WHAT IS IT?
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring nutrient in the body necessary for the production of key components in connective tissue that replenish and maintain healthy articular cartilage.
It has been widely used in Europe for the past 40 years as a nutritional supplement to treat osteoarthritis. Dr. Gardner has been using/recommending it for over 10 years without problems.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
Glucosamine frequently provides pain relief to arthritic patients. It may reduce inflammation in the joint and help restore pain-free range of motion. Popular claims that Glucosamine prevents the breakdown of cartilage or reverses the degeneration of cartilage are unproven, as yet.
The use of Glucosamine is beneficial, and may be compared to low doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This is also ideal because of the very few side effects and the excellent safety profile.
HOW IS IT TAKEN?
Glucosamine comes in different forms – Glucosamine sulfate or Glucosamine hydrochloride are the most common. Some forms come with Chondroitin compounds, and while the additional benefits of this combination are inconsistent, they appear to be real.
Regardless of the form chosen, Glucosamine should be dosed about 500mg 3 times a day for the 1st month, then twice a day following that. The Chondroitin dose should be about 400mg 3 times a day for the 1st month, then twice a day after that. If there is no improvement after 3 months, there is no perceived benefit and discontinuation is appropriate.