Everything You Need To Know About Glucosamine
Everything You Need To Know About Glucosamine: How It Works, Benefits, Side Effects
There is one type of nutritional product that is a popular thing both for people who are into heavy lifting workouts and those from the older spectrum of the population. This is glucosamine sulfate, or just simply better known as glucosamine supplements, and you are about to get a 101 about this dietary product--how it works, what it does and does not do, and how it can help in some of your health conditions.
What is glucosamine?
Glucosamine sulfate is a type of sugar that is naturally occurring in the human body and is found in the cartilage of the joints. The cartilage, in turn, is the tissue that is responsible for cushioning the connection between the joints. Thus, the job of glucosamine is to ensure that body joints do not come into contact with each other.
For people who have conditions causing their cartilage to deteriorate or weaken, supplements high in glucosamine is often recommended along with proper medical treatment. These supplements are usually made through the glucosamine that can be found from the hard outer coverings of a shellfish. However, some products use glucosamine that has been synthesized in a laboratory.
What are the benefits of taking glucosamine?
For people who are working out by lifting heavy weights, muscle and joint pains can occasionally occur. This is because lifting heavy weights technically forces your muscles and joint to take on stress and strain that is more than what it normally can. Although this will help in building more muscles and in increasing physical strength, the price is sometimes sore muscles and damaged joints. This is where the sue of glucosamine for bodybuilders can come in, which will help in the repairs and strengthening of the joints.
However, the more popular use of glucosamine for joints is among older people, especially those with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes the cartilages in the body to break down. This results in the bones in the joints colliding against each other, as it has become without any proper cushioning system. Right now, millions of people are suffering from this condition all over the world, and most of them are people who are ranging from 40 years old and above.
Aside from glucosamine sulfate, another supplement that has long been linked to being able to aid in the improvement of cartilage conditions is chondroitin. There had been several studies that have looked into the medicinal and therapeutic properties of this, although results are conflicting, and its effectiveness is yet to be fully established.
Another use of glucosamine as a supplement is for patients who recently went through a hip or knee surgery, or any form of knee injury treatment. There is a certain lab dish experiment that suggested it might even be able to help in battling HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, although there was never any viable study to support or prove the claim.
How long does it take for glucosamine to work?
Typically, it is recommended for most people to take 1500mg of glucosamine and 1200mg of chondroitin sulfate taken once a day on a daily basis. This dosage can be increased or lowered depending on the specific needs and conditions of a person.
Although there is no determined duration of usage and effectiveness, it has been commonly reported for people to notice improvements within three to eight weeks of daily intake. Some even report continued improvement on their conditions even after they have stopped taking a dosage of the supplement.
When will you know that it is not working? If no improvement is seen after two months, it is most likely that the patient should explore other supplements through the help of a doctor. It could be that there is a resistance to the supplement that developed, or certain conflicting bodily reactions are preventing effectivity of the nutrient.
Is MSM the same as glucosamine?
MSM or methylsulfonylmethane is another supplement that is commonly used in fighting symptoms related to arthritis. This is different from glucosamine.
MSM, aside from being a supplementary product, can also be obtained naturally from common whole foods such as meat, fish, green vegetables, and some grains. However, it is usually destroyed once the food is processed, so make sure you only get it from organic sources.
Can glucosamine make you put on weight?
Apart from its benefits in joint and knee conditions, another aspect of health where glucosamine supplements are linked is weight gain.
Certain user experiences report that glucosamine intake while on a low-carb and high-fat diet can induce weight loss. On the other hand, taking the supplement while on a low-fat diet can cause weight gain.
While there are suggestive links of glucosamine use to increased blood sugar level, there is no enough evidence to link it to weight gain. However, people with diabetic conditions are advised to be wary of unguided use of the supplement.
Are there any side effects of using glucosamine?
As with all supplementary products, there are also possible side effects that can come with the intake of glucosamine. Common side effects include slight cases of nausea, a little vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly abdominal pain. People with asthma and those with reported shellfish allergy sometimes get allergic reactions to taking glucosamine, too.
The bottom line
Although the FDA approves the use of glucosamine and there had been studies suggesting its effectiveness in improving certain health conditions, you should still always remember that it is a supplement and will remain to be a supplement. Thus, though it is legal under the FDA, its medicinal properties are not guaranteed.
So, it should be taken only as a supplementary product and not medicine or much worse, a replacement for real medication and treatment for your conditions. Ultimately, it is still always the best idea to get professional medical advice from your doctor or physician for proper guidance in both of your medicinal and supplementary intakes.