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LMU 148 – Glucosamine: A Joint Saver for Osteoarthritis


LMU 148 – Glucosamine: A Joint Saver for Osteoarthritis

Source: Journal – Current Medical Research and Opinion (2016)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (October 26, 2019)


If you’re in the age group of 40 to 69, there’s a fair chance you’ve heard of or even considered taking glucosamine supplements to safeguard your joints from the spectre of osteoarthritis. It’s a hot topic among adults looking to maintain their joint health and mobility as they age. But does glucosamine really live up to the hype? Let’s dive into the science-backed insights revealed in a 2016 review published in the journal Current Medical Research and Opinions.

The Underlying Battle: Osteoarthritis and Inflammation

Osteoarthritis, often referred to as the “wear and tear” disease of joints, is a formidable adversary. It can hinder mobility, cause pain, and affect one’s overall quality of life. In this battle against osteoarthritis, glucosamine emerges as a formidable ally. The review sheds light on the powerful mechanisms at play within the body.

Glucosamine: A Defender Against Degeneration

One of the key findings highlighted in the review is that glucosamine serves as a robust inhibitor of inflammatory and degenerative agents that contribute to the development and worsening of osteoarthritis. These agents include interleukin 1b, cyclo-oxygenase-2, nitric oxide, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and destructive enzymes like metalloproteinases. Glucosamine has the remarkable ability to directly or indirectly suppress the release of these troublesome substances within the body.

Unveiling the Science: In-Vitro and Clinical Evidence

Scientific exploration has revealed that long-term oral administration of glucosamine sulfate can substantially reduce the destruction of cartilage, a key factor in osteoarthritis. It doesn’t stop there; this remarkable compound also has the power to suppress joint inflammation. Human clinical studies provide further encouragement. Glucosamine sulfate has demonstrated superior effectiveness compared to acetaminophen (paracetamol) in alleviating osteoarthritic pain over the long term. It’s not only cost-effective but also safer than acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin or ibuprofen, with minimal side effects.

A Game-Changer: Disease Modification and Improved Mobility

Perhaps one of the most exciting revelations is that glucosamine sulfate showcases disease-modifying properties. It can slow down or even halt the progression of osteoarthritis, enhance mobility, and improve functionality in those battling arthritis. Moreover, it reduces inflammation, delays structural changes, and may ultimately lead to a reduced need for invasive knee replacement surgery.

A Cost-Effective Choice for Joint Health

The economic perspective is equally compelling. Pharmacoeconomic studies have demonstrated that glucosamine sulfate therapy over a span of 12 months significantly reduces the need for pain relief medication and NSAIDs. This translates to substantial cost savings related to medication, healthcare consultations, and examinations.

Taking Action: Dosage and Considerations

For those already grappling with osteoarthritis, an effective daily dosage of 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate, taken once a day with food, has proven beneficial. However, for those looking to prevent osteoarthritis after reaching the age of 40, a lower dosage of 500-1000 mg per day may be considered. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or supplementation routine, as individual circumstances may vary.

The Winning Form: Glucosamine Sulfate

Not all glucosamine supplements are created equal. Studies have shown that the most effective form, particularly for osteoarthritis patients, is glucosamine sulfate. Other forms, such as glucosamine hydrochloride or N-acetylglucosamine, may not yield the same promising results.

Conclusion: Glucosamine’s Role in Joint Health

As we navigate the journey of aging, our joints require vigilant care. Glucosamine, with its anti-inflammatory, disease-modifying, and pain-relieving properties, emerges as a valuable companion in this quest. The 2016 review reinforces the notion that glucosamine sulfate can be a pivotal element in maintaining joint health, potentially saving individuals from the clutches of osteoarthritis.


Kucharz E, Kovalenko V, Szanto K, Bruyere O, Cooper C, Reginster JY. A review of glucosamine for knee osteoarthritis: why patented crystalline glucosamine sulfate should be differentiated from other glucosamines to maximize clinical outcomes. Current Medical Research and Opinions. 2016. [Read the full study here](


Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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