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Glucosamine Sulfate

Glucosamine is a natural substance that is already within the human body. The body uses it to produce cartilage and synovial fluid by stimulating cartilage producing cells such as chondrocytes, while also inhibiting and regulating the function of enzymes which break down cartilage such as metalloproteinases and collegenases. In patients with osteoarthritis, patients who lack cartilage, or patients who have a fast rate of cartilage breakdown, use of glucosamine can help to maintain a healthy amount of cartilage.

Most of the evidence demonstrates that glucosamine sulfate, when taken with or without chondroitin, is beneficial in cartilage production and maintenance, as where glucosamine hydrochloride has minimal evidence to support its use. This could be because glucosamine sulfate can donate sulfur bonds, a key process in cartilage production.

It may take 6-8 weeks to begin experiencing the benefits of glucosamine sulfate. The full effects will not occur for 4 or more months.

Adult Doses:
1500mg by mouth daily of glucosamine sulfate taken in 1 or more divided doses. Taking divided doses can minimize side effect occurrence.

Side Effects:
Gastrointestinal effects such as nausea, diarrhea or upset stomach.

Avoid taking glucosamine sulfate if you have a severe shellfish allergy. Some manufacturers produce this product from shellfish components. Some studies have shown that some people with shellfish allergies will not experience an allergic reaction.
Monitor blood sugar more closely for the first few days if you are diabetic.
Avoid using glucosamine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you have high cholesterol, monitor you cholesterol levels more closely when taking glucosamine.

Drug Interactions:
Do not take glucosamine if you are taking Warfarin
Check with you doctor before taking glucosamine with chemotherapeutic agents(cancer drugs).

By Evan Redmond, Pharm.D.

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