Glucosamine, an amino sugar is naturally present in cartilage and fluids that surround joints to protect them. It is also present in the shells of shellfish, bones of animals, and fungi. Supplements of glucosamine are also prepared using shellfish.
It is necessary to build tendons and ligaments. Macromolecules in cartilage called proteoglycans provide glucosamine with buffering properties.
Glucosamine comes in many forms out of which glucosamine sulfate has grabbed the most attention based on scientific research.
Glucosamine sulfate is easily absorbed in the system when taken by mouth. The substance becomes concentrated in the cartilage within four hours of consumption.
Glucosamine sulfate is well known for its anti-inflammatory effects in different conditions. Supplementation of glucosamine in a study decreased CRP and PGE—–the two biochemical markers of inflammation—-by 28 % and 24 %.
Bone and Joint health:
Joint health is closely linked to glucosamine as it plays a critical role in preventing cartilage breakdown.
Articular cartilage and synovial fluid require glucosamine for their development. They both prevent the friction between bones and allow them to move freely. In this way, they minimize the pain in your joints.
A study was conducted to determine the effect of glucosamine supplementation in 41 cyclists. The results showed a 27 % reduction in collagen breakdown in the knees when participants were given 3 % of glucosamine per day.
Glucosamine supplements have the potential to reduce the progression of osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Older people have more chances of suffering from osteoarthritis. With the passing age, cartilage loses its elasticity and becomes more brittle. Ligaments and tendons become stiffer. All of these result in pain, inflammation, and joint pain.
Glucosamine supplements appear to be effective in treating osteoarthritis, as it has the ability to rebuild cartilage and relieve pain.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ):
Glucosamine is also considered beneficial in treating TMJ disorders. These disorders affect joints of the jaw and muscles that control the movement of the jaw.
A study was conducted in which participants were given a supplement of glucosamine and chondroitin in a combined form. It was found that supplementation not only improved mobility of jaws but also reduced inflammation and pain.
The recommended dosage of glucosamine is 1500 mg/ day. Depending on your preference, you can either take it all at once or divide it into smaller portions.
Inflammation is a necessary process in the body, as it fights off harmful invaders and repairs damage caused by bacteria, viruses and injuries. However, long-term inflammation has been implicated in most chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer, so must be controlled, which is where anti-inflammatory compounds come in. The curcumin in turmeric has proven, strong anti-inflammatory properties that block the action of inflammatory molecules in the body. Studies show positive effects of curcumin on people suffering from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, amongst others.
Curcumin has been shown to Free radical damage, along with inflammation, is a key driver of cardiovascular disease, so turmeric can play a part in preventing and managing heart disease. In addition to antioxidant effects, turmeric has also been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in people at risk of heart disease, and may improve blood pressure.
The first signs of ageing often appear around the eyes, which is annoying. However, one study, which asked 114 women aged 45-65 to take a collagen supplement for eight weeks, saw a marked reduction in the depth of lines around the eye area. In a review of research from Korea, scientists also found that collagen supplements improved skin elasticity in middle-aged women after four weeks’ use, and the same study found women over 50 had improved skin moisture levels. And it’s not just supplements that can help: a small study (they’re all small, sadly) conducted across the pond suggested when creams rich in vitamin A (retinol in this case) were applied to skin, procollagen (the precursor to collagen) production was boosted.
Improves bone and joint health
In one French experiment, scientists saw decreased loss of bone density in subjects who were given a collagen supplement, suggesting it can help keep your skeleton strong. Better still for your scaffold, another study found a daily dose of type I collagen led to reduced pain and inflammation, and increased cartilage in those suffering with osteoarthritis.
A 2011 US study looking at skin-graft patients showed that collagen – applied to wounded areas – boosted healing. More recently, collagen-promoting drugs have been developed and show they can improve recovery after corneal surgery – healing the eye in as little as two days.
Back to beauty, and those of us who crave tasteful talons take heed: a (minuscule) 2017 study of 25 people found those taking a collagen supplement reported 42 per cent less breakage in their nails.
A pilot study into the effects of Ovoderm (vegetarian collagen) on skin health had promising results. After taking 300 mg Ovoderm daily for 50 days, all participants reported an improvement in facial skin softness and 94 per cent reported improved skin hydration. Another pilot study showed a significant improvement in skin elasticity after taking the supplement for five weeks.