The glucosamine , whose chemical formula is C 6 H 13 NO 5 , is a natural substance found in the human body forming the joint fluid , cartilage component. It is an amino-saccharide that acts as a precursor to the formation of lipids and proteins. It is produced naturally by the body, but in some cases it needs to be replaced artificially.For this, it is usually administered through supplements, and is a support to treat conditions such as arthritis and osteoarthritis, due to its repairing effects on cartilaginous tissues . Although glucosamine is formed from glucose C 6 H 12 O 6 and an amino group (NH 2 -) from glutamine, it can be found in three different chemical configurations, which are:

  • Glucosamina HCL
  • N-Acetyl Glucosamine
  • Glucosamine Sulfate

What is glucosamine for?

Among the three types of glucosamine, the most used for medical and preventive treatments is Glucosamine Sulfate , in combination with substances such as chondroitin (in the form of chondroitin sulfate). It serves for the repair and shaping of these cartilage, and to maintain adequate levels of joint fluid. In addition, it provides a lubricating and cushioning effect.

Glucosamine is used to:

  • Treat joint discomfort and conditions
  • Decrease pain in case of arthritis
  • Decrease back pain
  • Improve the practice of sport
  • Reset synovial fluid

It is used to treat the following joint discomforts and conditions:

Glucosamine is an aminosaccharide that participates in the formation of cartilage.

Glucosamine fulfills treatment and preventive functions, in case of:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Joint pain
  • Tendinitis
  • Back pains
  • Arthritis
  • Deforming arthritis
  • Cartilage inflammation
  • Joint pain (from reduced inflammation)
  • Synovial fluid problems (it is responsible for restoring it)

Decrease pain in case of arthritis

The consumption of glucosamine is recommended in cases of arthritis, since pain conditions improve and joint movement is favored. In addition, the joints are deflated, which participates in a more constant well-being in the patient.

Decrease back pain

Glucosamine reduces back pain caused by lack of synovial fluid in the spine . This situation usually occurs in elderly people. When the treatment with glucosamine supplements has already been started, those pains are reduced, since the inflammation has decreased and the synovial fluid of the vertebral discs has increased.

Improve the practice of sport

The regular consumption of glucosamine helps the joints not wear out during physical exercise. This will avoid the appearance of annoying joint pain, especially in sports such as tennis, in which the elbow joint is usually damaged by the effort involved in each play.

The athletics is another extremely demanding sport in which the legs are a huge burden to drive the body of the corridor toward the goal as quickly as possible. In basketball , every jump to score a basket is a sudden effort that can be dangerous if the player does not protect himself with accessories.

Reset synovial fluid

Glucosamine is indicated to increase the levels of synovial fluid in the joints , which allows greater lubrication to promote their mobility ; the friction between them is eliminated and the pain that can be caused by it is reduced.

Glucosamine sources

Glucosamine can be obtained naturally by consuming it in animal cartilage , which has a high proportion of it. For instance:

  • Shark cartilage
  • Mollusks
  • Prawns
  • Seafood

It is located mainly in the shells of prawns and some mollusks , so that, although they are on hand, the preparation for their assimilation by the body is not so simple.

As a solution to this situation, the consumption of glucosamine is usually recommended in the form of nutritional supplements, made by prestigious laboratories based on shellfish, prawns and shark cartilage. The source, in the end, is the same; but it is easier to have it within reach.

Contraindications of glucosamine

Glucosamine serves to repair the synovial fluid.

Glucosamine should be administered under medical supervision in people such as:

  • Diabetic patients , since, having a main structure of glucose, it can cause the increase of the levels of this sugar in the blood, when it is consumed in too much.
  • Patients with allergies , as most supplements are made from shellfish, mollusks and prawns.

Glucosamine Side Effects

When glucosamine is consumed without caution by sensitive or allergic people, adverse effects may occur, such as:

  • Skin irritation
  • Rashes
  • Swelling in the face
  • Breathing difficulties (in rare cases), such as closing of the throat

This article is informational in nature and is not a substitute for professional medical opinion. Consult a doctor.

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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