10 Best Glucosamine Supplements Tested
With every stride, runners experience a shockwave that goes from their ankles to their shins and all the way up the rest of their body. While good running shoes minimize this shockwave and prevent us from experience pain, that doesn’t mean there are no side effects. If we don’t take care of ourselves, runners can experience long-term joint damage that will cause more and more pain over time.
The best Glucosamine supplements will lubricate our joints and help them function optimally. Whether you are dealing with joint pain already or just want to prevent it, our list of the top 10 best Glucosamine supplements will ensure your joints are well taken care of!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
Free of most allergins and harmful ingredients
More than just glucosamine
Comes with a money back guarantee
10 Best Glucosamine Supplements
1. Vimerson Health
Free of most allergins and harmful ingredients
More than just glucosamine
Comes with a money back guarantee
Some users think the capsules are too big
If you are looking for a Glucosamine supplement that will reduce joint pain--which is especially important for runner's knee--then you will find the Vimerson Health Glucosamine supplement to be extremely effective. It comes highly rated and reviewed and is always available for purchase on Amazon--so you don't even need to get off the couch to get it.Read more
The product uses Non-GMO and all-natural ingredients so you don't have to worry about most allergies or harmful ingredients--it is gluten free, dairy free, antibiotic free, hormone free, soy free, binder free, and has no artificial flavors or colors. They come in capsules that you take three times a day.
This product isn't just Glucosamine, it also has Tumeric and MSM to ensure your joints are getting absolutely everything they need to function normally and remain healthy. It is specifically designed to reduce and prevent joint pain and can be used by almost everyone--from seniors to men and women of any age.
To get your daily dose you will need to take 3 capsules a day--but you will get what you need to ensure that your joints are well-lubricated and functioning properly.
This product with more than just Glucosamine as well as your daily serving.
This one is a little on the pricier compared to other products on our list. However, it does come with a 100% money back guarantee and its powerful formula is sure to get your joints happy and healthy.
2. VitaBreeze Triple Strength
Contains natural antioxidant/anti inflammatory turmeric
VitaBreeze Triple Strength incorporates turmeric into its glucosamine supplement formula for a unique added boost. Turmeric has been shown to be a very powerful antioxidant that has impressive anti-inflammatory properties.Read more
This product uses high-quality ingredients that you can trust are safe to consume. They incorporate turmeric to ensure that this supplement not only lubricates your joints but also helps reduce inflammation.
VitaBreeze guarantees that four of their gelatin-free Veggie Capsules will provide you with joint pain relief in 60 days, or they will refund your purchase. Users report greatly increased mobility, decreased pain, and that taking this supplement has nearly eliminated the use of OTC pain relievers from their joint pain management routine.
Each dose of VitaBreeze Triple Strength is 4 capsules, and it is recommended that you take two, 2-pill doses daily. Each dose of this glucosamine supplement contains 1500 mg glucosamine, 1000 mg chondroitin, 600 mg MSM, and 300 mg turmeric.
If you are looking for a supplement that will help reduce inflammation as well, then this is a good one to go with. it offers your daily need of Glucosamine and some--so if you have been dealing with long term joint pain you should check this one out.
This brand focuses on clean nutrition and uses quality ingredients to ensure that your joints get everything they need.
Simple, once-a-day formula
Easily adjustable dosing
May take larger doses to work
Now is a well-known brand that is also cost-effective--so it is no surprise that this supplement is featured here on our list. This Glucosamine supplement, by Now, offers key ingredients that will help you prevent and treat joint pain and discomfort so you can keep the active lifestyle you have worked so hard to maintain.Read more
As far as product purity, this one falls somewhere in the middle. While it doesn't really have any fillers or harmful ingredients, it also is not the most organic option on our list. Overall, this is a great cost-effective option that doesn't sacrifice ingredients quality too much.
A three-capsule dose of NOW Foods Glucosamine contains 1100 mg of glucosamine, 1200 mg of chondroitin, and 300 mg of MSM.
Users report that this product did help their joint pain, but the dosage had to be adjusted because it contains lesser concentrations of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM than some other glucosamine supplement formulas. It was recommended to users to calculate a new dosage based on their body weight.
