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Glucosamine is a natural building block of cartilage and is involved in the formation of synovial fluid. Glucosamine is crucial so that the articular cartilage remains healthy and smooth, painless movement of the joints is possible.
Furthermore, glucosamine is responsible for sufficient synovial fluid and unrestricted mobility of the joints. This is why this vital substance is particularly important for athletes and other people whose stress on the joints is particularly high.
The body's own production decreases with age, which is why the additional supply of glucosamine supports the maintenance of healthy joints.
Smooth, pain-free movement and function of the joints are only possible if the articular cartilage is healthy. Osteoarthritis means that the cartilage of the affected joint is damaged. Because the cartilage is the padding between the joints, bone rubs against bone, causing pain, inflammation, and limited mobility.
So far, the only pain relief has been anti-inflammatory medication or steroid injection (e.g. cortisone). However, these only mask the symptoms and relieve the pain - the condition of the cartilage continues to deteriorate.
The downward spiral continues because the dosage of the medication must be increased with increasing pain. This creates another problem because the drugs have harmful side effects and can cause osteoarthritis to progress faster.
Over the years, the only solution is an artificial joint that is used during an operation. But even with artificial joints, the problem is not solved, since these also have a limited lifespan and have to be replaced after some time.
A number of natural supplements have had excellent results in recent years. In many cases, these could prevent worsening of the arthrosis and even cause the cartilage to rebuild.
These natural supplements also include a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. These are vital substances that we ingest with food, which are also formed in small amounts in our bodies.
Extensive studies have been conducted with glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate, which have proven that both glucosamine and chondroitin are effective in humans and animals.
Healthy cartilage requires three things:
Proteoglycans act like a rope that loops itself through the collagen and is extremely important because they can store several times their own weight in water, which lubricates and supplies the collagen.
If the cartilage is damaged, the strands of the rope become weak and there are 'leaks' to the outside, causing the collagen to lose its supply because the proteoglycans lose their hold and swim away. As a result, the cartilage cannot cushion impacts, cracks form and it can wear out completely.
Glucosamine is an important building block of water-loving proteoglycans. In addition to its function as a building block for the synthesis of proteoglycans, its mere presence is a stimulus for the cells that produce proteoglycans. In fact, glucosamine is a key factor that determines how many proteoglycans are produced by the cells.
Glucosamine has been shown to accelerate proteoglycan and collagen production and normalize cartilage metabolism, which helps prevent cartilage breakdown.
Due to the effects of glucosamine on cartilage metabolism, it can help the body repair damaged or worn cartilage. Glucosamine thus strengthens the body's natural repair mechanisms.
In addition to stimulating cartilage production, glucosamine also reduces joint pain and inflammation.
Glucosamine causes the fluid in the joints, the so-called joint lubricant, to be sufficiently viscous. This prevents damage or the premature wear of the joints.
Sufficient glucosamine thus ensures unrestricted and painless mobility of the person. With its stimulating effect on the new cartilage structure, glucosamine prevents the breakdown of existing cartilage and at the same time relieves pain.
While glucosamine helps form proteoglycans that sit in the interstices of the cartilage, chondroitin sulfate acts like a 'liquid magnet'.
Chondroitin has the property of pulling liquid into the proteoglycan molecules. This is important for two reasons:
Articular cartilage has no blood supply, so all of its supply and lubrication comes from the synovial fluid that surrounds it. The production of synovial fluid is stimulated by the pressure exerted on it. Without the synovial fluid, the cartilage would be malnourished, drier, thinner and more fragile.
Chondroitin is a long-chain molecule with a negative charge. As these chains wrap around proteoglycans, they repel each other and form gaps between each proteoglycan. This space is known as the matrix of the cartilage into which the fluid flows.
There can be up to 10,000 of these chains on a single proteoglycan molecule - so we have a great water reservoir because these chains ensure that these molecules are apart and cannot stick together.
Chondroitin has the following positive functions:
In the beginning, conventional medicine found very few substances that act against arthritic pain.
Then came NSAIDs - nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Back then, these very well-known remedies were new drugs with common names such as aspirin, ibuprofen and later naproxen sodium.
