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Can glucosamine benefit bones and joints?

Posted on March 21 2019

Can glucosamine benefit bones and joints?

 

Our bones and joints are often overlooked when it comes to taking care of our bodies. More often than not, we only pay attention to them when problems arise. But as the building blocks of our bodies, and the structures that allow us to move freely, it’s key to look after them properly. Our joints and bones are cushioned by cartilage, to help them move smoothly and easily. Although it’s a tough and flexible material, cartilage is easy to damage, so prevention and care of this connective tissue are massively important for our bones and joints to function fully.

 

 

What is cartilage?

Cartilage is a connective tissue that coast the surfaces of our bones in our joints. It keeps joint motion smooth and cushions our bones against impact. It’s not as hard as bone, but is more rigid and less flexible than muscle tissue.[1]

It’s important in preventing friction between our bones in everyday movements, like opening and closing our hands, or bending our legs to walk. Where the ends of two bones meet to form a joint, cartilage surrounds the ends, forming a smooth covering. This covering is slippery, like ice, which allows the bones to slide against each other as the joint moves.

Cartilage is a resilient material but isn’t resistant to harm. Over time, depending on many factors in a person’s lifestyle and health, cartilage is subject to deterioration. It can’t rebuild itself forever once it has worn away, which is why it’s necessary to take preventative action in order to keep it working smoothly.

 

 

How can we keep cartilage strong?

Keeping cartilage in good shape is key for preventing joint issues. Because it doesn’t contain blood vessels, cartilage doesn’t heal itself well, which is why prevention is always better than cure in the case of bones and joints. When cartilage is damaged, a limited amount of new tissue might be produced, but it will grow in irregular shapes and result in friction at the joint.[2]

One way to keep cartilage in top condition is ensuring adequate levels of Glucosamine. Glucosamine is found in the synovial fluid in cartilage, and is needed to produce glycosaminoglycan, a molecule used in the formation and repair of our cartilage.[3] The more glucosamine that is available in a joint, the more cartilage the joint will be able to produce, and the less likely it is to be broken down.

The basis of glucosamine’s action is that it provides more of the building blocks to repair cartilage. It keeps more moisture in, reduces inflammation, and may inhibit the enzymes involved in cartilage breakdown. Glucosamine can therefore prevent cartilage destruction.[4]

 

 

How do we get enough glucosamine?

The only way to increase the amount of glucosamine in your body is to take a suitable supplement. It’s extremely difficult to source from food, as it’s only found in the shells of crustaceans, which is why a supplement is a reliable way to keep up the levels in your body.

Glucosamine sulphate is the most studied form of glucosamine and can be taken as a supplement for the following reasons:

As the substance that protects your bones and joints, cartilage is extremely important for your mobility. To avoid stiffness, swelling or pain, you should make sure your cartilage stays intact and healthy. A high-quality Glucosamine Sulphate supplement can help you do this. Healthy joints are essential for an active lifestyle, and by preventing deterioration before it occurs, you can ensure you stay on top of your health. 

 

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[1] https://www.summitortho.com/2015/08/31/understand-your-joints-what-is-cartilage/

[2] https://www.arthritis-health.com/types/osteoarthritis/ankle-joint-anatomy-and-osteoarthritis

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3150191/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3150191/