What is glucosamine?
Glucosamine is an organic molecule that is an integral element of structural and connective tissue in Animals and Fungi. It has the same basic structure as the simple sugar, glucose, with one of the hydroxyl groups replaced with an amine group, hence the name glucosamine.
What are Glucosamine’s health benefits?
Glucosamine has been established to support joint health in hundreds of clinical trials with millions of subjects.* X-rays have shown that it can widen the space between joints.*
Are there any side effects?
There are none known at this time.* Given that glucosamine occurs naturally in all animals any kind of allergic reaction is extremely unlikely (kind of like being allergic to calcium or water).*
What forms of glucosamine are commercially available?
Two forms are commonly sold, glucosamine salts (Glucosamine Hydrochloride and Glucosamine Sulphate) and N-Acetyl-Glucosamine.
Which is the preferred form?
For many people there is no difference. For other people N-Acetyl-Glucosamine is the preferred form and seems to have better health effects.*
Why does N-Acetyl-Glucosamine work better in some people?
To understand why N-Acetyl-Glucosamine works better in some people it is first necessary to understand how Glucosamine works in the body.* For living things to use glucosamine structurally it must first be acetylated (acetyl group attached to the molecule) than polymerized (multiple identical molecules strung together in a chain).* As seen in the Glucosamine image above. The key thing to realize here, is that for the body to use glucosamine structurally it must be turned into N-Acetyl-Glucosamine first.* For many people this conversion is easily accomplished. For many people however this reaction does not occur as quickly or completely and consequently the body is not able to use the glucosamine as well. When these people use N-Acetyl-Glucosamine, however, they bypass this slowed reaction and thus see the same effects as other people do using the Glucosamine salts (Glucosamine Hydrochloride and Glucosamine Sulphate).*
Where does Glucosamine come from?
As glucosamine is found in all animals and many fungi it can theoretically be sourced from a wide range of entities. Commercially, as it is the principle element of the shell of crustaceans, all three forms are derived from crustacean shells (shrimp, lobster, crab).