Glucosamine isn’t commonly found in foods, but it is often sold as a supplement in drops, capsules, or topical forms. Supplements can be made from the shells of shellfish or be produced artificially. Taking glucosamine supplements may offer health benefits, particularly for joint pain such as arthritis.
Studies around the world have shown that glucosamine appears to reduce joint pain, especially among people with osteoarthritis. In fact, the scientific support for glucosamine is so strong that the compound is available as a medicinal substance — not just as a supplement — in the U.K. and other areas of Europe.
Supplements of combined glucosamine and chondroitin — a related compound also found in cartilage — have been shown to be as effective as osteoarthritis medications such as celecoxib (CeleBREX). For people who do not react well to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like celecoxib, glucosamine supplements may be a safe and effective way to reduce symptoms of arthritis.
May Reduce Inflammation
Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements may also help reduce chronic inflammation, which is linked to a number of potential health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. This may be part of the reason why glucosamine reduces arthritis pain. Studies have linked regular consumption of glucosamine supplements with lower levels of inflammation. Regularly taking the supplements can help lower your risk of a number of chronic conditions.
May Improve Bone Health
While more research needs to be done, early studies suggest that glucosamine supplements may help prevent the progression of osteoporosis post-menopause. Glucosamine appears to help reduce the weakening of bones by supporting healthy bone growth. This makes the supplements especially helpful for people who are at risk of developing osteoporosis as they age.
Amounts and Dosage
The currently studied dosage for oral glucosamine supplementation is 1,500 milligrams daily. This can be taken in one dose or in several doses over the course of the day.