Glucosamine

Glucosamine

13-05-2016
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Short overview

The strain that is exerted on the cartilages, tendons, sinews and joints every day, combined with diets that are far from perfect, sports injuries and age gradually cause instability or even injuries. It is of key importance to maintain the health and stability of our joints so we can remain active and live a “painless’ life. It has been proven that glucosamine helps keep joint flexibility and health, restore connective tissues and lubricates joints.

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Overview

Other names

Glucosamine sulfate; glucosamine hydrochloride (HCL)

Where you can find glucosamine

Glucosamine cannot be found in our everyday food in considerable amounts. The glucosamine in supplements is extracted from seashell.

Impact on improving performance

Why athletes use glucosamine

The joints of physically active people, sports fans and weightlifters are exposed to overexertion for years, which may lead to cartilage damage. And these damages often cause elbow, shoulder or knee pain. What makes glucosamine extremely popular is the fact that it “lubricates” the cartilages, tendons and sinews and can help restore them as well. By strengthening connective tissues, it keeps the joints healthy and ensures them the flexibility that is needed to effectively damp vibrations. Plus, it also protects against injuries that may arise from years of training, repetitive strain or even natural aging processes.

How glucosamine facilitates muscle gains and recovery:

  • It strengthens connective tissues (cartilages, tendons and sinews), keeping them healthy and flexible.
  • It recovers damaged cartilages and, as a result, restores proper joint functions and supports recovery from injuries.

Health benefits

Symptoms of glucosamine deficiency

There are no known deficiency symptoms. On the other hand, repetitive strain (e.g. weightlifting or other regular sports activities) may lead to “repetitive strain” symptoms on certain joints or tendons, and can weaken healthy connective tissues.

Possible use

Based on studies, glucosamine may be useful in the treatment of the following symptoms:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Scars/injuries
  • Problems with the connective tissues
  • Problems with the bones or joints

Detailed review

Further information

Glucosamine is a nutrient that can be found in nature. It is a glutamine derivative, which consists of a group of amino acids and glucose, i.e. a sugar molecule. This is the combination we know as glucosamine, one of the main compounds of cartilages – a gel-like tissue that consists mostly of water, in about two thirds. Cartilages are crucial for cushioning the joints in the knees, the elbows, the hips and the wrists, just to mention a few. Without the damping and stabilizing effects of cartilages, every movement would be painful.

The strain that is exerted on the cartilages, tendons, sinews and joints every day, combined with diets that are far from perfect, sports injuries and age gradually cause instability or even injuries. It has been proven that glucosamine helps keep joint flexibility and health, restore connective tissues and lubricates joints.

How it works

About two thirds of our joints are made up by water. However, joints are unable to draw and retain water. It was shown that glucosamine keeps the cartilages flexible and healthy by transporting water and nutrients in its matrix into the cartilages, and keeps it inside, too. It was also shown that it can help recover damaged cartilages and restore proper functions and flexibility of the joints as well. Since it can restore and lubricate cartilages, it is highly popular among weightlifters, sports fans or elderly people.

Why we need it

The joints of physically active people, sports fans and weightlifters are exposed to overexertion for years, which may lead to cartilage damage. And these damages often cause elbow, shoulder or knee pain. What makes glucosamine extremely popular is the fact that it “lubricates” the cartilages, tendons and sinews and can help restore them as well. By strengthening connective tissues, it keeps the joints healthy and ensures them the flexibility that is needed to effectively damp vibrations. Plus, it also protects against injuries that may arise from years of training, repetitive strain or even natural aging processes.

Many elderly people at the early stage of osteoarthritis (this affects about 20 million people in the USA) suffer from such a serious joint wear and tear that the ends of their bones literally grind against each other, which makes movement difficult or sometimes even impossible. Studies have shown that glucosamine can help overcome this condition because it can recover cartilages, stimulate the production of connective tissues and has anti-inflammatory properties as well.

What the studies say

Many studies have shown that glucosamine can help diminish the joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. In one study, more than 1,500 osteoarthritis sufferers took glucosamine sulfate for 50 days. Based on the objective estimations of their physicians, 95% of the patients experienced demonstrable positive results.

In this study, the benefits of glucosamine sulfate were also compared with those of other therapeutic methods including Aspirin and other non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. The physicians as well as the patients found glucosamine sulfate a much more effective painkiller and anti-inflammatory substance.

In another, more contemporary study, sufferers of knee arthritis used glucosamine sulfate, and as a result, they reported diminishing symptoms and less pain compared to the placebo group.

In another recent study, the effect of glucosamine was examined with regard to joint pain and functioning among people who complained about frequent knee pains. In no more than 8-12 weeks, candidates who took 2000 mg of glucosamine a day experienced both reduced pain and improved mobility.

Conclusion

If you suffer from joint pain resulting from everyday exertion or stubborn sports injuries, or, God forbid, you have early osteoarthritis, glucosamine can be a smart solution to facilitate the recovery of your joints. Since glucosamine is similar to chondroitin sulfate with regard to structure and function, some studies have shown that these two substances act kind of synergically in reducing inflammation or connective tissue damages as well as supporting the recovery of joint health.

Indications for use

Amount

Most studies recommend 3x500 grams daily, to effectively support the recovery of joint damages.

Timing

To ensure optimal absorption, take it with meals.

Synergists of glucosamine

Studies imply that glucosamine acts synergically with chondroitin sulfate, since they are similar with regard to structure and function.

Furthermore, glucosamine and vitamin C together facilitate both the production of collagen and its stabilization in the connective tissues.

Safety information

NEVER take it if you are allergic to crustaceans.

Glucosamine toxicity

No known toxicity.

Contra-indication and restrictions

Undocumented.



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