4 Glucosamine Benefits And Side Effects

Glucosamine is currently the most common bone and joint health product (often with chondroitin or non-denatured type 2 collagen), and it is also an essential ingredient in the formation of hyaluronic acid. It is estimated that replacement therapy has been used Of the population, 59% have used glucosamine.

Do you know glucosamine benefits and side effects?

Table of Contents

What is glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a natural amino acid monosaccharide that is found in connective tissues, cartilage, ligaments, and other structures in the body and helps maintain the strength, flexibility, and elasticity of these parts.

Many studies have also pointed out that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, so it is beneficial to diseases related to inflammation.

When to eat glucosamine? What is the dose?

To prevent stomach upset, glucosamine is best supplemented with food (preferably taken with meals).

In most clinical studies for the treatment of osteoarthritis, it is taken 3 times a day, 300-500 mg each time, and the total daily dose is about 900-1500 mg.

What are the benefits of glucosamine?

1. Glucosamine improves osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common degenerative joint disease, mainly affecting the hips, knees, hands, and feet, and other joints, more than 25% of people over the age of 18 are affected by it.

Pathological changes include the progressive loss and destruction of articular cartilage, such as thickening of subchondral bone, osteophyte formation, synovial inflammation, ligament and knee meniscus degeneration, and joint capsule hypertrophy.

The main clinical symptoms include chronic pain, joint instability, stiffness, and joint space stenosis, and the cause is multifactorial, including joint damage, obesity, aging, and genetics.

A meta-analysis of literature (including 18 randomized placebo-controlled trials related to osteoarthritis) pointed out that oral glucosamine is helpful for pain relief compared to placebo (using VAS pain score/visual analog score for pain and JKOM/Japanese knee osteoarthritis scale), but the effect is limited.

Another meta-analysis (including 17 randomized placebo-controlled trials related to osteoarthritis, 2212 participants) pointed out that oral glucosamine may have a small to moderate effect in reducing osteoarthritis-related pain. But it has little effect on joint space stenosis.

In addition, several smaller doses in a day have a greater analgesic effect than a large dose (1500 mg) once a day, which shows that the administration plan is very important.

*Conclusion: As of now, for osteoarthritis, there is insufficient evidence to support oral glucosamine to delay the natural course of continuous joint degradation, but maybe slightly helpful for pain relief.

2. Glucosamine reduces the risk of colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and the third leading cause of cancer death. About 1 in 18 people will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime.

Although there are large differences in survival rates according to different stages of the disease, if colorectal cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the 5-year survival rate is reported to be as high as 90%.

Currently, there are several colorectal cancer screening strategies available to reduce morbidity and mortality, including fecal occult blood test (FOBT), barium enema photography, soft sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, and the combination.

A cancer prevention follow-up study (cohort study, 113,067 participants) pointed out that compared with those who have not used glucosamine health products, some users can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by about 17%, especially for short-term use is more significant, and long-term continuous use is less relevant.

The underlying mechanism is believed to be related to the anti-inflammatory effect of glucosamine (it can inhibit inflammatory transcription factor/NF-kappaB and other pro-inflammatory hormones, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF-a), interleukin-6 (IL-6), cyclic Oxidase (COX-2), prostaglandin E-2 (PGE2)), which in turn affects cell growth, proliferation, and survival.

*Conclusion: Population observations have shown that oral glucosamine is associated with a lower incidence of colorectal cancer, but more randomized controlled trials are needed to corroborate it.

3. Glucosamine improves vascular endothelial function

Vascular endothelial cells throughout the entire circulatory system, from the heart to the smallest capillaries, these cells have a unique and vital function for vascular biology.

Including regulation of vascular permeability and tension, coagulation and fibrinolysis, inflammation and immune response, and cell growth are all related to it.

If the endothelial cell function is abnormal, it is easy to cause hypertension, coronary artery disease, chronic heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, chronic renal failure, and severe viral infections.

A controlled study (4 weeks, 39 male volunteers) pointed out that taking glucosamine not only significantly increased flow-mediated vasodilation but also improved total intracellular glutathione and reduced glutathione. The ratio of glutathione reduced and oxidized glutathione (intraerythrocytic GSH/GSSG).

*Conclusion: Oral glucosamine can improve the vascular endothelial function by regulating the intracellular redox state, but more large-scale studies are still needed to further verify.

4. Glucosamine reduces the risk of lung cancer

Lung cancer accounts for 17% and 9% of all cancers in men and women, respectively, and 19% of all cancer-related deaths. The main types are adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, small cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.

