Chances are you’ve noticed a few more aches as you’ve gotten older. It’s a perfectly normal part of aging! All of a sudden, activities that you could once do with ease now leave you in a little pain. Luckily, there’s a promising supplement that could potentially reduce signs of inflammation and swelling and help you move around more comfortably. Here’s what you need to know about glucosamine.
What is glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a compound that helps build and maintain the cartilage in your body. Cartilage is connective tissue that acts as a covering for joints and bones to keep them moving smoothly. As we age, our cartilage begins to deteriorate or get damaged, which can lead to a number of problems, including increased swelling and inflammation as well as joint pain from where our bones and other tissues grind together.
While research is still in its early stages, promising studies have shown that glucosamine’s cartilage-protecting power can decrease signs of inflammation. In fact, one particular study where 200 participants took supplemental glucosamine found that it lowered two key markers of inflammation by 24 and 28 percent, respectively. As a result, glucosamine could potentially be effective in reducing symptoms of arthritis and osteoporosis.
In addition to decreasing symptoms brought on by deteriorating cartilage, it’s also crucial for forming the various compounds that make up our joints. It creates both articular cartilage itself and the synovial fluid, or lubricating liquid, that encases those connective tissues.
Lastly, it’s often taken in tandem with a similar supplement called chondroitin, which provides further support to cartilage and joints.
What are its side effects?
Generally symptoms associated with taking glucosamine are mild, like headaches, heartburn, stomach aches, and drowsiness. That said, people with shellfish allergies as well as folks with a history of heart disease, bleeding disorders, and kidney disease may want to find other relief for joint pain.
Most studies have generally included up to 500 milligrams of glucosamine roughly three times per day, so you may not want to exceed that limit when taking it yourself.
How should you take it?
Glucosamine most commonly comes in the form of oral tablets, which are easy to find online (Buy on Amazon, $11.34). And as always, talk to your doctor before beginning any new supplement regimen!