Glucosamine is one of the most popular joint health ingredients on the market today. It is usually paired with chondroitin, however, it can be easily found on its own should one wish to take it in that manner.
Although there are a few different forms of glucosamine available, the sulfate salts are generally accepted as the most effective. As such, steer clear of formulas or products containing ingredients such as glucosamine hydrochloride, and stick to glucosamine sulfate whenever available.
While glucosamine is an extremely popular and top-selling joint health ingredient, it is one that has had mixed results in terms of actual benefits found in human studies. Despite some conflicting data, glucosamine sulfate does appear to be effective; however, the question of just how effective it truly is, remains up in the air.
Glucosamine has been shown to be effective at slowing the progression of osteoarthritis in joints, and studies show reductions in total pain index and stiffness, while helping to increase joint function. Despite findings like this, numerous studies have also found the ingredient incapable of reducing pain.
Glucosamine may provide a minor rehabilitative effect when recovering from acute knee injury and may enhance total range of motion in injured joints.
Glucosamine is theorized to provide enhanced joint health due to it being a precursor for glycosaminoglycan. This compound is a major building block of joint cartilage, and by increasing total cartilage in joints, one would be able to reduce or minimize bone on bone friction which is known to cause significant pain.
For best benefits, a dose of 3,000mg per day is suggested split up in three separate doses throughout the day. Take glucosamine with or directly after meals for highest absorption rates.