Glucosamine: A molecule derived from the sugar glucose by the addition of an amino (NH2) group, glucosamine is a component of a number of structures including the blood group substances and cartilage.
Glucosamine is a nutritional supplement. Glucosamine may improve symptoms of pain and stiffness in some patients with osteoarthritis, according to recent research studies. In one study, glucosamine was compared to ibuprofen (ADVIL, MEDIPREN, MOTRIN, NUPRIN.) Pain relief was more rapid with ibuprofen 400mg three times daily than with glucosamine 500mg three times daily; however, after 4 weeks the relief of symptoms was similar with the two treatments. (Of note, this dose of ibuprofen is not an antiinflammatory dose; higher amounts are typically given.)
Glucosamine has not been evaluated for other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Glucosamine has been marketed as a "cartilage rebuilder." This is in part under the assumption that, because glucosamine is a component of normal cartilage, consuming it will assist in the rebuilding of damaged cartilage. There is no strong evidence that glucosamine alone, or in combination with chondroitin, is of value in rebuilding cartilage that is damaged by osteoarthritis. It has also received acclaim as a "cure" for arthritis -- for which there is no evidence.
Glucosamine is a natural compound that is found in healthy cartilage. Why do people use glucosamine supplements? What are the side effects and safety concerns?
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Information on arthritis and glucosamine, the latest glucosamine research, details on arthritis treatments and tips for effectively managing your arthritis and joint pain.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Arthritis: Benefit is Unlikely Stephen Barrett, M.D. Osteoarthritis (OA), the most widespread type of arthritis, is a degenerative disease ...