That changes now. For more than 20 years, continual research into glucosamine and its effectiveness against arthritis in humans and animals has been carried out in America and large parts of Europe, such as Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.
Glucosamine is different from analgesic medication. Glucosamine works in a completely different way because it is natural.
Glucosamine builds up and preserves cartilage, tendons and other connective tissue in the body by acting as a building block of these materials and inhibiting enzymes that destroy cartilage.
If the body is not adequately supplied with glucosamine, arthritis - especially arthrosis - can develop. The debilitating disease, which affects millions of people around the world, is characterized by a breakdown of the 'shock absorbers' of the joints, especially those that bear weight, such as the hip or knee.
Glucosamine works by naturally reducing cartilage destruction, joint pain, swelling and loss of mobility. Not to mention the fact that glucosamine is much cheaper and comes from natural sources.
Glucosamine cannot cure arthritis, but it can have a very positive effect on joint pain. Because glucosamine works from the inside, so you bathe your joints in a proverbial warm and protective solution and work to heal your joints instead of just masking the pain, the positive effects become less apparent than with analgesic medication.
However, once you achieve this pain relief, glucosamine will protect your joints from further damage while intercepting future damage. Compared to glucosamine, it has been found that many NSAIDs can actually damage your arthritic joints and cause your arthritic pain to get worse as the joints continue to degrade.
If you need immediate pain relief, glucosamine can be taken along with painkillers. The pain is temporarily relieved, while the glucosamine builds up your cartilage and reduces your pain. Note that most clinical studies tested 1,500 mg of glucosamine per day.
Many people also find that chondroitin sulfate and MSM work against arthritic pain.
So, if possible, consider a product that also contains these two joint nutrients.
Today there are very few foods on the menu that contain natural sources of glucosamine. Marine animals such as lobster, shrimp, crab, and mussels are among the few examples from which the human body can get glucosamine. For this reason, a dietary supplement containing glucosamine is a real alternative.
Especially as we get older, it happens that the body is no longer able to produce glucosamine from the food we eat. The result is limited mobility, triggered by too watery or a lack of synovial fluid. As a rule, the knees and spine are affected, their movement often causes pain.
Inadequate synovial fluid also leads to faster joint wear. The body cannot stop this wear itself, because the aminosugar is also responsible for the regeneration of worn cartilage.
The recommended daily dose is approximately 1,500 mg. This dose can usually only be achieved by taking a dietary supplement. The daily requirement can be taken as a single dose or divided into three doses before meals with sufficient water.
If glucosamine is administered in therapy to compensate for a deficiency, it should run for a period of six months. Those who take a dietary supplement containing glucosamine for the first time can notice positive changes after one to three months - provided the glucosamine product is taken daily.
Basically, everyone has a need for glucosamine to ensure the mobility of the joints. This is increased
According to researchers at Creighton University in Nebraska, the supply of glucosamine is used to alleviate symptoms of osteoarthritis. The results of their studies also suggest that glucosamine has an inhibitory effect on the further development of this disease.
According to Sven-David Müller Nortmann, one of the main effects of this body's own substance is that fewer cartilage-destroying enzymes are released. It also promotes the breakdown of inflammatory substances in the body.
A long-term study by Belgian professor Jean-Yves Regnister confirmed that the supply of glucosamine blocks damage to cartilage cells. At the same time, the study verified the supportive effect in of building new cartilage.
Other studies have shown that glucosamine has a soothing effect on pain in the joints and back. Aminosugar has also proven to be useful as a preventive measure for athletes or people who are overweight and have increased joint stress.
If the recommended dosage is observed, no side effects are expected. In this case, taking glucosamine in the form of nutritional supplements is harmless. If you are taking medication at the same time, you should check with your doctor in advance that there are no interactions with the preparation.
Glucosamine is generally a very safe substance. It has been clinically studied since the early 1980s - so people have been taking it for over 20 years without a problem. There are only a few things to consider when taking glucosamine.
Since most of the glucosamine comes from seafood (some manufacturers offer glucosamine from corn), you should consult your doctor before starting glucosamine therapy. If the seafood glucosamine is pure, it is theoretically possible that people who are allergic to seafood can take glucosamine.
