Popular with athletes, cyclists, boxers, footballers and many other representatives of the world of sports, for whom it is to be a panacea for joint problems. Glucosamine - what are its properties and does it really work? And if so, when is it worth reaching for?
Glucosamine is a molecule belonging to the group of amino-monosaccharides, which is often an essential building block of many human tissues and substances secreted by them (e.g. present in the liver).
Despite the fact that our organisms synthesize it on their own, they do it to a small extent and almost always there is not enough of it in our body. Unfortunately, with the passage of time, the body produces even less of it, hence the need to supplement this substance.
The lack of glucosamine in our body is a simple way to sick joints, which is well known, for example, by martial arts competitors, athletes and representatives of team sports. Man is forced to supply glucosamine by supplementation in the form of glucosamine sulfate.
Glucosamine itself is like an adhesive used by chondrocytes (cartilage cells), and by the way a lotion that slows down the degeneration of our cartilages, and even has the potential to promote its regeneration.
It is well soluble in water, thanks to its low molecular weight, and is absorbed in the small intestine in about 90%. However, there are studies that show that glucosamine is not so well "absorbed" by our body.
The problem is that somewhere after the first "processing" by the liver, some of it seems to run away. In turn, other studies and experiments have confirmed the health-promoting potential of glucosamine and its positive effect on joints.
Most often, glucosamine is used in the form of oral preparations, tablets or in the form of a powder to be consumed with plenty of water. It is assumed that a single dose of glucosamine should not exceed 500 mg.
It can also be taken intravenously - this way is best absorbed.
Glucosamine is also available in a gel - in this form, strained parts of the body and joints are lubricated with such a supplement.
Glucosamine is unfortunately not for everyone. It cannot be taken by pregnant women (in the first trimester). Everyone struggling with digestive system diseases should also be careful.
Glucosamine itself can cause constipation, diarrhea, which can only aggravate our current problems. Heart problems are also a contraindication to the use of glucosamine. Arthritis (arrhythmias), pressure drops and even heart failure can occur.
Of course, you can also be allergic to glucosamine. Then its use is not an option at all. Nursing mothers should not reach for it either.
In addition to the athletes mentioned at the beginning, glucosamine is often used by the elderly, obese people struggling with injuries to joints, bones and spine.
It is almost a standard in the treatment of classic sports injuries, where it is often used together with another interesting substance - chondroitin and - how underestimated - vitamin C.
Increasingly, people entering post-working age use glucosamine to support prophylaxis of the health of the musculoskeletal system - glucosamine sulphate perfectly "postpones" arthritis and, when it occurs, has the potential to alleviate the chronic pain associated with this disease.