This supplement will help you out with joint pain but some of you may need to up your servings since it is not as potent as other options on our list.
Now is a well-respected brand that is known for its cost-effective supplements--and the best part is that they are still healthy and not full of unnecessary harmful ingredients.
4. Nature’s Way
Specifically formulated for problem areas
This supplement combines Glucosamine with MSM--which is commonly done. It is highly affordable and specifically formulated for your hands, wrists, knees, back, neck, elbows, hips, and ankles.Read more
This is another product that falls somewhere in the middle. It uses all-natural ingredients but is certainly not the most organic option on our list--however, you don't have to worry about unnecessary fillers with this one!
This supplement provides you with 1050mg of Glucosamine and 750mg of MSM. It requires you take 2 tablets 2 times a day.
This supplement is specifically made for your joints, as stated on the bottle. It is a bit more diluted than other products, but it provides positive results quickly and helps relieve your symptoms over time.
This is a great product for those of you looking to prevent any joint issues before they start. Although this one isn't potent enough to really relieve pain, it certainly is a great supplement for first time users or runners who don't have any serious issues.
While this brand is not as popular, it certainly is cost-effective.
5. Doctor’s Best
GMO- and gluten-free
Helps rebuild cartilage
Pain returns immediately upon not taking supplement
The Doctor's Best Glucosamine supplement is a great organic and all-natural supplement that will ensure your joints get and stay healthy. It uses 3 key ingredients that have been proven to rebuild your cartilage and keep your joints cushioned and well lubricated, so you can enjoy a painless run each and every time.Read more
This supplement is made of non-GMO, all-natural ingredients. It is completely gluten-free and designed to help your joints get what they need with each daily serving.
This combination of ingredients has been shown to increase cartilage production and lubrication around joints, and decrease joint pain. Doctor’s Best Glucosamine is the only glucosamine supplement to contain OptiMSM, a specially-formulated blend of MSM created by Bergstrom Nutrition, which has been scientifically proven to improve joint, skin, and immune health.
A two-capsule dose of Doctor’s Best Glucosamine contains 750 mg of glucosamine sulfate, 600 mg of chondroitin sulfate, and 500 mg of MSM.
Users of Doctor’s Best Glucosamine say that this supplement starts to take effect after two weeks of consistent use. They also say that you must take the whole two-pill dose, or else you will begin feeling pain again almost immediately.
This brand is a well-respected brand that ensures it provides you with non-GMO ingredients that you can safely consume. On top of that, it comes at a great price--especially given the quality of the ingredients.
6. Arazo Nutrition
Lubricates joints and relieves pain
Made in an FDA and GMP approved facility
For men, women, and seniors
Comes with a 100% money back guarantee
Tablets don't taste the best and they can be hard to swallow
Can be pricey for some
There is a 60-day policy on the money back guarantee
The Arazo Nutrition glucosamine uses a powerful formula to make sure your joints get the relief they need. If you suffer from joint pain or lack of flexibility in your joints, you will find this supplement specifically address those issues.Read more
They are tested for purity and are made in a GMP and FDA approved place--so you can trust the ingredients are pure.
To receive your daily dose you will need to take three tablets a day of the supplement.
The Arazo Nutrition joint support supplement has 1500mg of Glucosamine, 1200mg of Chondroitin, and 1000mg of MSM. It also incorporatesTurmeric, Boswellia, and Hyaluronic Acid to ensure your joints are well lubricated and receiving everything that they need.
This supplement offers its users the necessary daily value of glucosamine and helps ensure that your joints stay well-nourished and healthy so your body can continue to run at optimal levels.
While this is neither the most or expensive or the most affordable Glucosamine supplement, it is definitely worth the cost. Not only does it come with a 100% money back guarantee, but it is also made of pure and high quality and ingredients that you can trust.
Does not contain chondroitin
Schiff Glucosamine Plus MSM provides the highest potency of glucosamine for healthy joints and cartilage. It contains additional ingredients that also help with strength and lubrication.Read more
While this is not the purest or most organic supplement on our list, it certainly is not full of harmful ingredients. If you are not necessarily looking for something that is not complete all-natural or organic but still good for you, then this is a great brand to consider.
Together, the ingredients help relieve joint discomfort, promote lubrication, and increase cushioning. There is no chondroitin in this formula.
