How does Glucosamine work to alleviate joint pain?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 30, 2010 at 5:33 PM

I used to give my old dog glucosamine. It worked miracles for his joint pain. Others have experienced similar results and clinical trials have back up its efficacy. But does anyone know how/why exactly it works?



on October 02, 2010
at 01:53 AM

I saw that when I used the word'others' it was not clear if I was talking about dogs or humans and so it could be a tad funny that way. I assumed that was what you were trying to point out, but got waylayed by some typos. :-)



on October 01, 2010
at 05:40 PM

My comment makes absolutely no sense but I find your reply very cute, hehe.



on September 30, 2010
at 06:21 PM

Other dogs and other humans. ;-) (works good on horses too)



on September 30, 2010
at 05:48 PM

Other dogs are humans ?

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on September 30, 2010
at 09:07 PM

Biologist Dr. Art Ayers has a cool blog and a blogpost about Glucasomine and how it may work.




on October 01, 2010
at 01:09 AM

I found mention recently that glucosamine binds to lectins in the gut and thus locks/blocks them from binding to anything else. In this way, they can no longer work as a 'key' to effect other cells. Consumption of glucosamine may thus be protective against consumption of lectins like those from wheat and potatoes. Here is one link for a short study on it: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13590840500088495 I found this especially interesting because wheat consumption is linked to leaky gut and arthritis and glucosamine is linked to improvement of arthritis. And in this link, glucosamine is also linked to improvement of poor digestion.

Also interesting, glucosamine is found in all human tissue, not just joints, and also is an essential precursor for the production of mucosa in the gut. Since wheat lectin, and possibly other lectins, have an affinity for glucosamine, that means they will tend to strip it out of the tissue if they are not inactivated before they have that chance, thus hindering production of mucosa. So glucosamine, in addition to other potential beneficial services, may in fact work to improve health even before it is digested into the tissue.

From a paleo perspective, both glucosamine and chondroiten can be naturally consumed via consumption of bone broths and cartilage, something we often recommend. I have known cultures who consume bone broths at almost every meal. I am thinking, these kinds of eating habits may be protective against lectins from other foods and thus provide an 'island of safety.'


on September 30, 2010
at 08:06 PM

I haven't researched this myself, but I did notice this recent BBC article claiming that glucosamine supplements have, at best, a placebo effect.



on September 30, 2010
at 06:33 PM

Glucosamine is a natural compound that is found in healthy cartilage. Glucosamine sulfate is a normal constituent of glycoaminoglycans in cartilage matrix and synovial fluid.


Evidence supports the use of glucosamine sulfate in the treatment of osteoarthritis; It is believed that the sulfate moiety provides clinical benefit in the synovial fluid by strengthening cartilage and aiding glycosaminoglycan synthesis.


on October 30, 2012
at 06:18 AM

Glucosamine and chondroitin are part of normal cartilage. Cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones in a joint. Recommended Related to Arthritis

Glucosamine, also called chitosamine, is a natural substance that is found in the covering of shellfish. It is available in different forms, including glucosamine hydrochloride, N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG), and glucosamine sulfate, which is a combination of glucosamine and mineral salt. Glucosamine is also available in synthetic forms. The body absorbs glucosamine well.

Chondroitin can come from natural sources, such as shark or bovine cartilage, or it can be made in a lab. Chondroitin is also known as chondroitin sulfate, chondroitin sulfuric acid, and chonsurid. Chondroitin sulfate is a combination of chondroitin and mineral salt.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are available in tablet, capsule, powder, or liquid form and are often taken in combination with each other or in combination with other dietary supplements. Glucosamine may be taken separately as a best joint supplement.

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