According to the British Medical Journal:

“Compared with placebo, glucosamine, chondroitin, and their combination do not reduce joint pain or have an impact on narrowing of joint space. Health authorities and health insurers should not cover the costs of these preparations, and new prescriptions to patients who have not received treatment should be discouraged.”

The researchers studied an average age range of 58 to 66. 800 mg of chondroitin and 1550 mg a day of glucosamine were the minimum doses. 12 out of 58 reports were considered representing 10 trials.

The key phrase was ‘clinically significant’. In some studies there was a difference of 3 to 5% in pain scales. Glucosamine Hydrochloride was fairly represented in only one trial. As advisors to the Health Food trade we have known for many years that glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin are poorly absorbed into our digestive system. Glucosamine Hydrochloride is tolerated much better. Indeed one of the main suppliers Higher Nature, only use glucosamine hydrochloride in their supplements. One person reported to me that he found a difference in different suppliers. He noticed a positive effect when a supplement had manganese added. In 1993 I heard a speaker for Forever Living Products point out that manganese had a positive effect in reducing back pain.

The researchers are not saying, ‘Stop taking supplements’. They are simply saying that the health service does do not have sufficient research available to justify funding these supplements. It is a shame that the prescribed medication could lead to thinning of the mucous lining of the gut and potential internal bleeding.

4 thoughts on “Glucosamine”

  1. I suffer from swollen bone behind big toe, old injury which has osteo arthritis now – podiatrists says hallux limitus, and taking glucosamine and chondritin, with little relief, sore when I walk. Wearing orthotics too. Any other natural remedies I could try? Doctor not very helpful. I am swimming but miss the walking.

    1. Dear Alyssa,
      Please forgive me for not replying sooner to you. I have the same problem as you after a fork lift truck rode over a big toe 30 years ago. What helps me the most is to practice the balance postures in a twice weekly yoga class. I ignore the diagnosis of hallux limitus (it simply means that the big toe hardly moves). Through practising yoga I now have almost 80 degrees and go mountain walking in Austria every year. I also find that taking 2 MSM tablets a day really helps the mobility. I buy them from Higher Nature who offer high quality and good value. There is a link on the nutrition page.
      Let me know how you get on. I will put some balance postures on the site if it helps.
      best wishes

  2. Hey Johnperrott,
    I know what you mean, I am in good shape and good health, but in my family arthritis and the likes are genetically present. As the years pass I feel more and more soreness and pain, mostly in my fingers, but lately my shoulder started to hurt. I am not taking any specific medicine and try to work out 5 times a week, some leight weight lifting and also some cardio. I am not overweight and try to eat reasonably.
    A friend of mine suggested taking Glucosamine tablets to help reduce pain and prevent further problems.
    Any suggestions? Personal experience?
    Thxs a lot in advance.

    1. Soreness in the fingers might be simply overdoing it on the exercise. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition usually felt as stiffness in the mornings or with inactivity. After sometime the knuckle joints thicken and become stiff. Arthritis is not a common cause of shoulder pain. That might be unrelated to your fingers. It is more likely a very small slippage of the arm bone out of centre. Some gentle manipulation might help. As a general rule to avoid shoulder damage you should lift either with the plan of your hand facing up or your thumb facing up and keep your elbow closer to your side. I do a lot of massage so I constantly work olive oil into my hands. Probably I do not suffer any arthritis in the hands as a result. Spreading the fingers really wide when doing press ups also helps to improve the hand strength.
      Glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine complex with herbs is well accepted by many people. You can buy them through Higher Nature. There is a link in the super food tab.

      Personally I make a stock once a week from a good quality chicken carcass and make soup with it.

      best wishes

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