Once hailed the Holy Grail in the fight against joint pain and arthritis this compound has recently come in for some pretty heavy criticism which suggests that it is a sham and that it has no effect on the human body. So what is the truth after all many of us know people who use Glucosamine and swear by its effectiveness in relieving them from joint pain.
The first thing to consider is where the research against Glucosamine has come from and who has founded it and you will not be surprised to find that it was the people who stand to lose most form its use, the big pharmaceutical companies. After all if people start using Glucosamine and it works they are going to lose out on the profit from their patented anti-inflammatory drugs and the like.
So it’s all just a con promoted by the big, bad pharmaceutical companies then! Well if only it was that simple you see there are a few big, bad supplement companies as well and they may not be telling the whole truth either. You see Glucosamine comes in two different types, Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCL) and Glucosamine Sulphate and because the former has a slightly higher concentration of Glucosamine (83% vs. 80%) it is the one that tends to get used in most of the supplements available today.
But there is the problem it is not the best one to use as it requires the presence of Sulphur to enable it to work and that is why Chondroitin Sulphate is commonly added to the formulae. The problem is that this increases the molecule size to the point where it is difficult for it to be absorbed, in fact up to 70% of the active Glucosamine is wasted.
The solution is to use Glucosamine Sulphate even though it is a far more expensive ingredient and much more difficult to source. You see in tests on people suffering from arthritis and osteoarthritis it has been found that the use of Glucosamine Sulphate has returned the affected joints to normal function in a very short time. This is due to its almost immediate bioavailability: within 30 minutes of consumption, 87-97% is in the blood and within 4 hours it is being absorbed by the joint cells.
So while Glucosamine HCL will not do you any harm it will also not do you as much good as quickly as its more expensive relative Glucosamine Sulphate. Under these circumstances the cheaper version turns out to be more expensive and less effective. So where do the big pharmaceutical companies stand on the use of Glucosamine Sulphate? Well not surprisingly they are silent hoping that you the consumer will think that all Glucosamine is the same and that their drugs are the only true solution to the pain and suffering of joint related disease.
If you suffer from Type II Diabetes then you should speak to your healthcare professional about the effects of Glucosamine as research has indicated that it can worsen insulin resistance. Otherwise if you suffer from joint pain and what to try a more natural treatment speak to your healthcare professional about the use of Glucosamine but make sure that it is Glucosamine Sulphate that you use as you do not want to waste your money on ineffective treatments.