Does Glucosamine Work: Side effects and benefits

Does Glucosamine Work: Side effects and benefits

People with osteoarthritis or anyone suffering from joint pain have probably heard of glucosamine.

But some of us are more hesitant than others when it comes to taking supplements. We want to know all the facts first: what are the benefits of glucosamine? Are there any side effects that I should know about?

Glucosamine supplements are considered safe and generally have no side effects. Glucosamine has been studied for its use in reducing joint pain and stiffness in patients with arthritis.

So if you’re interested in taking glucosamine supplements but want to get all your facts straight, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll help you make an informed decision as to whether or not glucosamine supplements are suitable for your pain relief.

What is glucosamine chondroitin?

The best joint supplements contain glucosamine and chondroitin, two naturally occurring substances found in our bodies. 

To fully understand how glucosamine chondroitin supplements help reduce pain, we need to know how these substances work to support joint health.

Glucosamine is a chemical found in our connective tissues and the fluid surrounding our joints. It serves as a cushion, protecting our joints from the stress that leads to pain and inflammation.

Chondroitin is a substance found in the cartilage of our joints, preventing them from breaking down and stimulating their recovery.

As we get older, we start to lose our natural supply of these substances, resulting in the development of arthritis. Many people turn to alternative solutions to increase their glucosamine and chondroitin levels.

One study provides evidence that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin can positively affect the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. 

If you’re considering taking joint supplements, you’ll want to make sure that glucosamine and chondroitin are both on the label.

Glucosamine benefits

So what are some of the benefits we can hope to experience from taking glucosamine supplements? Glucosamine benefits include:

  • Reduced joint pain
  • Reduced joint inflammation
  • Increased joint mobility 
  • Repaired cartilage
  • Reduced joint stress

But if you’re hesitant to believe that a glucosamine supplement could have this much effect on your joints, you should see what the research has to say.

The Glucosamine/chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial performed a study that tested the effects of glucosamine chondroitin supplements on osteoarthritis. The results showed that those with higher levels of joint pain seemed to respond best, reporting a 20% or more significant reduction in pain. 

This suggests that if you’re experiencing a lot of pain from stiff joints, you may have the most to gain from taking these supplements.

The World Journal of Orthopedics tells us that glucosamine and chondroitin also showed a positive effect in helping with osteoarthritis in both clinical and radiological findings. 

Another study explains that because glucosamine chondroitin supplements have an excellent safety profile and have shown results in relieving joint pain, they may serve as an initial treatment modality for many osteoarthritis patients. 

Glucosamine side effects

Studies show that glucosamine and chondroitin seem safe and offer no severe side effects. But it’s still important we stay informed of the potential adverse reactions we could have from taking them. Glucosamine side effects include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea 
  • Upset stomach
  • Gas and bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn

Before taking these anti-inflammatory drugs, you should talk with your doctor to ensure they’re the right choice for you and your joints. 

Who should take glucosamine supplements?

Anyone suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis may benefit from taking glucosamine supplements. But are there any groups who should avoid them?

Some groups that may be more likely to experience adverse side effects from taking glucosamine include:

  • Diabetics
  • Pregnant women
  • Children
  • Patients with respiratory or liver disease
  • People with seafood or shellfish allergies
  • People with glaucoma
  • People on blood thinners

Where can I get glucosamine supplements?

If you think you’d be a good candidate for glucosamine supplements, you might wonder where you can get them? How do I know which one is right for you?

Luckily, FuelOrganics makes it easy: their Vegan Joint Repair Glucosamine Chondroitin supplement combines the two powerful substances your body needs to repair joints and reduce arthritis pain and stiffness.

Final thoughts

It’s important to always do your research before taking a new supplement. Luckily, glucosamine supplements are safe for most people and have been studied for their effectiveness in reducing joint pain.

So if you’re interested in healthier joints that support your busy lifestyle, glucosamine may just become your new best friend.

Trusted Sources

  1. Zeng, C., Wei, J., Li, H., Wang, Y. L., Xie, D. X., Yang, T., Gao, S. G., Li, Y. S., Luo, W., & Lei, G. H. (2015). Effectiveness and safety of Glucosamine, chondroitin, the two in combination, or celecoxib in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. Scientific reports, 5, 16827.
  2. National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. The NIH Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT). J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2008;22(1):39-43. PMID: 19062354.
  3. Vasiliadis, H. S., & Tsikopoulos, K. (2017). Glucosamine and chondroitin for the treatment of osteoarthritis. World journal of orthopedics, 8(1), 1–11.
  4. Vangsness CT Jr, Spiker W, Erickson J. A review of evidence-based medicine for glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate use in knee osteoarthritis. Arthroscopy. 2009 Jan;25(1):86-94. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2008.07.020. Epub 2008 Sep 30. PMID: 19111223.
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