Three tablets once daily of this glucosamine supplement contain 1500 mg of glucosamine, 1500 mg of MSM, and 3 mg of hyaluronic acid.
Users report quick results with joint pain in hips and knees, and Schiff Glucosamine Plus MSM has even provided relief for pets.
This brand is available in most stores and through online retailers. Many users have trusted it for quite some time and highly recommend it;.
8. Schiff Move Free Advanced
Quick relief from pain
Includes compounds that occur naturally in the body
Works within one month
Must take 3 pills per day
This glucosamine supplement is a power-packed combination of glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and hyaluronic acid. Just three of these tablets each day will chase your joint pain away.Read more
This product features high-quality ingredients that will help both treat and prevent any joint issues you may be dealing with.
Move Free Advanced is specially formulated to support the five signs of joint health: mobility, comfort, strength, flexibility, and lubrication. Users report that within one month of consistently taking the recommended dose of Move Free Advanced, they felt a significant reduction in joint pain, especially in their hips.
Move Free Advanced glucosamine supplement contains: 1500 mg of glucosamine which supports the formation of cartilage and everyday mobility and flexibility, 200 mg of chondroitin to support joint strength, cushioning, and lubrication; 200 mg of a mineral compound called Uniflex that Move Free says will lessen pain within 2 weeks, 3.3 mg of hyaluronic acid, which helps support joint lubrication, and 1500 mg of MSM which is a source of sulfur-related to collagen production.
This supplement offers a great deal of relief and joint pain prevention according to actual users.
This is a well-known and highly respected brand that many users back up and use to prevent joint pain.
9. Zenwise Labs Joint Support Pro-Mobility Formula
Takes effect in less than one month
Supplemental ingredients are natural
Higher price than most other supplements
Zenwise labs created a glucosamine supplement to promote overall mobility. It combines glucosamine and two other movement-supporting supplements to help you run pain-free. This glucosamine supplement also includes natural ingredients to help improve the effectiveness of its main ingredients.Read more
This Glucosamine supplement uses all-natural and high-quality ingredients that will ensure your joints get everything they need to keep them functioning with no pain.
After 28 days of taking this glucosamine supplement, one user with severe joint problems reporting comfort sleeping at night, and that there was no longer cracking or popping in the knees or shoulders.
Two tablets of Zenwise Labs Joint Support Pro-Mobility Formula will give you 1500 mg of glucosamine, 1200 mg of chondroitin, and 1000 mg of MSM.
This combination of medicines promotes joint and muscle flexibility as well as joint health.
This brand is highly regarded and uses all natural and high-quality ingredients in all of their supplements.
10. Universal Nutrition Animal Flex
Offers joint construction, support, and lubrication
Potential side effects
Animal Flex glucosamine supplement is geared toward serious lifters. Taken once daily, this 8-time award winning glucosamine supplement will not only relieve your aches and pains, it will also help repair all of your joints, including your elbows, knees, and hips.Read more
This product is not all-natural or organic and has additional ingredients some users may be sensitive to and that may cause negative side effects.
Users report some relief of joint pain and discomfort, but they also report side effects such as headaches, sinus pressure, and a racing heart.
This product is really potent but also has additional ingredients you may not like if you want something organic and all-natural.
One serving of Animal Flex is one packet, and it must be taken with a meal. Animal Flex glucosamine supplement has three “Complexes”: Joint Construction, Joint Lubrication, and Joint Support. The Joint Construction Complex contains glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin. The Joint Lubrication Complex contains flaxseed oil, a cetyl myristoleate proprietary blend, and hyaluronic acid. The Joint Support Complex contains ginger, turmeric, boswellic acid, quercetin, and bromelain.
If you are an athlete, you may have heard of this brand before since they make quite a bit of supplements for athletes.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When you are searching for any type of supplement, especially one like Glucosamine, it is important to ensure the ingredients are pure and the product ingredient list is accurate and complete. We checked each product on our list to ensure they are safe and pure and all ingredients listed are truthfully presented. Our goal is to help you find the best product available!
