Glucosamine is a component of a larger group of compounds called proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans, which help in trapping water in the cartilage's matrix, providing it with the resilience and flexibility it needs to function properly. It helps in the formation of the connective tissue that cushions the joints. Glucosamine sulphate is a form in which the compound is provided as a supplement. They are the only effective way to get extra glucosamine, as there are no food sources. Most of the glucosamine supplements are derived from the hard shells of crustaceans , like lobster. Some of them are manufactured for people who are allergic to seafood.
Benefits of glucosamine sulphate
• Hip and knee osteoarthritis – Many studies indicate that glucosamine is effective in treating osteoarthritis of the knee and the hip . Osteoarthritis occurs due to the cartilage breaking down due to an injury or normal wear and tear over time. It becomes more pronounced as people age. People who take glucosamine experience reduced pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints, improved function and relief from symptoms for up to three months after the treatment was discontinued.
• Osteoarthritis in other joints – Several human and animal studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of glucosamine in treating osteoarthritis in other joints. Participants experienced pain relief and exhibited improved joint function.
• Rheumatoid arthritis – Glucosamine has anti-inflammatory effects . Studies have shown that it reduces inflammation in the cells that line the joints, blood vessels, endothelial cells and the synovial joints . Some of the studies showed glucosamine to be more effective than other widely prescribed anti-inflammatory medicines.
• Inflammatory bowel disease – Glucosamine chito-oligosaccharides also reduce the tissue damage for people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease . Oral administration suppressed loss in body weight and increased the colon weight/length ratio. It also suppresses colon damage.
• Multiple Sclerosis – Researchers have shown how N-acetyl glucosamine supplements suppresses the autoimmune responses that occur in multiple sclerosis . It inhibits the growth of abnormal T-cells that make the immune system mistakenly attack the nerve-insulating myelin.
• Temporomandibular joint problems – Glucosamine reduces the pain levels in patients who suffer from TMJ degenerative joint disease.
In most of the studies on osteoarthritis treatment, the typical dose of glucosamine sulphate was 500 mg three times a day. It comes in four different forms – liquid, solid, injectable and cream.