Glucosamine / Chondroitin Sulfate

A nutrient for connective tissue and joint integrity, glucosamine is a building block for the connective tissues and other cementing materials (mucopolysaccharides, “glycosaminoglycans” and “proteoglycans”) that pack the cells together.

Glucosamine sulfate (GS) nutritionally supports healthy joints and the body’s ability to generate and regenerate connective tissue. Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound present in joint cartilage that is necessary for the synthesis of proteoglycans, the protein molecules responsible for giving cartilage its strength and resilience. Sulfate, another component of proteoglycans, works synergistically with glucosamine in cartilage metabolism. GS enhances and utilizes the intrinsic compounds in cartilage in order to nutritionally provide for healthy cartilage and proper joint functioning.

Other forms of glucosamine include glucosamine HCL and n-acetyl-d-glucosamine (NAG). Most studies were done with GS and there should be no need to use different forms unless you experience a negative reaction to the sulfated form.

Chondroitin sulfate should be equally effective, but is more expensive and recent product evaluations showed some did not contain the chondroitin claimed on the label. Some people challenge its claimed effectiveness because it is not as well absorbed as various forms of glucosamine. Typical doses of either are 500mg tid and sometimes lower doses for maintenance purposes.


Glucosamine / Chondroitin Sulfate can help with the following


Sulfa Drug Allergy

See the link between Sulfa Drug Allergy and MSM.






Clinical studies, comparing glucosamine (in sulfate or hydro-chloride form) with both placebo and standard arthritis drugs (including Ibuprofen), showed that glucosamine outperformed both in reducing long-term pain, joint tenderness and swelling, accelerating recovery, reversing cartilage damage, and helping to restore joint function, range of motion, and walking speed. Glucosamine is a component of hyaluronic acid (HA) which has been used by injection to successfully reduce knee pain.

Three years of treatment with glucosamine sulfate (1500mg per day) prevented joint space narrowing and reduced pain in two randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trials with a total of 414 women, including 319 of postmenopausal age.

[North American Menopause Society 12th Annual Meeting, Oct. 4-6, 2001, New Orleans, LA.]

Anecdotal reports of rapid symptomatic response to high-dose glucosamine in osteoarthritis are not credibly explained by the traditional view that glucosamine promotes synthesis of cartilage proteoglycans. An alternative or additional possibility is that glucosamine stimulates synovial production of HA, which is primarily responsible for the lubricating and shock-absorbing properties of synovial fluid. Many clinical and veterinary studies have shown that intraarticular injections of high-molecular-weight HA produce rapid pain relief and improved mobility in osteoarthritis. HA has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, and promotes anabolic behavior in chondrocytes. The concentration and molecular weight of synovial fluid HA are decreased in osteoarthritis; by reversing this abnormality, high-dose glucosamine may provide rapid symptomatic benefit, and in the longer term aid the repair of damaged cartilage. [Med Hypotheses (1998 Jun) 50(6): pp.507-10]

Please see the link between Knee Pain and Glucosamine for a 2007 review suggesting that there was no benefit with the use of glucosamine in knee pain.




At least one doctor and several patients have reported that taking glucosaminesulfate has improved the strength of both finger and toenails.


May do some good
Highly recommended
May have adverse consequences
Avoid absolutely



Carbohydrates that act as support structures in connective tissue in the body.


Specialized fibrous connective tissue that forms the skeleton of an embryo and much of the skeleton in an infant. As the child grows, the cartilage becomes bone. In adults, cartilage is present in and around joints and makes up the primary skeletal structure in some parts of the body, such as the ears and the tip of the nose.


Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.


The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.

Hydrochloric Acid

(HCl): An inorganic acidic compound, excreted by the stomach, that aids in digestion.


(mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.


Three times a day.

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