Glucosamine supplements typically do not contain strictly glucosamine sulfate and/or glucosamine hydrochloride. In fact, glucosamine is most commonly sold as a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin. Chondroitin, like glucosamine, is usually taken by athletes and people who have joint or bone pain from arthritis or osteoporosis. It lubricates joints, helps the body produce more cartilage to protect bones and joints, and aids in recovery and tissue repair. (In fact, chondroitin is actually a component of the cartilage that the human body naturally produces.)
When taken in combination, glucosamine and chondroitin can work compatibly together to decrease joint pain even more – especially when both ingredients are contained in equal or almost-equal amounts per serving. There are a number of other ingredients that you might find in your glucosamine supplement. Most serve to help in recovery and decrease pain, but a lengthy list of too many foreign ingredients might make minimalists and just most consumers, in general, a bit wary.
Other common (and typically safe) ingredients include MSM, (methylsulfonylmethane, used commonly to decrease inflammation associated with arthritis) and (perhaps surprisingly enough) shark cartilage, which helps bolster the body’s natural cartilage production. Supplements sold in forms other than tablets, like drinkable liquid forms, might contain additional ingredients to help with flavor or palatability, which some people find to actually be unpleasant taste fake. Always read labels and be aware of what is contained in your glucosamine supplements, as well as how much of the other ingredients are included per serving and/or tablet.
There are a umber of reasons why you may want to use a glucose supplement but they should only be used with the instruction and direction of your health care professional. Our review team checked each product featured here for safety and ease of use but you must ensure that a product you use is safe and correct for your unique health and wellness needs.
When you aren’t producing a sufficient amount of glucosamine, you’re going to experience a lot of pain. This comes from bone on bone contact that’s not properly cushioned by connective tissues or synovial fluid. This can feel like grinding, residual pain after activity, or a consistent throbbing that lasts all day. Joint pain gets exponentially worse when you try to run or jump without the right level of cushioning. While braces and certain stretches can help, adding a glucosamine supplement to your health regimen can make a huge difference.
Glucosamine is known to decrease inflammation, reduce joint pain, and help your body to naturally replace tissue and cartilage. Taking a daily supplement usually results in improved mobility and a decrease in pain after 6 to 8 weeks. These supplements shouldn’t replace a doctor’s visit if you’re experiencing an unusual amount of pain, and you should always consult with a physician before starting anything new.
It’s easy to ignore your body’s need for glucosamine until you start feeling the effects of not having enough. If you’re a runner, you definitely don’t want to wait until you feel pain to start taking a supplement that could have prevented it in the first place. Preventative measures can keep you on your feet and reduce residual damage from the constant abuse that your joints take. Glucosamine is something that our bodies produce naturally. When you put additional stress on your joints, you may not be able to make enough to keep your joints properly lubricated.
As we age, glucosamine becomes an even more critical component to our health, as it treats the symptoms of many age-related bone and joint illnesses like arthritis and osteoporosis. But even in our youth, taking a glucosamine supplement may help keep us moving pain-free, especially those of us who are athletes, runners, and/or gym rats. Day after day of intense workouts can put a lot of stress on our joints and bones, and so it’s a good idea to include glucosamine into your supplement routine. However, not all glucosamine supplements are created equal. Some tend to relieve pain and lubricate joints, muscles, bones, and tendons more than others. Some tend to work faster but not longer, some last longer but take a while to kick in, and some do both.
This is also another issue that goes along with getting old. Our bodies tend to stop being as efficient in our old age as they were when we were young. This means you’re probably not producing enough glucosamine to keep your joints healthy, and a supplement can improve mobility longer. We looked at the way that each of these supplements improved joint pain and mobility over a significant period of time for athletes. The effectiveness of the supplement is the reason why you should take it in the first place—which is why this went so far up on our list of criteria.
It is also important to know that there are three main types of glucosamine that exist in a hierarchy of effectiveness. The most common form of glucosamine supplement on the market is glucosamine sulfate, which is also the most effective. The other two are glucosamine hydrochloride and N-Acetyle glucosamine. Glucosamine sulfate has been dubbed the most effective of the three because the sulfate component is the key in cartilage production.
When it comes to any kind of supplement you will be taking you need to know what the potency is. This will help you know if it safe to use as well as the ingredients and materials used in its composition and development. The RunnerClick review team made sure to check each product featured on our guide and made sure each one if strong and able to do what it claims!
