Glucosamine: Benefits and Side Effects

Glucosamine supplement

Why Glucosamine supplement?

Glucosamine is a natural compound found mostly in the fluid around the joints and marrow.  It is made from amino acids glutamine and fructose. Glycosaminoglycan, a molecule used in the repair and formation of body tissues like cartilage, is produced by glucosamine. Since glucosamine is a compound that is naturally found in the body, is there still a need to consume it as a supplement? Well, yes, there is a need to, as the glucosamine compound, which is naturally produced within your body slows down with age, and in order to keep having strong cartilage and a healthy old age free of pains and osteoarthritis, glucosamine supplement is needed. Glucosamine supplement is usually harvested from shellfish and is sometimes made in the lab.

Glucosamine Supplement

Supplements are additional sources of nutrients. They sometimes come in the form of capsules or injections and are fully packed with different nutrients. Just as the name implies, supplements are used to complement and supplement nutrients that are gotten from foods. They provide additional nutrients in concentrated and large quantities. In other words, supplements should not be taken alone; they are complements of food and should be taken when you are on a proper and healthy diet.

In addition, supplements are the best sources of nutrients for people who are allergic to foods that provide such nutrients. For example, people who are allergic to seashells that provide glucosamine can incorporate glucosamine supplements into their diets without being left out of the numerous benefits of glucosamine supplements.

Incorporating glucosamine supplements into your diet keeps a check on your cartilage and joints. It protects you from osteoarthritis as well as repairs and builds damaged cartilage. Cartilage is a flexible rubbery tissue that prevents the bones in the joints from rubbing together. When this tissue is strong and healthy, old age joint related pains become less occurrent.

Glucosamine supplement is the second most popular dietary supplement after omega 3 fatty acids.

In this article, there is an explicit description of what glucosamine is, its benefits, and why people take it. Its risks and other side effects are also discussed in this article.

There are different types of glucosamine supplements, and they are;

  • Glucosamine hydrochloride
  • Glucosamine sulfate
  • N-acetyl glucosamine


Supports the Joints

Glucosamine is a compound that already exists naturally in your body. Its major benefit is to support your bones and joints. It strengthens the cartilage at your joints area such that the cartilage can withstand the pressure from the bones while preventing the joints bones from friction. Studies show that glucosamine prevents the breakdown and wear off of cartilage.

Treats Joints and Bones Disorder

Spelt: Benefits and Side EffectsGlucosamine supplement is known to treat various joints and bone conditions. Studies have shown that it effectively treats osteoarthritis and osteoporosis symptoms, and long-term use of this supplement can provide treatment for these health conditions. Glucosamine supplements reduce joint pain significantly, maintain a reasonable space between joints, prevent joints bones from rubbing against each other, and slow down the progression of diseases.

Tackles Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis is glycosaminoglycan deficiency in the body. Glucosamine supplement treats this condition and leaves its patient healthy.

Reduces Inflammation

Glucosamine supplement is used to improve the symptoms of different kinds of inflammations.


Glucosamine is popular for its osteoarthritis treatment, especially in the knee. It reduces joint pain, especially in osteoarthritis patients, and is used as a medication rather than a supplement in some parts of Europe.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Just like interstitial cystitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, IBD is a glycosaminoglycan deficiency, and glucosamine has been found to be a perfect treatment for IBD.

Combats Glaucoma

Glucosamine has been discovered to improve eye health by combating a major eye disease known as glaucoma. It reduces inflammation as well as the effects of antioxidants in your retina. However, excessive intake might be harmful in people with glaucoma.

Improves Bone Health

Though inconclusive, the study suggests that glucosamine supplements help prevent post-menopausal progression of osteoporosis. It puts a stop to the weakening of bones by padding the bones at the joint area, especially for people who are on the verge of developing osteoporosis at their old age.

Health Risks of Glucosamine

causes of diarrheaThough glucosamine, just like every other dietary supplement, provides a range of benefits to the human body and has the ability to improve chronic health conditions, especially with the bones. However, studies have pinpointed some health risks and side effects of glucosamine. Though some of its side effects can be mild in some people and be severe in other people. However, most people believe that these side effects wear off after some time when proper medications and diets are introduced to address such an issue. The majority of the side effects of glucosamine occur as a result of excessive usage or usage of the supplement over a very long time. The following are side effects of glucosamine;

  • Glucosamine might negatively affect insulin resistance in the body. Diabetic patients should consult their doctors before adding glucosamine supplements to their diets as it might worsen blood sugar control in the body.
  • Glucosamine is known to be a great trigger of shellfish allergies. Since glucosamine supplements are made from shells of shellfish, it follows that it is a great trigger of shellfish allergies. It is advisable to pick glucosamine supplements carefully if you have shellfish allergies. Check the source of the compound as well as the label before taking it.
  • A survey showed that people who consumed glucosamine supplements regularly for a long period developed liver diseases as well as reduced liver function.
  • Glucosamine affects blood pressure, clotting, and sugar. People who take glucosamine should avoid blood thinners like warfarin and frequently check their blood pressure.
  • Cancer patients should not consider incorporating glucosamine into their diet as it might inhibit the effectiveness of cancer treatments and therapy. It is always advised to talk to a doctor before taking steps.
  • Glucosamine has been discovered to trigger not only allergies but also some symptoms of asthma, such as shortness of breath and wheezing.

Other Health Risks of Glucosamine Include;

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. All of which are symptoms of asthma
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Skin reaction
  • Alert! Glucosamine should be avoided if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as there is no evidence of its safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Avoid glucosamine at least 3 weeks before surgery, as it might affect the body’s ability to regulate or maintain a proper blood sugar level.


Glucosamine should not be taken alongside any blood thinner as this might increase bleeding risks.


By mouth: The safest dosage of glucosamine by mouth is 1,500mg daily, which you can split into two doses of 750mg, or three doses of 500mg in a day.

By injection: 400mg of glucosamine can be injected into the muscle two times per week for six weeks.

Duration of Glucosamine Before It Begins to Work

Research shows that when glucosamine is taken orally, it is absorbed into the body system and can begin to work four hours after consumption.

When to Stop Glucosamine

Well, there is no specific time glucosamine should be stopped. However, if it works for you without any symptoms, then you can go ahead with it. It is important to engage yourself in proper and regular medical check-ups to monitor your health and know when glucosamine is working and when it is not.

When you notice any funny symptoms while taking it, it is advisable to stop it and go for an immediate medical check-up to ensure that no organ has been damaged as a result of the glucosamine supplement.

In conclusion, glucosamine is a natural sugar that exists naturally in the body. It is known to have developmental benefits for the bones, joints, and cartilages in the body. Though glucosamine supplements are known to treat some joints, nutrients deficiencies like interstitial cystitis and IBD. However, most studies support only its effectiveness in the treatment of osteoarthritis and the management of its symptoms.

1500mg of glucosamine supplement is enough per day. It can be taken twice per day as 750mg or as three doses of 500mg each. However, these might come with mild side effects if it is taken in large amounts. Trying out a glucosamine supplement for the relief or treatment of osteoarthritis is not a bad idea, but it is best to consult your doctor before making that decision.