When you think about it, the joints in our bodies are pretty complicated things. We demand a lot from them, too. We expect them to make repetitive movements day after day, month after month, year after year. They must fight off gravity, repair themselves after overuse, and absorb the pounding we regularly give them while running or playing sports.
It's no surprise that cartilage health is a concern all over the world. As people age, decreased joint function is relatively common. In fact, a majority of Americans will have joint concerns by the time they reach 65.
How joints work
Joints like the shoulder, knee and hip are surrounded by a tough, fibrous material which is lined by a thin membrane. That membrane produces a lubricating liquid called synovial fluid. As joints age, they lose cartilage partly because aging changes the consistency of the synovial fluid and interferes with its ability to lubricate and nourish the joint.
Normal cartilage is composed of water, collagen and molecules called proteoglycans which are basically complex combinations of protein and sugar. Two important proteoglycans are keratin and chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine and other related compounds are the basic components of each.
There are several different forms of glucosamine glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride (HCI), and N-acetyl-glucosamine. Most supplements contain the sulfate or HCI form. Glucosamine occurs naturally in the fluid surrounding the joints, and the sulfate form is also found in the shells of shellfish. It can also be produced in a laboratory.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin are especially good for anyone seeking joint and connective tissue support.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin help support the joints.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin are top joint ingredients. They promote joint comfort, flexibility, and mobility when taken in combination.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin are key components in cartilage.
- Glucosamine provides cartilage support while chondroitin helps to maintain joint cartilage.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin act as lubricating factors.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin promote range of motion.
Glucosamine (or glucosamine sulfate) has multiple functions in the body, but its value is mostly related to its benefits for cartilage. Here are its most important points:
- Glucosamine sulfate is an amino sugar used to create the cushioning fluids and tissues around joints.
- Glucosamine is commonly used to support joint comfort and function. Glucosamine also can support cartilage maintenance by supplying the raw materials needed for cartilage health.
- Glucosamine stimulates the process by which sulfur is incorporated into cartilage. That's important because sulfur is essential to cartilage maintenance.
- Glucosamine can be important for athletes who put a lot of strain on their joints.
There are no major food sources of glucosamine; it can be obtained only through supplements.
The structure function claims made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These dietary supplement products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.