Glucosamine and Your Joints
Glucosamine is one of the most widely available nutritional supplements on the market. Not only that, but there has been an abundance of research into its effects.
Most people taking this supplement do so in an effort to either help build-up or strengthen their joints or to help ease the effects of joint issues.
Since most people who suffer from these conditions are using acetaminophen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, finding a natural substance to help is a high priority.
So What is Glucosamine?
For starters, this supplement is actually an amino acid which is formed by the combination of Glucose and Glutamine. It is actually present in the exoskeletons of many crustaceans and within the cell walls of fungi and many other higher organisms. It can be commercially produced from the hydrolysis of crustacean exoskeletons or through the fermentation of corn and wheat (although this is much less common).
How Glucosamine Works
Glucosamine basically helps to strengthen the natural repair mechanisms and processes within the joints. It is a major building block of proteoglycans, which lubricate and nourish the collagen within your joints. Normally, those with arthritis have weak proteoglycans, which may eventually result in their total loss or lack of function. Without these elements, cartilage weakens and may eventually wear out, not being able to withstand shocks and bumps.
Glucosamine is a key component in determining how many proteoglycans will be produced by the cells. Additionally, its presence has also been shown to speed up the production of both proteoglycans and collagen. This also helps to normalize cartilage metabolism and help stop unneeded break down.
Glucosamine Benefits for Joints
The major use of this supplement is by those who have a lot of cartilage break down and loss (due to injury or simply normal wear and tear). There are several studies and numerous user reports suggesting that Glucosamine has been able to help reduce the symptoms associated with cartilage loss, such as pain and inflammation.
Another important benefit of Glucosamine is to protect the joints. The theory is that by building up the health of your joints, you should be able to avoid such painful joint issues entirely. Although the studies are mixed, there are many people and researchers who feel that taking Glucosamine is an excellent measure to help build new, or at least strengthen existing, cartilage and collagen within your joints.
With numerous studies and many actual user reports, Glucosamine is a great, all-natural option for those concerned about their joints. This is true whether you already have joint issues or are just interested in giving your joints the extra support they need to help avoid the condition entirely.