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Overcome joint pain & stiffness with Glucosamine

What is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is used in the manufacture of our ligaments, cartilage, tendons and spinal discs and as we age, its level in our body declines. It can be useful in rheumatoid & osteoarthritis, recovering from an injury, sciatica, disc problems & for athletes.

The uses of Glucosamine...

Considerable media attention has been focused on this natural product to help with the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis. Doctors often recommend aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID'S), but these usually create serious side effects and only offer short-term symptom relief.

Glucosamine was trialed in Europe in the 1980's and was found to be more effective in reducing joint pain, joint tenderness and joint swelling. Joint function and physical performance always improved. Findings were observed after 4 to 10 weeks of glucosamine administration. In these studies, 1500 mg per day was used. The results were so convincing that glucosamine has become a first line treatment for osteoarthritis in several European countries.

How does Glucosamine work?

Glucosamine is classified as an amino sugar and is incorporated into the structure of body tissues, rather than being used as an energy source. Glucosamine is therefore involved in the formation of the nails, tendons, skin, eyes, bones, ligaments and heart valves. It also plays a role in the mucous secretions of the digestive, respiratory and urinary tracts.

To understand the mechanism of glucosamine action, we need to look at the biochemistry of the connective tissue that makes up our ligaments, cartilage, tendons and spinal discs. There are 2 main components of these tissues. The first is collagen. The second is a long chain made up mainly of sugars, called glucosaminoglycans (GAG's). These GAG's are the tissue framework that collagen holds onto.

Collagen and GAG's together continuously construct and reconstruct our tendons and ligaments. This is where glucosamine comes in. Glucosamine is the major precursor of GAG's. But even more importantly, the making of glucosamine from glucose and glutamine is our body's "rate-limiting" step in remodelling our connective tissue. Following connective tissue injury, such as a cartilage tear, this limit does not allow the body to make sufficient glucosamine for optimal healing.

As we age, the body's ability to convert glucose and glutamine to glucosamine declines because of reductions in the level of the converting enzyme glucosamine synthetase. This is where taking a glucosamine supplement comes in. Taking a glucosamine supplement can increase GAG levels by up to 170%.

Who would benefit from taking Glucosamine?

Anyone suffering from an arthritic condition, such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, as well as anyone recovering from an injury, after an operation and during recuperation, sciatica and disc problems.

It can also be useful for athletes, as a preventive in case of overuse of joints, heavy lifting and because of the repetitive nature of some sports. Early trials used glucosamine for inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, including ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and irritable bowel.

Glucosamine Products available at healthyonline are...

Solgar Glucosamine HCL - A Vegetarian, shellfish-free Glucosamine Hydrochloride, containing 1000mg per tablet.

Go Healthy Glucosamine 1 a Day - A complete high strength joint care formula in a convenient 1 a day capsule dose.

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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

If you need help or advice, please email our naturopathic team with your health question.  Please allow 48 hours for a response.

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