Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): 2-Amino-2-deoxyglucose

COMMON NAME(S): Chitosamine

Glucosamine is a molecule that contains both sugar and protein. Glucosamine can be man made or it may be obtained from natural sources such as exoskeletons or shells of crabs, lobsters, and other sea creatures. Glucosamine is an essential substance that the body uses to build and repair tissues such as cartilage, heart valves, mucous membranes, and synovial fluid--the jelly-like substance that fills the joints.

Chondroitin sulfate is part of a large protein molecule (proteoglycan) that gives cartilage elasticity.

Both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are sold as dietary or nutritional supplements. They are extracted from animal tissue: glucosamine from crab, lobster or shrimp shells; and chondroitin sulfate from animal cartilage, such as tracheas or shark cartilage.

Botany :- Glucosamine is found in mucopolysaccharides, mucoproteins, and chitin. Chitin is found in yeasts, fungi, arthropods, and various marine invertebrates as a major component of the exoskeleton. It also occurs in other lower animals and members of the plant kingdom.

Uses of Glucosamine

Glucosamine is being investigated extensively as an antiarthritic in osteoarthritis.

Side Effects of Glucosamine

The most common side effects are increased intestinal gas and softened stools. If you experience these problems, you might want to try another supplement brand before you stop using them altogether.

More studies need to be done to confirm the safety and effectiveness of the supplements. Be sure to contact your doctor if you notice any unusual or new symptoms while you are taking them.


The three forms of glucosamine available commercially are glucosamine hydrochloride, glucosamine sulfate, and N-acetyl glucosamine. The usual dose used by those with osteoarthritis is l,500 milligrams daily in divided doses. These three forms of glucosamine are available in 500 milligram capsules.

No direct toxic effects of glucosamine could be found in the scientific literature; however, one report shows potential bronchopulmonary complications of antirheumatic drugs including glucosamine.

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