The main pathogenic factors include smoking, exposure to second-hand smoke, occupational exposure to asbestos, nickel, chromium, arsenic, and other agents, exposure to radiation, including radon gas in homes and mines, and exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution.

A follow-up study (Cohort Study, 76,904 participants) pointed out that long-term glucosamine (≥ 4 times a week for more than 3 years) is associated with a lower risk of lung cancer (limited to adenocarcinoma).

*Conclusion: Observations have found that subjects who have the habit of taking glucosamine daily have a lower risk of lung cancer, but more research is still needed to confirm its cause and effect.

Does oral glucosamine affect blood sugar?

Glucosamine belongs to a class of amino monosaccharide derivatives and is a precursor of mucopolysaccharides and proteoglycans.

So there are some doubts that it may affect glucose metabolism and lead to insulin resistance, which is currently only proven in animal experiments.

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study (6.5 years, 407 middle-aged women, BMI ≥ 27 kg/m2) pointed out that for participants with normal baseline glycated hemoglobin levels, oral glucosamine not only reduced the average glycated hemoglobin level ( HbA1c) No effect, nor will it cause hyperglycated hemoglobin or new diabetes events.

However, for those with higher levels of glycated hemoglobin at baseline, although there is an effect on the observed value (increasing HbA1c), it is not statistically significant.

*Conclusion: For non-diabetic patients, oral glucosamine will not affect the level of glycated hemoglobin or increase the chance of new diabetes, but more research is still needed to confirm whether it will affect diabetic patients.

Are there any side effects of glucosamine?

Oral glucosamine is highly safe for healthy adults, but minor side effects have been reported, most of which are related to gastrointestinal upsets, such as nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, and indigestion, so it is recommended to use it with food to help Reduce such situations.

In addition, relatively rare side effects include drowsiness, allergic skin reactions, and headaches.

Safety Precautions

1. May affect blood sugar and blood pressure (although not confirmed), so patients or those taking related blood sugar, blood pressure-lowering drugs, herbal medicines or health care products should be careful, be sure to regularly monitor blood sugar and blood pressure.

2. Glucosamine products are mostly made from shrimp and crab crust, so those allergic to seafood may induce allergic reactions.

3. It may have a blood-thinning effect, so those with poor blood coagulation function, taking anticoagulants or wanting to undergo surgery, please use it with caution (discontinued 2 weeks before surgery).

4. Do not use for pregnant women and nursing mothers (because the relevant safety is unknown).

5. Asthma may be induced, please use with caution in patients with asthma.

6. Glucosamine sulfate contains a high amount of sodium or potassium. Please use it with caution if you are on a restricted diet (restricted sodium content in the diet) or taking potassium-sparing diuretics.

7. Do not use with anti-cancer drugs (such as Doxorubicin, Etoposide, Teniposide), it may affect the action of the drug.

8. Be careful with patients with glaucoma or high intraocular pressure. A small study suggests that it may increase intraocular pressure.

9. Do not use in combination with the anti-inflammatory analgesic Acetaminophen, which may affect the efficacy of the drug.

10. For patients with chronic liver disease, a few cases have found that the liver test index may be improved after taking: Aspartate-Aminotransferase (AST).

What are the dosage forms of glucosamine?

There are roughly divided into the market, glucosamine hydrochloride, glucosamine sulfate (usually using potassium chloride as a stabilizer), crystalline glucosamine sulfate.

N-acetyl glucosamine is another available salt form, but compared to other forms, it seems to have no clinical activity, so it is rarely used

Summary: Although glucosamine has the effect of lubricating joints and reducing joint pain, it is not suitable for all joint pain diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and infections, etc.). If the joint pain is more than 1 week due to unknown reasons, please Seek a doctor’s diagnosis first, and determine that it is the early stage of degenerative arthritis before considering taking it for a period of time. If it is effective after taking it, you must also return to the clinic regularly to achieve the best treatment effect.

Where to buy glucosamine recommended by most people?

In recent years, food safety problems in various countries have exploded, and it is not healthy but black-hearted products that everyone spends on. Therefore, European and American products with relatively strict quality control have become popular products.

And iHerb.com is a large-scale medical cosmetics e-commerce company in the United States. It has a high satisfaction rate of 97% in the evaluation of Google customers. It provides global home delivery so that you can buy it without risking buying fakes through purchasing high-quality health products.


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