As with any medicine or supplement, the potency for each dose is important. On one hand, having pills with smaller concentrations will make it easier for more sensitive individuals to fine-tune their servings to make sure they get the dosage that is the perfect fit for their needs. On the other hand, pills with much higher concentrations of key ingredients will ensure that one bottle lasts longer and can provide faster results. It's ultimately up to the individual and their needs to decide which is the better approach, but this rating serves to accurately evaluate each product based on these criteria.
For any type of supplement, you will also want to consider the capacity and how much you are going to get with your purchase. This will ensure you are getting your moneys worth and will also help you ensure you are not getting too much or too little with each dose you take. Our review team made sure to check capacity during our review process.
Capacity can refer to the number of pills or capsules in a bottle as well as how much active ingredient there is in each one. Both are important to consider as you look for Glucosamine supplements that you want to start adding. You want to make sure each pill is formulated as you need it to be and you will want to find a product that gives you enough for a reasonable price as well. We made sure to look at both of these factors as we reviewed and tested all of the products for this buyer’s guide.
While it is not meant to be the end-all deciding factor for what product you end up choosing, it is worth taking a look at the brand. Buying from a known and respected brand can give you the peace of mind and confidence that you are looking for when searching for any health supplement. We included different brands so there’s plenty of options to consider as you search.
Brands become well known when they prove they know what they are doing, can make high quality and safe products, and keep customers happy. These are all things you want to consider when looking for health and wellness-based products and supplements. So, going with a brand known in the supplement and health industry can be a great way to go. We here at RunnerClick included a range of brands, all of them well known and respected in order to ensure you are getting the best Glucosamine supplements available on the market today.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Some of the ingredients contained in these supplements can cause some annoying side effects, such as nausea or headaches, if you take too much. For that reason, it's recommended that anyone taking these supplements measure out their dosages carefully. Remember: you can always take more, but you can't take less.
It doesn't matter if the medicine or supplement you are interested in taking is severe or minor; you should always consult a medical professional beforehand. Talking to your physician will help you understand what to expect and can even provide you with insight into alternative remedies or treatment methods.
Always follow the directions on the label carefully! Each product is different so even if you have used glucose supplements in the past, they are likely formulated different than your new ones. You will need to make sure the dosage is the same and if you need to do anything special while taking it such as taking with or without food and drinking a lot of water when you take it. Brands can change their formulations so make sure to always review the label to ensure everything is still the same as the last time you took it.
Like with any other medication, if you end up with pills or capsules you are not going to use or the product expires before you finish the bottle, you need to make sure you dispose of it properly. You should not flush them, throw them out, or toss them down the sink. Talk to your health care provider about what to do with old medications. Most will take them for you so they can be safely disposed of or they can let you know where you can drop off old unused medications. It is important to be responsible with left over medications!
Other Factors to Consider
Do you have arthritis?
Having arthritis certainly isn’t a walk in the park. It often means stiffness and tenderness throughout your joints and bones, inflammation and swelling, and general all-over fatigue. In some cases, the pain becomes bad enough that surgery to replace joints and sockets is necessary. However, most of the people who suffer from arthritis may experience pain relief from natural remedies and daily supplement routines containing glucosamine and chondroitin. Most arthritis sufferers who take glucosamine report a modest eight to ten percent relief from pain and arthritic symptoms, which typically takes effect around three months after starting the supplement regimen. Though the benefits of glucosamine are modest and may take longer than surgery, it’s a far less expensive solution to moderate arthritis pain.
Do you have runner’s knee?
Or better yet, do you have any aches and pains that tend to flare up when running or exercising and are especially located around joints or bones? You might have even gotten them looked at by a doctor who told you no bones were broken, ligaments or tendons torn, and nothing is seriously wrong – they are just the minor aches and pains associated with increasing mileage and working out more. They are not associated with a disease like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis because they are exacerbated by exercise, but not exactly chronic. Many runners who have experienced these more minor pains have also vouched that incorporating a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement into their daily routine has helped with the discomfort. It’s a relatively low-cost solution that can get you back out on the roads, trails, and in the gym quickly and painlessly.
Are you allergic to shellfish?