Since allergy sufferers react to the proteins in seafood and glucosamine is obtained from chitin, a carbohydrate, it is generally okay to test glucosamine under the supervision of a doctor, since the processing by which the glucosamine is obtained, the proteins and the antigens that the body would normally respond to.
However, the official recommendation is that people who are allergic to seafood should avoid glucosamine.
Insulin levels can fluctuate with glucosamine, especially for diabetics. Technically speaking, glucosamine is a carbohydrate (a sugar), but the body cannot convert glucosamine to glucose. Therefore, glucosamine does not provide any direct additional sources of glucose.
In diabetic patients, many factors can lead to changing blood levels, so it is very important to consult your doctor before starting glucosamine therapy. You should also be very careful in monitoring your blood sugar levels while taking glucosamine. Read the latest update on glucosamine for diabetics.
Pregnant women should avoid glucosamine. There are not enough long-term studies on fetuses to make it clear that glucosamine is 100% safe for the developing fetus. There is no evidence that it could be harmful, but it is still better to play it safe in such a situation.
Extremely high amounts of glucosamine (multiple amounts of the daily dose) can cause digestive problems such as loose stool, diarrhea or nausea.
With the exception of the warnings above, glucosamine has a long track record and is considered very safe.
Note that each box of aspirin is stated to be for temporary (non-permanent) relief from arthritic pain only. Not only are they foreign substances (glucosamine is natural and is currently in your joints), the newer generation of analgesic drugs also have some potentially dangerous side effects. Painkillers also only mask the pain and only make things worse.
If you stop taking painkillers, the pain will come back quickly.
Glucosamine ensures a lasting effect. Even if you stop taking it, you will be protected for a period of time. Taking a daily dose is the best way to best reduce joint problems and protect your joints. Glucosamine will become more effective over a long period of time if you continue to take it.
With the ever-increasing interest in how to overcome the restrictions of a life with osteoarthritis, especially since two important prescription medications have been withdrawn from the market, two major clinical studies have recently shown that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate work better than traditional pain relievers.
The 'GAIT' (Glucosamine / Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial) study reported after five years of recruitment, testing, and analysis that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin were effective in treating moderate to severe knee pain due to osteoarthritis.
Directed by the NIH (National Institutes of Health), one of the world's leading medical research centers, 13 top-rated research universities in the United States conducted randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel efficiency studies on over 1,500 osteoarthritis patients.
For 24 weeks, each participant received a daily dose of either:
The pain levels of all patients were assessed at the beginning of the study and after the end of four weeks.
The combination of glucosamine and chondroitin significantly reduced pain compared to placebo and analgesic medication using the WOMAC Pain Index (Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis Index).
The study was funded with taxpayers' money, not manufacturers.
Around the same time that the study results of the university-based GAIT study were published in the United States, an independent, clinic-based European study (known as the GUIDE study) released its results. This also showed the extraordinary advantages of glucosamine.
The Glucosamine Efficacy (GUIDE) study reported that glucosamine sulfate may be the preferred symptomatic treatment for knee osteoarthritis.
Dr. Herrero-Beaumont of the Fundacíón Jiménez Díaz in Madrid rated glucosamine sulfate as more effective than paracetamol in a multi-center, randomized, placebo and reference controlled, double-blind study in the treatment of joint pain.
This means that the study was conducted in several clinics, randomized to prevent bias, tested against both placebo and real medication and that doctors didn't know who was taking the placebo or the glucosamine. It was an exceptionally well-designed study with millions of dollars and the results speak for themselves.
The Glucosamine Unum in The Efficacy (GUIDE) study took place in 13 different European clinics and compared a daily dose of 1,500 mg glucosamine sulfate and a much larger, 3,000 mg dose of the over-the-counter drug acetaminophen with placebo on 318 patients.
After 24 weeks of monitoring osteoarthritis patients, the study clearly showed the better effectiveness of the glucosamine supplement (even at half the dose of the drug) in several areas of discomfort and mobility.
The study confirmed that glucosamine proved to be more effective than the most commonly used pain reliever, acetaminophen!
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