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Health benefits Glucosamine :Health benefits /Interactions/Safety and side effects



Glucosamine is a natural compound found in cartilage - the tough tissue that cushions joints.

Glucosamine is harvested from shells of shellfish or produced in a lab. There are several forms of glucosamine, including glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetyl glucosamine. These supplements are not interchangeable.

People use glucosamine sulfate to treat a painful condition caused by inflammation, which breakdowns cartilage.



Some research shows that glucosamine may be helpful for specific conditions.

  • Osteoarthritis. Oral use of glucosamine sulfate might provide some relief from pain for people with osteoarthritis of the knee. Some research suggests that it may also help slow joint degeneration in people with osteoarthritis. More studies are needed to determine the benefits of glucosamine sulfate supplements for this condition. Hip and hand osteoarthritis.
  • A type of arthritis that causes pain and swelling in the joints.Early research suggests that taking glucosamine hydrochloride orally might reduce pain related to rheumatoid arthritis. However, researchers didn't see an improvement in inflammation or the number of painful or swollen joints.

Be careful when selecting glucosamine products. There is less clinical evidence to support its use for treating osteoarthritis, and more research is needed to confirm its benefits.

Our take

Generally safe

People with osteoarthritis might find relief from taking glucosamine sulfate. While study results are mixed, it might be worth trying this supplement.

Safety and side effects

If taken in appropriate amounts, glucosamine sulfate is generally safe. Oral use of glucosamine sulfate can cause side effects, but these are usually mild.

  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Other side effects may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Skin reactions
  • Headache

People with shellfish allergies might have a reaction to glucosamine products, because they are derived from the shells of shellfish.

Glucosamine might worsen asthma.

Some people worry that taking glucosamine supplements might increase blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before taking glucosamine supplements.


Possible interactions include:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).Taking glucosamine sulfate and acetaminophen together might not be as effective as taking either supplement or medication by itself.
  • Warfarin (Jantoven).Taking glucosamine alone or in combination with the supplement chondroitin might increase the effects of the anticoagulant warfarin.This can increase your risk of bleeding.If you are taking warfarin, tell your doctor about any supplements you are taking.
Health benefits Glucosamine :Health benefits /Interactions/Safety and side effects

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