This might seem like a strange question, but if you are allergic to shellfish then you should know that many glucosamine supplements are made from the shells of shellfish such as crab and shrimp, and should thus consult with your doctor about starting a glucosamine regimen (actually, EVERYONE should first ask their doctor before starting any sort of supplement regimen!). The cartilage that make up the shells of shellfish are rich in glucosamine, and so are a great source from which to extract glucosamine. Even though the human shellfish allergy is really an allergy to the proteins found within the flesh of shellfish, these proteins may also be found in trace amounts in the shells of shellfish. Therefore, those with severe allergies to shellfish are possibly at risk of having an allergic reaction to glucosamine supplements.
Do you prefer taking your supplements in the form of a pill or a liquid?
The majority of glucosamine supplements sold on the market are sold in a swallowable capsule or pill form. However, some might not like swallowing huge pills, especially if the recommended dosage is high and calls for taking the pills multiple times a day. Others complain about bad aftertastes of some supplements. Fortunately, glucosamine is also sold in a drinkable liquid form. Both forms are included on this list, and there has been some research that compares the two forms.
Some studies show that the drinkable form may actually take effect more quickly than the pill form because it is more readily absorbed and digested. While users of glucosamine pills typically experience results in one to three months, many report seeing results in as little as two weeks with the liquid form. The downside to the drinkable form though is that it is typically more expensive, and many manufacturers try to improve upon taste using artificial sweeteners which might not be enjoyable or palatable to all individuals.
Are you taking any other types of drugs or medicines?
Before you incorporate glucosamine into your supplement routine, you should consider what other drugs or medicines you are already taking, and how changing your routine may affect these drugs. While not likely, some studies show that glucosamine may interfere with certain drugs, including some blood thinners like anticoagulants (and as a result, increase the risk of bleeding) and other pain relievers and fever reducers (such as acetaminophen, resulting in increased effectiveness to reduce fever).
Glucosamine may also interfere with medications that affect blood sugar levels, so individuals with diabetes who take drugs to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels need to be cautious about taking glucosamine. Some evidence suggests glucosamine may cause cancer cells to become more resistant to certain types of chemotherapy treatments. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about possible interactions or interferences that glucosamine might have on your medications.
Just because something is more expensive doesn’t mean that it’s going to perform better than other supplements. When we looked at value, we looked at more than just the cost of the glucosamine. We also looked at how long the effects from that particular supplement lasted compared to the amount that you ultimately paid for it. Getting a huge number of pills for a bargain price doesn’t do you any good if they don’t work. Most of the items on our list start out at around six cents per pill or serving. Some are 2 to 3 times that amount, but these are definitely worth what you pay. On average, you’re going to spend between 15 and $30 on a high-quality supplement. This is due to the effectiveness of the ingredients used, and the purity of the supplement itself.
But that does not necessarily mean you can, with confidence, the budget for buying one bottle per month because each product has different guidelines and recommended daily amounts. Some require just one serving a day, and other require taking the supplement up to three times a day to see results. This is where the value comes into play: while the Schiff Move Free Advanced Plus Glucosamine Supplements might be extremely effective at reducing your pain, you should think about if it’s feasible to take three servings each day with your individual schedule and lifestyle.
Because so many pills are required, you will go through the bottle quicker and thus end up having to buy more, more often (thus decreasing total value not only because more money will be spent, but because it is far less convenient to have to go to the store for supplements multiple times a month than it is to have them last for several months in a row – especially if you have to travel to a specialty health foods store to get your glucosamine). From the options on our list, you will be getting the bottles with 100 to 250 tablets per bottle and which for the most part, align with price (aka, the products on the lower end of the price spectrum naturally have less pills per bottle than the ones with more). When choosing which glucosamine supplement is right for you, consider your own budget and what you want to spend on a supplement as well as how often you want to be buying it.
It’s also important to know that the FDA does NOT regulate supplements and herbs like it does other medications or foods. Instead, the FDA can only investigate claims about adverse effects experienced from supplements but they do not have the authority to regulate supplements for safety, purity, strength, and effectiveness like they do for other products, so it’s important to pay attention to quality and stick with brands that you know and trust. In this way in the case of choosing supplements, brand names or trusted brands play a large role in increasing value. And if some brands have awards associated with their glucosamine products, such as Animal Flex from this list, then that adds to the level which you can trust them, and thus, their value.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are there potential side effects associated with glucosamine use?
