Arthritic joints have been subject to cartilage destruction to the point where bone may rub against bone. Joints become inflammed and painful. Glucosamine stops this process and rebuilds the joint. Glucosamine stimulates the production of joint cartilage and provides the raw material to make it. It also provides the cushioning material in the synovial fluid that lubricates the joint.
Glucosamine is composed of glucose, the amino acid glutamine, and an acetyl group.
Many studies have proven the effectiveness of Glucosamine in arthritis. In the 1980s, 9 placebo controlled studies involving 1500 people showed amazingly effective results. 500 mg taken 3 times daily was associated with a large and significant reduction in joint pain, swelling and tenderness. Joint function and performance improved and it outperformed the usual NSAIDs (Motrin, Indocin, Naprosyn, etc.) that are the backbone of conventional drug therapy. NSAIDs, by the way, cause joint destruction over time! They also cause stomach irritation, ulcers, and kidney problems.
Another European study confirmed that cartilage degradation was being reversed with the use of Glucosamine.
Glucosamine works best when combined with MSM, EFA's such as Omega-3 fatty acids or, better yet, cetyl myristoleate. Bovine cartilage is also synergistic.
Curiously, the interest in chondroitin is beginning to wane. Although Glucosamine and chondroitin are often sold together, and although chondroitin is known to absorb water into the joints, it is now believed that chondroitin cannot be absorbed into the body intact and whatever benefits that have been observed were only due to Glucosamine.
Glucosamine and chondroitin also have antiviral activity. Reports have surfaced of HIV levels dropping to zero after taking it with elderberry extract.CAUTIONS
Glucosamine is nontoxic, even in doses much higher than are used for arthritis.DOSE
300mg to 1500mg, once daily with food.BRANDS
I recommend Doctor's Best Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM + Hyaluronic Acid caps; the collagen (hyaluronic acid) it contains is also helpful for joints. For Omega-3 EFAs, I love Ultimate Omega by Nordic Naturals. It's a little pricey, but concentrated and very high quality, with no fishy smell or taste.