Last Updated on July 7, 2020
Are you suffering from joint pain, inflammation or even a bad gut?
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound in the body located specifically in the cartridge of our joints. The compound acts as a natural lubricant which allows our bodies to move fluidly and pain-free.
But did you know that glucosamine benefits are vast and the medical community now uses the compound as a supplement to treat a variety of ailments?
Read on to learn about the five major glucosamine benefits and how the compound can be used to heal your body.
What Are Glucosamine Benefits and How Does the Supplement Work?
Before we dive into how glucosamine can help, it’s important to understand exactly what it is and how it works in the body.
Without the naturally occurring glucosamine our body possesses, it would be difficult and painful to move our joints and digest food properly. The compound has natural anti-inflammatory properties that aid in digestion and help lubricate our joints, allowing movement to happen without pain.
Glucosamine is essential to work with the proteins and fats in our body which create tissue, primarily the cartilage around our joints, allowing for movement. Glucosamine also creates connective tissue in our digestive tract that aids in the processing of food and protects our overall immunity.
Glucosamine sulfate is the specific compound research has focused on and the supplement you should consider taking to help your pain. The sulfate component is what helps the body rebuild cartilage. Glucosamine can also be found in natural foods like bone broth and is said to create more fluid in the body, thereby reducing friction and pain.
While there is no consensus on the recommended dosage of glucosamine sulfate, the range between 500 and 1500 milligrams per day seems to be the sweet spot that allows its users to experience positive results. There are several varieties of glucosamine available in supplement form but it seems glucosamine sulfate is by far the most effective.
The supplement has been known to help with the following:
- autoimmune reactions
- joint pain and soreness
- overall joint health
- heal gut lining
- assist with leaky gut and irritable bowel syndrome
- heal the bones after fractures or breaks
If our body is experiencing certain pains, it is possible to improve these ailments and aid in overall health with the assistance of a glucosamine supplement. Here’s how it helps.
1. Arthritis and Overall Joint Health
Glucosamine is known to help treat many degenerative ailments like osteoarthritis and other conditions that directly affect our bones, joints and overall movement.
Degenerative ailments can’t be stopped; with age comes weaker bones and a propensity for arthritis, fractures and even breaks. With agings also comes the common degeneration of our bones and joints, making mobility more challenging as our bodies naturally lose cartilage over time.
Glucosamine has been found the slow this process down tremendously. Many sufferers who begin a glucosamine supplement regiment report lessened pain in their bones and joints and more mobility and ease of movement. This is because the supplement is slowly regenerating lost cartilage and lubricating the areas that have lost their naturally existing glucosamine.
Those who suffer from arthritis will find that it continues to get worse over time. Painkillers may help dull the pain but only a supplement like glucosamine will prevent further damage.
Arthritis is the result of friction and rubbing of the bones against one another. The supplement helps to decrease inflammation in the area and works to prevent more pain and degeneration of the affected places on the body.
Glucosamine is not going to cure someone with a degenerative condition such as arthritis but it can certainly offer relief and slow the process down, giving you a better quality life by minimizing pain.
2. IBS, Leaky Gut and Digestion
Irritable bowel syndrome and leaky gut can be debilitating conditions. They are categorized by chronic stomach pain, diarrhea, gas, bloating, constipation, fatigue and an overall poor immune system.
Leaky gut is a result of your intestines becoming permeable, meaning bacteria, food, and more can pass through the walls of your intestines and into other areas of the body, making you sick. Your body’s toxic waste is essentially leaking into the rest of your body and poisoning your bloodstream.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a little less serious of a diagnosis but can be tough on the body as well. Regardless of your specific condition, any one of these ailments can be linked to damage to the stomach lining.
The same way glucosamine works to repair cartilage in the joints, it also works to repair damaged tissue in the gut. Glucosamine behaves as a synthesizer in the body; joining together several proteins in the body which are fundamental when rebuilding tissue.
For those suffering from damaged stomach lining, especially leaky gut, the supplement works to repair and restore the broken tissue and the parts of the intestinal lining that protect the body from toxins and aid in the digestion of food.
Glucosamine also reduces inflammation which almost everyone experiencing digestive issues is suffering with. Chronic problems within the intestines and stomach lead to chronic inflammation which is difficult to reduce.
You can cut inflammatory foods, like nightshades, out of your system but you likely won’t see a significant step forward. Taking a glucosamine sulfate supplement or even getting the compound through bone broth is a terrific step in reducing gut inflammation and calming your digestive ailments.
TMJ sufferers will be happy to know that glucosamine sulfate can help reduce your pain. TMJ (or temporomandibular joint dysfunction) is a condition which affects the area where your jaw connects to your skull. Pain on the face, neck, and head along with chronic headaches occur due to problems within the muscles and bones in this area.
