Glucosamine: Effect, Side Effect, and Studies.

Glucosamine is a component of connective tissue, synovial fluid, cartilage and supports the building and maintenance of body tissues.

Due to normal aging processes and in the context of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, there is a breakdown of cartilage and connective tissue.

As a result, pain and restricted movement can occur. 

Is Glucosamine harmful? It contains in many dietary supplements because of its effect.

The substance has long been thought to have a preventive or soothing effect on joint pain.

Whether the essence helps or is a placebo effect, you can find out the state of the science.

The body’s self substance

Also called D-glucosamine, is an active substance that belongs to the group of amino sugars.

It happens naturally in the human body as a component of connective tissue, cartilage, and synovial fluid.

It has cartilage-building, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties. 

Therefore, the main application of Glucosamine is the treatment of joint diseases such as osteoarthritis.

It is a sign of wear and tear that reduces the natural cartilage mass. The knee joint, the big toe joint, and the finger joints are frequently affected.

It is available over the counter in pharmacies for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

It is often present in preparations as sulfateglucosamine hemisulfateD-glucosamine sulfate, or hydrochloride.

In addition, it combines with the active ingredient chondroitin.

Industrially produced Glucosamine obtain from chitin and derives from crustaceans such as crabs or shrimp.

The effects can be harmful to health

It occurs naturally in the joints of the human body. For dietary supplements, the substance extraction is from shellfish.

If you suffer from joint problems, you should consult a doctor and not start self-treatment with glucosamine-containing preparations. Proof of positive effect still misses.

For most people, the intake of it is harmless from a health point of view.

However, since it alters blood sugar levels, we should not take it in cases of diabetes. Due to the origin of the substance, an allergy to crustaceans is also a criterion for exclusion.

The substance enhances the effect of anticoagulants. Don’t take it together with them. Gastrointestinal complaints often occur from dosages of 730 to 1000mg per day.

Since the possible risks are unexplored, children, adolescents, nursing mothers, and pregnant women should refrain from taking it. 

Indications for use and mode of action of glucosamine

Doctors prescribe glucosamine preparations to relieve pain and discomfort associated with knee osteoarthritis like gonarthrosis.

The artificially supplied Glucosamine immerses into the cartilage and the synovial fluid.

By building up the cartilage, the joint’s mobility should improve again.

Effectiveness of glucosamine

Glucosamine regenerates cartilage but does the substance reach the cartilage after consumption?

The active substance levels reached in the blood are deficient. In addition, the ability of cartilage to regenerate is relatively low. 

According to the consumer advice center, to achieve an effect, the type and severity of the joint disease, and very long-term duration of intake, and the dosage and composition of the products are decisive.

According to studies, the positive effects are minor, but by and large present. 

Contraindication of glucosamine

Persons allergic or hypersensitive to this ingredient should not use glucosamine preparations for treatment.

Also, please refrain from using this active ingredient for patients with allergies to crustaceans. 

Allergy to crustaceans is quite common, and symptoms range from itching in the mouth and throat to swelling and rash.

We should take particular care with swelling of the tongue – if it obstructs the airway, death by suffocation is imminent. 

Another complication with possibly severe consequences is an allergic shock. 

Glucosamine derives from chitin, which is the main component of the shells of crustaceans and other crustaceans.

Persons with an allergy to crustaceans should refrain from taking it.

Pregnant women, children, and adolescents under 18 years of age have preliminary studies on risks for these patient groups.

The following groups of people should take glucosamine preparations for osteoarthritis therapy only on the advice of a physician:

  • Individuals with diabetes mellitus, as amino sugar affects blood glucose levels.
  • Persons with a limited glucose intolerance
  • Persons with impaired kidney and liver function
  • Asthmatics
  • Persons with cardiovascular diseases

Interactions of glucosamine with other medications

When taking preparations containing Glucosamine and other medications simultaneously, interactions may occur.

Please regard that this also depends on the amount of the drug and the dosage form.

It enhances the effect of some drugs, including tetracyclines, which belong to the group of antibiotics.

It has an inhibitory effect, especially on penicillin and the antibiotic chloramphenicol.

When Glucosamine and anticoagulants such as warfarin take simultaneously, we may prolong the blood clotting time.

In patients who must take medications containing these agents, it is imperative that a physician monitor treatment with glucosamine preparations. 

We can find more detailed information on interactions in the package insert of the practices. 

Side effects of glucosamine

Glucosamine composes naturally in the body. In some cases, adverse effects observed after ingestion, such as:

  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

Reactions such as headaches, fatigue, or allergies occurred even more rarely.

Especially for chondroitin-containing preparations with dosages of 730 to 1000 mg per day, gastrointestinal complaints such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, headache, and dizziness often occur.

There is a risk that blood lipid levels will increase due to taking Glucosamine, and it also affects blood sugar levels.

People who suffer from diabetes mellitus or have limited glucose tolerance should keep a constant eye on their blood sugar levels when taking Glucosamine.

A positive effect has not been proven.

Since 2012, Glucosamine may no longer advertise helping with or preventing joint pain.

The term joint doesn’t allow in product names illustration joints on product packaging to avoid suggesting an effect for which there is no evidence.

Whether the substance reaches the joints when taken orally is questionable, and studies on the subject come to contradictory results.

A meta-study, therefore, evaluated different research results.

The focus was on the efficacy of the substance in osteoarthritis. Glucosamine doesn’t show to have any harmful effects.

However, observation a positive result could not either, both in the perception of pain and the radiological findings.

A study in Spain from 2017 even showed a more robust efficacy of placebos compared to Glucosamine in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

For this reason, the International Osteoarthritis Society also sees no benefit in Glucosamine in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

Due to this regulation, suppliers have, in some cases, switched to adding zinc or vitamin C to their glucosamine-containing preparations.

Health claims relating to bones and cartilage are still getting permitted for these substances.  

When should glucosamine be taken?

  • The tablets are taken unchewed with a large glass of water before or during a meal. 
  • The powder is dissolved in a large glass of water and drunk with food. 
  • It cannot be getting used to treat acute pain.


The proper dose of glucosamine hydrochloride relies on several factors, such as the user’s age, health, and varied other ailments.

Nowadays, there is insufficient scientific data to decide a proper dose range for glucosamine hydrochloride.

Remember that natural products are not always safe, and dosages may be necessary.

Be sure to follow the proper instructions on product labels and consult your pharmacist, physician, or another healthcare professional before use.


Last Updated on 14/03/2022 by Buzz This Viral