What is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is an amino sugar naturally produced in the body from glucose and glutamine. This substance is a precursor of glycosaminoglycans, essential components of the articular cartilage that cushions all joints, which explains its widespread use in the management of osteoarthritis and joint pain since it may provide a foundation for joint tissue synthesis and repair.

There are no food sources of glucosamine, but it is available in food supplements. The most common and studied form of glucosamine supplementation is glucosamine sulfate, which is derived from the exoskeleton of shellfish, such as shrimp, lobster, and crab. Glucosamine hydrochloride is another active compound available as a food supplement.

Studies have assessed the potential benefits of Glucosamine in the:

  • Reduction of joint pain
  • Improvement of joint function
  • Delaying of osteoarthritis progression


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Towheed T et al. Glucosamine therapy for treating osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.2005. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD002946.pub2

Reginster JY, et al. Long-term effects of glucosamine sulphate on osteoarthritis progression: a randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Lancet. 2001 Jan 27;357(9252):251-6.

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