Some people have chronic pain as a result of TMJ and are left undiagnosed. There are a few ways to tell if you are suffering from TMJ. Watch for pain around the jaw, face or ear area, chronic headaches, tenderness around the jaw area and clicking or popping of the jaw when you move it around.
The pain can be caused by an undiagnosed fracture in the jaw which then swells the surrounding muscles and causes pain to radiate throughout the area. Most often, TMJ is a result of clenching or grinding the jaw, especially during sleep.
When TMJ is a problem, the affected area becomes inflamed and simple tasks like talking and eating become painful chores. Those suffering from TMJ have experienced very positive results when taking between 500-1500 mg daily over time.
The glucosamine works to lubricate the area, reducing pain and stiffness. It also helps them sleep better and find less pain in chewing and talking. Over time, the glucosamine works to reduce inflammation which is a significant part of healing and pain reduction.
Reducing inflammation around the affected area helps to prevent further pain from occurring.
4. Bone Pain
Whether you suffer from arthritis, are prone to breaks or fractures or just experience chronic bone pain, glucosamine sulfate may be able to help.
Glucosamine helps to keep the cartilage around bones intact and prevent them from diminishing over time and with age. This helps those suffering reduce their pain level and allows them to participate in physical activity that was not available to them prior to taking the supplement.
Patients suffering from chronic bone pain and stiffness of joints would likely welcome the ability to take a supplement that would allow them to be more active. Physical activity, whether it be light exercise or a simple walk helps to keep the muscles in the body strong and protect against further bone damage. Moving the body keeps our joints lubricated and is important for our overall health and wellbeing.
5. Prevent Multiple Sclerosis Relapse
Multiple Sclerosis a terrible disease, attacking the spine and brain function, that remains uncured. There is no way to prevent multiple sclerosis or completely rid the body of it once it’s taken over.
However, there are instances where those suffering from the disease experience little to no visible symptoms. Early research has discovered that on patients experiencing little to no symptoms, a glucosamine sulfate supplement may be helpful in warding off an MS relapse.
The research credits the supplements ability to protect the body against an attack on the immune system with the reason glucosamine might be an important part of remission.
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease and the supplement defends the immune system, protecting the body from further symptoms of MS. If you or someone you know suffers from MS, consult a doctor before adding any new supplements into the routine.
Possible Side Effects
While glucosamine sulfate has been shown to help alleviate several problems, it’s not right for everyone and you should always talk to your doctor before trying a new supplement.
Many people who take the supplement experience only positive reactions considering its already a compound that occurs naturally in the body, however, there are possible side effects worth noting.
The most common side effects occur when people are allergic or intolerant to the capsule itself or have a shellfish or seafood allergy as the supplement is likely extracted from the exoskeletons of shellfish like lobster and crab. Be sure to check the ingredients on the bottle before taking the supplement.
Other side effects could include nausea, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, skin rash or headaches. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid taking the supplement as its effects on pregnancy are still unknown.
It’s also important to note that glucosamine has been linked to possibly affecting blood sugar and insulin levels so those suffering from diabetes or high cholesterol should check with their doctor before beginning a regiment.
How to Take Glucosamine
There are three common types of glucosamine supplements available; glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetylglucosamine.
Glucosamine sulfate is thought by researchers to be the most beneficial and alleviate the most pain because of our bodies ability to easily absorb it in this form.
In the midst of your own research, you may have noticed that glucosamine and chondroitin are two supplements that are generally taken together because they both have the ability to repair cartilage and tissue. Chondroitin comes from animal cartilage which is why bone broth is one of the most effective ways for your body to absorb its helpful nutrients.
If you’d prefer not to take a daily supplement, glucosamine can be applied in the form of a cream or lotion, directly to the body. The skin absorbs the compound, offering anti-inflammatory and pain reducing benefits.
If you are experiencing high levels of pain or inflammation, you can try taking up to 1500 mg per day. Depending on the physical ailment you’re treating, it might be beneficial to take this supplement in conjunction with others for more effective results.
If you are taking glucosamine for joint pain and inflammation, try taking turmeric, omega fatty acids or any other anti-inflammatory supplements your doctor recommends.
If you’re taking glucosamine for digestive issues, in addition to changing your diet, try adding a licorice root supplement daily. Licorice root is available in easy to take chewable pill form and helps to protect the stomach lining from toxicity.
You can also try taking a digestive enzyme before meals or a daily probiotic to aid in digestive health and help get the most out of the glucosamine supplement.
Is Glucosamine the Right Supplement for You?
As you can see from the above, there are several proven glucosamine benefits. Because it’s a naturally occurring compound in the body, most people tolerate it well and find its benefits tend to outway any negative side effects.
If you’ve suffered from joint and bone pain, arthritis and chronic digestive issues, taking this simple supplement could be the first answer on your road to healing.
There is no harm in trying the supplement and seeing how it works with your body. Give it about six to eight weeks of consistency before determining if you’re seeing the results you’d like.