As a natural constituent of human cartilage, glucosamine is specifically recommended for osteoarthritis, which is initially associated with damage to the cartilage that normally cushions the joints.
Numerous studies indicate that glucosamine (and the related compound chondroitin) help to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis, and might also help to slow the progression of the disease. A 2007 Chinese study showed glucosamine effectively relieved symptoms of joint pain and stiffness in more than 75 per cent of patients who took it.
It’s been estimated that 26 per cent of Australian women and 21 per cent of men with osteoarthritis take glucosamine and/or chondroitin, so clearly many sufferers feel that they get benefits from these supplements! Because it’s working at a structural level, it takes time for the results of glucosamine to be noticed. We recommend taking 1500mg of glucosamine per day for at least 12 weeks before assessing whether this supplement is effective for you.
Tablets vs powders
Most joint health products will have the same kinds of ingredients – glucosamine, chondroitin or MSM – the difference is usually the quantity of each per dose. While tablets and capsules may be more convenient, manufacturers can only fit so much into a tablet or capsule, so generally you’ll actually get less active ingredient as compared to a powder. So if it is strength and efficacy you are after, then go for a powder – just mix with water or juice, or sprinkle on your cereal! If you prefer convenience, try a tablet or capsule.