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Glucosamine sulphate in the treatment of osteoarthritis


Glucosamine is a substance that is of natural occurrence and is found in the fluid that is present in between and around the joints. Its main role is in building cartilage and is a much sought after substance in people with osteoarthritis in form of supplements.

Here we will discuss about glucosamine sulphate, which is found in shellfish. This particular compound is also prepared in the laboratories. Apart from glucosamine in the form of sulphate, it is also available as N-acetyle-glucosamine and hydrochloride. Among the three, the sulphate form is the most used and has been found to be an effective mode of treatment in people suffering from osteoarthritis.

Benefits of glucosamine sulphate

Given below are few benefits of the same, which make it an important ingredient in supplements that treat osteoarthritis. These are as follows-

  • Pain related to osteoarthritis was found to be reduced to a great extent
  • Stiffness due to the ailment was also found to be minimized greatly
  • Swelling is very common in people with this ailment and due to swelling, stiffness results, which can be addressed with the help of the glucosamine supplements.
  • People taking supplements of the same have been found to show improved functioning of the joints around the knees.

Studies have also shown that individuals that were taking supplements of glucosamine sulphate showed marked improvement even after they stopped taking these supplements a couple of months after.

Effectiveness of other natural medications versus glucosamine sulphate

There are several other extracts that are used in the treatment of osteoarthritis. These usually include cartilage extracts from sea cucumbers, shark cartilage, and mussel to name a few. However, among all glucosamine is popular due to the fact that it has a great ability to get absorbed and in this regard glucosamine sulphate is definitely far superior.

Apart from the treatment of osteoarthritis, it is also used for two other ailments that include IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease as well as Ulcerative Colitis. As per studies that were conducted at University Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology, London, UK, it was found  that a dietary supplement that was more or less similar to glucosamine and is known by the name N-acetyle glucosamine was found to be effective in the treatment of IBD since it was non toxic and affordable. These findings were recorded as per treatment that was carried out in children that failed to respond to other treatments.

Precautions for administration of glucosamine supplements

Generally, it is considered safe to take it as a dietary supplement; however, there are certain conditions that demand careful evaluation prior to prescribing the same.

Given below are the few categories of individuals that need to ascertain the benefits over the risks involved prior to starting the supplements. These include the following-

  • In pregnancy and breastfeeding– If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you need to exercise caution in taking these supplements
  • People with diabetes – Find out if you are the right candidate for a glucosamine supplement if you have diabetes.
  • Asthma – If you suffer from asthma, consult a medical practitioner before taking the supplement.