If you suffer from arthritis pain, chances are you've heard of a
relatively new over-the-counter remedy called Glucosamine. But
what is Glucosamine, and how does it work to relieve arthritis?
In this article, I'll introduce you to this new treatment and
provide you with the pros and cons of its use. By the time
you've finished reading this article, you'll be able to make an
informed decision on whether or not Glucosamine is right for
What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine, together with a related ingredient called
Chondroitin, are substances which exist naturally in your body.
It is believed that glucosamine helps to build and repair
cartilage (the soft, spongy material between your joints), while
chondroitin lends to the elasticity and flexibility of joints. A
deficiency of either one can lead to increased wear and tear on
the joint, and cause redness, swelling and stiffness as a result.
When used together, glucosamine and chondroitin act as a
tag-team of arthritis fighters, improving flexibility, soothing
inflammation and reducing swelling caused by achy joints.
Where Can I Buy Glucosamine and Chondroitin Supplements?
You can find these products in virtually any pharmacy or health
goods store. The downside to this is, like other herbal and
alternative medicines, supplements are not regulated by any
governing body. That's why you'll need to do a little bit of
research to find the best, most potent brand for your needs.
Here's what you need to know when comparison shopping for a
? You should expect to pay anywhere from $1-3 per pill when
taking glucosamine daily. Since insurance companies rarely cover
supplements of any kind, you'll most likely be paying for them
out of pocket.
? Read the ingredients label on the bottle to determine the
dosage. Approximately 1500mg of glucosamine and 1200mg of
chondroitin have been safely used in clinical trials. Depending
on your individual medication tolerances and the severity of your
arthritis, you should consult your physicial or rheumatologist to
find the right dose for your individual needs.
? Select supplements manufactured by a well-known, reputable
company. Recommended brands include: Osteo Bi-Flex, WholeHealth,
Flex-A-Min, MoveFree and individual pharmacy brands.
Are There Any Side Effects I Should Know About?
As with any medication or supplements, there are a few warnings
you should know:
? If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, do not use
glucosamine/chondroitin supplements, as no long-term studies have
been done to gage what materials (if any) are passed on to the
baby either internally or through breast milk.
? If you are diabetic, chondroitin (a form of sugar) may cause
your blood sugar to rise.
? Chondroitin also acts as a mild blood thinner. Therefore, if
you are taking any heart medication or are taking an aspirin
regimen, have your blood clotting time checked more frequently by
? Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplements should not be taken by
children since no studies have been done to determine their
effect (if any) on the child's development.
(Please note: The information contained within this article is
not intended to replace or substitute for that of an experienced
physician. Remember to check with your doctor or rheumatologist
before starting daily glucosamine/chondroitin supplements, and
don't stop or reduce any of your current medications (whether
they're for arthritis or not) without first talking with your
Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and lifestyle topics.