Information on how glucosamine actually works, the science backing glucosamine, and how to select the best glucosamine product...
As I stated in my article "Osteoarthritis Explained" healthy cartilage requires four things. These are:
- water for lubrication and nourishment
- proteoglycans to attract and hold water
- collagen to hold proteoglycans in place
- chondrocytes to clean away old proteoglycans and collagen and produce new ones
When any one of these elements is missing, cartilage can deteriorate and osteoarthritis will begin to develop. However, studies show that taking glucosamine often protects cartilage against deterioration and reduces arthritis pain if you are currently suffering from osteoarthritis.
The Info on Glucosamine
Glucosamine is an amino sugar produced from the shells of shellfish (chitin) and it is a key component of cartilage. Glucosamine works to stimulate joint function and repair. It has been proven effectiveand beneficial in numerous scientific trials in easing osteoarthritis pain, assisting in the rehabilitation of cartilage, renewing synovial fluid, and repairing joints that have been damaged from osteoarthritis.
Everyone produces a certain amount of glucosamine within their bodies. When you grow older, your body loses the capacity to make enough glucosamine. Having ample glucosamine in your body is essential to producing the nutrients needed to stimulate the production of synovial fluid, the fluid which lubricates your cartilage and keeps your joints healthy. Without enough glucosamine, the cartilage in weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, knees, and hands deteriorates. The cartilage then hardens and forms bone spurs, deformed joints, and limited joint movement. This is how the debilitating disease of osteoarthritis develops.
So How Does Glucosamine Figure Into Healthy Cartilage?
- a major building block of proteoglycans
- needed to make glycosaminoglycans, proteins that bind water in the cartilage matrix
- a source of nutrients for the synthesis of proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans
- a stimulant to chondrocytes
- a key factor in determining how many proteoglycans are produced by the chondrocytes
- needed to spur chondrocytes to produce more collagen and proteoglycans
- a regulator of cartilage metabolism which helps to keep cartilage from breaking down
In addition, glucosamine has been shown to reduce pain for osteoarthritis sufferers and improve the joint structure.
As you can see, glucosamine is a very important factor in maintaining healthy cartilage and rehabilitating cartilage that has deteriorated. However, glucosamine products can be very different.
When purchasing glucosamine, you must make sure you look for a product which
- is high quality - preferably pharmaceutical quality
- is a liquid - for quicker and full absorption
- contains other beneficial ingredients like chondroitin, boswellin, bromelain, manganese, yucca, etc.
Do remember, that while glucosamine is very effective in maintaining healthly joints, it has been shown to significantly reduce pain in about 4 out of 5 people, and also that the quality, delivery system, and synergistic ingredients can make a huge difference on whether or not you receive relief.
If you have been putting off buying glucosamine, I would very much encourage you to not wait any longer. And if you've tried glucosamine in capsule form or are currently taking glucosamine in capsule form, I would very much recommend giving a liquid glucosamine product a try.
J.R. Rogers is the founder and President of Activex America, Inc. makers of Liquid Glucosamine Formula Syn-flex®