Glucosamine helps ease, heal and repair issues with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and bursitis, as well as other disorders associated with a breakdown of the cartilage regenerative process. Glucosamine is one of the raw materials used to form new cartilage in the body. It is needed to form synovial fluid that helps keep the joints cushioned and well lubricated.
Glucosamine sulfate is an amino sugar molecule that is naturally made in the body from a sugar (glucose) and an amino acid (glutamine). Unlike other sugars, amino sugars are not converted into energy; instead, this amino sugar is used to form the glycosaminoglycans and hyaluronic acid that line the joints.
Although the body produces its own glucosamine, any injury involving the joints or vertebrae, osteoarthritis, chronic back pain, and even the normal ageing process make supplementation with this substance beneficial. Glucosamine is not found in foods, but supplements are made using chitin, a substance made from the processed shells of crab, lobster, and shrimp.
There are three forms of glucosamine available commercially: glucosamine hydrochloride, glucosamine sulfate and N-acetyl glucosamine. Glucosamine sulfate is generally considered the most effective for producing cartilage, especially when combined with vitamin C, manganese, and chondroitin.