Glucosamine has been studied for well over
40 years in humans1 and it
has been used in prized thoroughbred horses, cats, dogs and
even exotic animals. When it comes to safety, some clinical
studies have reported more side effects in a sugar pill
placebo than with glucosamine! Remember, glucosamine is found
naturally in the body and is a natural nutraceutical product.
According to the Institute of Medicine and National Academies,
“in 1960, European physicians introduced
the use of glucosamine as an injectable therapeutic
agent in the treatment of osteoarthritis2.”
Hundreds of thousands of people have used
glucosamine, and many have found it extremely effective to
not only effectively ease their arthritis-related joint pain,
but to also to provide them with far more than just long lasting
relief. Glucosamine has been shown in clinical studies to
regrow cartilage3, slow the
progression of joint deterioration, and possibly even modify
the disease itself with almost no side effects.
The most common reaction when you have mild
pain or a headache or the like is to turn to a bottle of your
favorite over the counter medication, such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
The New England Journal of Medicine reports that “anti-inflammatory
drugs (prescription and over-the-counter, which include Advil®,
Motrin®, Aleve®, Ordus®, Aspirin, and over 20
others) alone cause over 16,500 deaths and over 103,000 hospitalizations
per year in the US4.”
Everything from stomach bleeding to intestinal damage to liver
failure can result from the long term use and interactions
with what are known as NSAIDS, or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory
Drugs. Fortunately, glucosamine not only safely and effectively
eases the joint discomfort of arthritis while working to do
something that NSAIDs cannot do – rebuild cartilage.
Don’t just treat the symptoms and cover up the pain,
attack the root of the problem.
In the U.S., baby boomers (who started turning
50 in 1996) are doing so at a rate of 300,000 per month5.
Even if you have not reached 50 yet, it is important to take
steps now to slow down the effects of arthritis. Arthritis
has no cure and it will not get better on its own, but a daily
regimen of glucosamine can help to keep your joints strong
and maintain your cartilage for years to come.
Also, if you are taking or plan to begin
taking glucosamine if you suffer from arthritis, then you
need to check the bottle. If you see (Glucosamine Sulfate
* KCl) or (Glucosamine Sulfate * NaCl) or Glucosamine Sulfate
as a Salt, then you should be aware that up to 30% or more6
of the Glucosamine is being bound up in salts. But the manufacturers
can legally say that they are giving you whatever dosage is
listed on the bottle but the active, bioavailabile amount
of actual glucosamine is going to be much smaller than the
reported dosage because it has to be carried by the salts.
Generally you will only find these deceptive (but unfortunately
legal) practices in the very cheap glucosamine products, but
you should be aware that you get what you pay for, and when
it comes to important things like your body, one shouldn’t
Be sure to visit the
Product Guide for a review of commercially available glucosamine
1. Current Medical Research and Opinion. Vol. 7, No. 2, 1980
2. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
3. Archives of Internal Medicine. 162(18):2113-23, 2002 Oct
4. Wolfe MM, et. al. NEJM 1999;340(24):1888-99
6. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies