Resources
Minus/plus icon
ResourcesExplore the full ACKO experience and make the most of your plan

Home / Health Insurance / Articles / Supplements / Understanding Glucosamine Medicines: Uses, benefits, side effects, and risk factors

Understanding Glucosamine Medicines: Uses, benefits, side effects, and risk factors

Team AckoSept 15, 2023

Your body uses Glucosamine (GCM) to make other compounds that help develop tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and the synovial fluid that surrounds joints. Taking GCM may help build up cartilage and synovial fluid around the joints and prevent joint breakdown. In this article, we will highlight what GCM is, its usage, and its benefits along with some possible side effects and other threats

glucosamine

Contents

icon

What is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a dietary supplement. It is used to treat pain, stiffness, and inflammation in joints caused by osteoarthritis, which causes pain in the joints. GCM acts as a building block for a wide range of functional molecules in your body. It is well known for its involvement in the development and maintenance of cartilage in your joints. It boosts mobility and flexibility by lubricating the joints, thus reducing pain and inflammation.

GCM is a chemical found in bones, bone marrow, shellfish, and fungi. The FDA has not authorised all applications for it and it should not be used in place of medicine that has been recommended by your doctor.

Functions of Glucosamine Medicine

Some major functions of Glucosamine are listed below.

1. Helps reduce inflammation

Glucosamine is a supplement that is usually used to relieve the symptoms of several inflammatory disorders. As per the study, in a small trial of 18 overweight people, consuming 1500 mg of Glucosamine hydrochloride with 1200 mg of chondroitin sulphate every day for 28 days reduced the C-reactive protein (CRP) by 23 percent compared to a placebo.

On the other hand, GCM and chondroitin have been found to suppress the activation of inflammatory pathways in the synovial cells. These cells are responsible for creating synovial fluid, also known as joint fluid.

2. Supports healthy joints

One of the primary functions of GCM is to promote the healthy growth of articular cartilage, which is a smooth white tissue that covers the ends of your bones where they meet to create joints. Articular cartilage, along with the lubricating liquid known as synovial fluid, reduces friction and allows bones to glide easily and painlessly.

It promotes the formation of certain chemical molecules, such as collagen, which are essential structural components of articular cartilage and synovial fluid. Some research suggests that taking GCM supplements may protect joint tissue by avoiding cartilage breakdown.

3. May treat bone and joint disorder

GCM supplements are usually used to treat a variety of bone and joint disorders. The majority of scientific studies have been done on one specific type known as Glucosamine sulphate. This component has been extensively researched for its potential to treat medical conditions such as osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and osteoporosis.

As per various studies, taking these supplements daily may result in effective, long-term relief from osteoarthritis by alleviating pain substantially, keeping the joint space intact, and delaying the development of the disease.

4. Other uses of Glucosamine

It can also be used to treat the following conditions. However, there is limited data available to support this.

  • Interstitial cystitis (IC): It is a disorder marked by persistent inflammation of the bladder muscles and symptoms such as frequent urination and pain in the bladder. IC is related to the deficiency of a molecule known as glycosaminoglycan. 

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): It is a chronic inflammatory intestinal disease that exhibits symptoms such as bloating, stomach pains, and diarrhoea. It is also associated with a glycosaminoglycan deficit like interstitial cystitis. 

  • Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ): These refer to jaw-related health conditions such as jaw pain and locking of the jaw joint. In one small study, participants who got a combination of Glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate saw a substantial reduction in pain and inflammatory indicators, as well as improved jaw mobility. Another study found that consuming 1.5 grams of GCM and 1.2 grams of chondroitin sulphate every day for eight weeks improved maximal mouth opening and pain reduction.

Doses of Glucosamine

The dosage of GCM is 1500 to 3000 mg per day, which can be taken at once or in many smaller doses. However, please consult a doctor regarding this.

The supplements are derived from natural resources, such as shellfish shells or fungus, or they are prepared in a laboratory. These are available in three types.

  • Glucosamine hydrochloride

  • N-Acetyl Glucosamine

  • Glucosamine sulphate

There appear to be no variations in their anti-inflammatory properties. However, the sulphate form of GCM is utilised by the majority since it is more useful for treating osteoarthritis symptoms. 

Possible side effects

Although GCM supplements are generally safe to use, there are a few common side effects that may include the following.

  • Abdominal discomfort

  • Heartburn

  • Diarrhoea

  • Nausea and vomiting

Risk factors

GCM may not suit everyone, especially those who are dealing with the following.

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: It should not be given to pregnant or lactating women because it may pass to the baby and cause harm.

  • Cancer treatment: These supplements might reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. 

  • Diabetes: Studies reveal that GCM supplementation may have an effect on glucose levels in the body. As a result, it may be inappropriate for those having diabetes or glucose intolerance.

  • Asthma: As per studies, GCM may exacerbate the symptoms of asthma.

  • Allergies: Since the supplement is derived from shellfish, it may trigger an allergic reaction in your body.

  • Blood circulation issues: It may also affect blood clotting and blood pressure. Hence, it should be avoided while taking warfarin and other blood thinners.

  • Glaucoma: It might increase the risk of glaucoma. Hence people who have a high risk of developing glaucoma or have a family history of glaucoma should avoid taking GCM.

  • Liver and kidney disease: It should be used with caution, especially if you have a history of liver or kidney disease. Your healthcare practitioner may adjust the dosage as required.

Apart from the above, people who are sixty years of age or older and have heart disease, hypertension, or diabetes should not take this supplement due to its associated risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s a list of common questions and answers about Glucosamine.

Icon

What are the side effects of Glucosamine?

Although GCM supplements are mostly safe to use, there are some common side effects, which include abdominal discomfort, heartburn, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, headache, skin allergies, and drowsiness.

Is it safe to use Glucosamine daily?

As per various studies, such supplementation may result in effective, long-term relief from osteoarthritis by alleviating pain substantially, keeping the joint space intact, and delaying the development of the disease

Why is Glucosamine used?

GCM is a dietary supplement that is used to treat pain, stiffness, and inflammation in joints caused by osteoarthritis. GCM acts as a building block for a wide range of functional molecules in your body. It works by developing and maintaining the cartilage in your joints. It boosts mobility and flexibility by lubricating the joints, thus reducing pain and inflammation in the joints.

Sources:

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.

icon

Want to post any comments?

icon

Affordable Health Insurance for You & Your Family starting @ ₹20/day*

✅ 100% Room Rent Covered* ✅ Zero deductions at claims ✅ 7100+ Cashless Hospitals

quote icon

Check health insurance

quote icon