While glucosamine supplements are likely safe for the majority of people who take them, (after first consulting with a doctor) they still may experience a few adverse side effects. Some of the most common side effects include stomach ache and stomach and digestive issues such as nausea, diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating hair loss, and puffy eyes. Immediately stop use if you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction (i.e. difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat, face, lips or tongue, and/or hives) or irregular heartbeat or swollen legs.
q: Where does the glucosamine in my supplement come from?
Glucosamine is a chemical that is made naturally in the human body. It mostly pools as fluid around the joints, which helps explain why it is taken to help in joint pain, as it serves to increase the lubricative fluid around joints and bones. For supplements, glucosamine is also often extracted from the shells of shellfish like oysters, crabs, and shrimp. However, not all glucosamine supplements are from natural sources – some are synthetically created in laboratories.
q: What is the difference between Glucosamine Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, and N-Acetyleglucosamine?
If you do a little research about glucosamine, you will quickly find that it can be bought in three different forms: as glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride and n-acetyle glucosamine. Most research on glucosamine has been conducted on glucosamine sulfate, and it’s likely that this is the form included in your supplement because it is more commonly found on the market. Research suggests that glucosamine sulfate is actually a more effective form because sulfur is what the body actually needs to produce cartilage and aid in joint health and recovery (and may even help pain and joint problems from progressing worse).
And luckily for humans, it is impossible to have an allergy to sulfur (not to be confused with sulfa). Aside from not containing sulfur, glucosamine hydrochloride isn’t stabilized by sodium chloride (aka table salt) like glucosamine sulfate, which is a contributing factor in glucosamine sulfate’s effectiveness. N-Acetyle glucosamine tends to have a lot of side effects which is the main reason why it is not the best choice. Not only do those allergic to shellfish have to be cautious around N-Actyle glucosamine containing supplements, but evidence suggests N-Acetyle glucosamine exacerbates asthmatic symptoms (narrowing air passages and making breathing difficult) as well as contributes to increased bleeding and bruising in people who are already prone to excessive bleeding without proper clotting.
q: What is the difference between glucosamine and chondroitin?
In short, the answer is no. While we’ve already explained how shellfish shells are an abundant source of glucosamine, shells are not typically consumed in a typical Western diet. If you are really determined to get your glucosamine intake from food though, you can take the shells of crustaceans and ground them down to a powder to throw into soups, stews, sauces, and baked dishes. (Unfortunately though, the flesh of shellfish contain little to no glucosamine, so you won’t get your glucosamine intake simply by hitting up your local seafood buffet.)
And because glucosamine is made from cartilage and helps produce cartilage, you can get it from cartilage-based foods like ofal (that, again, are rarely consumed in the West). Cartilage found in animal ears, snouts, and joint tissues may contain glucosamine. If all of that makes you squeamish and sounds more difficult than it is worth, we suggest just sticking to supplements for your glucosamine intake.
q: Should I take glucosamine with food?
Some glucosamine supplements are stronger and more potent than others. Some users will find that this gives them stomach issues. If you have a sensitive stomach and the glucosamine supplements you are taking are a higher dosage, taking them with food can help ease your gastrointestinal issues. Other individauls, no matter the potency or strength of the dose, may experience minor bloating, gas, constipation, and/or stomach pain. Again, taking glucosamine along with your pre-workout meal or breakfast may help calm some of these issues. And as always, be sure to read the directions on your glucosamine bottle or packaging before starting a regimen.
q: Is Glucosamine safe to give to children?
While the negative side effects of glucosamine in adults are minimal, not enough research has been conducted to confirm or deny claims that glucosamine is safe for the majority of children to take on a regular basis. Because of its health benefits for athletes and older individuals experiencing pain and arthritic symptoms, as well as evidence that it slows down the process of arthritis and joint pain, it has been suggested that it might help young children avoid bone or joint pain (especially young athletes who play multiple sports. Unfortunately, more research is still needed and you should certainly talk to your child’s pediatrician before starting them on any supplement regimen.
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