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Glucosamine And Chondroitin – What Is It And Can It Help You?

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Glucosamine is a popular alternative medicine used by consumers for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Glucosamine is a compound found naturally in the body, made from glucose and the amino acid glutamine. Glucosamine is needed to produce glycosaminoglycan, a molecule used in the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. Glucosamine is available as a nutritional supplement in health food stores and many drug stores. Glucosamine supplements are manufactured in a laboratory from chitin, a substance found in the shells of shrimp, crab, lobster, and other sea creatures. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Glucosamine

Glucosamine is found as a major component of the exoskeletons of crustaceans and other arthropods, in fungi and many higher organisms and is one of the most abundant monosaccharides. Glucosamine is technically a carbohydrate(a sugar), but the body is not able to convert Glucosamine into Glucose. Glucosamine and chondroitin for treating symptoms of osteoarthritis: Evidence is widely touted but incomplete. Glucosamine is found largely in cartilage and plays an important role in the cartilage resiliency. Glucosamine is derived from shrimp,oyster and crab shells and chondroitin is derived from cartilage of cows, pigs, and sharks.

Very Important: Do Not Use Glucosamine If you are allergic to shrimp or shellfish.

Chondroitin

Chondroitin gives cartilage elasticity and is believed to prevent the destruction of cartilage by enzymes. It is a carbohydrate, and a cartilage component that is thought to create water retention and elasticity. It helps to inhibit the enzymes that break down cartilage. Chondroitin is typically sold as chondroitin sulfate. It is the most responsible for the resiliency of cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate reportedly maintains the viscosity in joints, stimulates cartilage repair mechanisms, and inhibits enzymes that break down cartilage.

Arthritis

Oral glucosamine is commonly used for the treatment of osteoarthritis. The benefit of glucosamine sulfate in patients with osteoarthritis is likely the result of a number of effects including its anti-inflammatory activity. There have been multiple clinical trials of glucosamine as a medical therapy for osteoarthritis, but results have been conflicting.

Pain

Pain relievers, over-the-counter and prescription, are the chief medical treatment. This situation led the National Institutes of Health to fund a large, multicenter clinical trial studying reported pain in osteoarthritis of the knee, comparing groups treated with chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, and the combination. These results suggest that glucosamine and chondroitin did not effectively relieve pain in the overall group of osteoarthritis patients, but it should be interpreted with caution because most patients presented only mild pain (thus a narrow margin to appraise pain improvement) and because of an unusual response to placebo in the trial. Researchers also looked at improvements using x-ray.

Supplements

Supplements made with glucosamine, chondroitin, and/or MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) may reduce symptoms by helping to maintain and repair cartilage. It is important to note, Supplements will not reverse structural changes in a joint such as torn cartilage, calcium deposits and advanced scar tissue. However, exploratory analysis of a group of patients suggested that the supplements taken together (glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate) may be significantly more effective than a placebo. In addition to nutritional supplements, glucosamine is also used in sports drinks and in cosmetics. As I mentioned above, I am not a health care provider or a medical doctor. It is important before you start taking any type of supplement, you consult a physician or other health care provider. I am just passing along the info that I have discovered on the internet.

Since glucosamine supplements may be made from shellfish, people with allergies to shellfish should avoid glucosamine unless it has been confirmed that it is from a non-shell-fish source.

People with bleeding disorders, those taking anti-clotting or anti-platelet medication or people taking supplements that may increase the risk of bleeding, such as garlic, ginkgo, vitamin E, or red clover, should not take glucosamine unless under the supervision of a physician or healthcare provider.

Conclusion

All the reading and research I have done concludes that Glucosamine is commonly used as a treatment for osteoarthritis, although its acceptance as a medical treatment varies. Glucosamine supplements are manufactured in a laboratory from chitin, a substance found in the shells of shrimp, crab, lobster, and other sea creatures.

Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

Explore scores of articles on arthritis, readup on new developments and get some superb information on arthritis. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information.

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