Easing Arthritis Pain with Glucosamine &
If you suffer from arthritis pain, chances are you’ve heard
of an over-the-counter remedy called Glucosamine. But what is
Glucosamine, and how does it work to relieve arthritis?
Like anything else there are pros and cons to using this
supplement. By the time you’ve finished reading this
article, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether
or not Glucosamine is right for you.
What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is classified as an amino sugar. Unlike other
forms of sugar in the body, amino sugars are components of
carbohydrates that are used in the structure of body tissues
rather than as energy. Therefore, Glucosamine is involved
in the formation of the nails, tendons, skin, eyes, bones,
ligaments, and heart valves. It also is part of the
mucous secretions of the digestive, respiratory and urinary
Since Glucosamine is a building block in the joints, it
is most effective in Osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis affects everyone over 40 as the body ages and
the joints begin to ache because they are breaking down and
diminishing in fluid.
Glucosamine, together with a related
ingredient called Chondroitin, are substances which exist
naturally in your body. It is believed that glucosamine helps
to build and repair cartilage (the soft, spongy material
between your joints), while chondroitin lends to the elasticity
and flexibility of joints. A deficiency of either one can lead
to increased wear and tear on the joint, and cause redness,
swelling and stiffness as a result.
A few years ago I attended a lecture by a prominent
physician here in San Antonio. He described what was involved
in a joint and how these two difficult to pronounce words could
He was all in favor of glucosamine. He described how
it is produced artificially for supplements in a bottle.
It is made from shrimp tails. The primary source is
Japan. And in his opinion only one company made a quality
product. He would not disclose that name during the
lecture. You had to see him later and go thru the
Anyway, according to him, the shrimp tails are dumped on a
dock area and sit. Only fresh shrimp tails make a quality
supplement and the fresh ones are the most expensive. Most
(according to him) manufacturers bought the older dried tails
and those would be much less effective. And if there
manufacturing methods were less than desirable, you would be
getting excrement and well as fillers in your supplement.
On the other hand Chondroitin - according to this physician
- the molecular structure of Chondroitin makes it impossible to
produce an artificial supplement that can be absorbed by the
body.I know many people who take a combination supplement
and swear by it. They say the combination works much
better than just the glucosamine alone. I have tried both and
see no difference.
When used together, glucosamine and chondroitin act as a
tag-team of arthritis fighters, improving flexibility, soothing
inflammation and reducing swelling caused by achy joints.
Where Can I Buy Glucosamine and Chondroitin Supplements?
You can find these products at virtually any pharmacy
or health goods store or even on line. The downside to
this is, like other herbal and alternative medicines,
supplements are not regulated by any governing body. That’s why
you’ll need to do a little bit of research to find the best,
most potent brand for your needs.