Posts Tagged ‘chitin’

Glucosamine is a fancy sounding word for a compound that resides in healthy cartilage in the human body. Let us take the time to learn more about this naturally occurring substance and what it can help.

What Glucosamine is:

Glucosamine is also sometimes called glucosamine sulphate. It is created from glucose and an amino acid known as glutamine. Glucosamine is an essential element of the body because it makes a molecule that is required for many vital functions. This molecule is responsible for general growth and development. It also plays an integral role in mending tissue and cartilage when damage or trauma has occurred.

It is believed that the level of glucosamine in a person’s body begins to decline as they age. In particular decreased levels have been noted in individuals over the age of 50 years and beyond.

Glucosamine as a Supplement:

For those who are lacking in adequate supplies of glucosamine they can buy it as a supplement found in most supermarkets, pharmacies and natural health food stores. The glucosamine that is found in vitamin/mineral supplements is chemically produced in a lab and comes from a substance you may have never heard of before. The substance is known as chitin. Chitin is taken from the shells of crab, shrimp and lobster.

Sometimes glucosamine cannot be found as a supplement on its own but instead is combined with other strange sounding substances such as chondroitin sulphate or methylsulfonymethane (MSM). The purpose for the combining of these supplements into one is because both MSM and chondroitin sulphate make for more flexible cartilage and can work to prevent cartilage from being destroyed or damaged by harmful enzymes.

Please note that you do not have to obtain a prescription from your doctor to purchase glucosamine. This is the case for most nutritional supplements sold on the market today.

Glucosamine and Osteoarthritis:

Glucosamine and the other substances mentioned here have been shown through research studies to help with the soreness, swelling and pain that accompany osteoarthritis. In particular those who suffer knee arthritis show improvement when they take supplements. A glucosamine supplement can lessen the uncomfortable symptoms of osteoarthritis because it helps to reduce the stiffness in the joints.

Some studies even suggest that glucosamine plays a role in slowing down the speed at which the disease progresses.

In case you are not well acquainted with what cartilage does for the body, here is a quick explanation for you. Cartilage is an elastic substance that works to cushion the joints. It is comparable to rubber. When a person suffers from osteoarthritis, the cartilage is no longer elastic and instead becomes stiff and brittle, leading to often overwhelming tenderness and discomfort.

This has a detrimental effect on the joints that it is supposed to be protecting. The joints become more vulnerable as a result of this, as well as more prone to injury. This can lead to trauma, loss of movement, and terrible pain. It can also lead to further deterioration of the cartilage.

Due to the fact that glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance in the body that manufactures and repairs the cartilage around the joints, taking it as a supplement on a steady basis can aid the body in healing itself. The supplement works with the natural glucosamine to give the body what it requires.

As far as vitamin supplementation is concerned, glucosamine receives top marks for performance. Other health conditions that it has been shown to help include rheumatoid arthritis, chronic venous insufficiency, inflammatory bowel disease (including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) and a variety of skin conditions.

You can find general tips and suggestions about vitamin myths and truths here.

Ask your doctor for more information and remember that you need to be aware of drug interactions if you are currently taking any type of medication (prescription or over-the-counter).



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