoglycans. Proteoglycans are typically large protein molecules that can best be described as a sponge-like material that is able to hold water which will help give connective tissues their elasticity and cushioning affects. They are also known to protect a joint against excessive wear and tear. You will actually find that the majority of our tendons, ligaments, bones, skin, nails and mucous membranes may not be able to form properly without glucosamine.
As glucosamine is a product that is naturally produced by the body, many people may question why there is a need to take it in additional quantities. However you will find that the rate at which our bodies use glucosamine will gradually change over time. This is typically due to increased athletic activity, arthritis, injuries, burns, other inflammatory disorders, age and many other forms of chronic degeneration. Unfortunately, during these times your body will not be able to keep up with the demand for glucosamine, which will eventually lead to a decrease in the amount of proteoglycans that are produced. The effects that this will have on your body can include, protective lubricating substances such as synovial fluids decreasing over time. It is these fluids which specifically cushion your joints and are able to protect them from damage. In essence, your body requires more glucosamine, but unfortunately less is now being produced.
Many scientific studies have, therefore, suggested that additional types of supplement containing glucosamine should be taken. Glucosamine can be taken in oral form which allows it to be easily absorbed and may even lead to the stimulation of new cartilage and other protective molecules that are essential for the body. You should take glucosamine every day, although it is known as an extremely slow acting supplement and therefore could take up to a month to show any effect. The majority of studies claim that 1500 mg of glucosamine per day is the ideal amount. Glucosamine can also be purchased as a pill, powder or cream. Although glucosamine in the cream form may keep your skin healthy, there is no actual evidence that will suggest that glucosamine alone is able to be absorbed through the skin. It has been suggested that liquid glucosamine is the best form to take.
Glucosamine has been approved and regulated as a prescription drug in many countries. However, currently in the United States, glucosamine is only taken as a nutritional supplement. This would therefore suggest that it has neither, been tested or regulated as all other prescriptions are. It is vitally important that if you do buy glucosamine as a nutritional supplement that you buy it from a reputable brand which follow good manufacturing practices (GMP). Unfortunately there are many supplements in the marketplace that will not contain the exact amount of glucosamine that is actually advertised on the label. This may well mean that the actual dosages of glucosamine will vary, although you will find that the majority of manufacturers will label their products as having 1500 mg of glucosamine per day.
There are no major side-effects from taking glucosamine, although some people have suffered from mild gastrointestinal upset. If you are diabetic, you should consult with your doctor prior to taking any glucosamine supplements. If you are allergic to shellfish you should look to avoid glucosamine and due to a lack of information, it is recommended that pregnant or nursing individuals should also avoid glucosamine. However, with that said glucosamine is used in many different countries around the world and has a long proven history of safety.
Glucosamine is fast becoming a preferred method of treatment for joint pain. There are numerous non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are often prescribed for joint pain or the discomfort that is associated with arthritis. However NSAIDs have a history of producing potentially harmful side-effects. These may include an increase in the risk of heart attacks and gastrointestinal bleeding. The main difference between glucosamine and NSAIDs is that rather than tricking the body into not receiving specific pain signals, glucosamine will actually go straight to the cause of the disease. Glucosamine can not only benefit to tender joints, it is known to also stimulate the production of proteins which can help to repair and build the connective tissues of the body.
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