Glucosamine

Updated on June 2, 2021

Is Glucosamine Known Scientifically?

Scientific: Not a herb or spice [WikiPedia]

What is the Appearance of Glucosamine?

Herbs and Spices for Cats and Dogs

Glucosamine sulfate is a popular derivative of glucosamine which has been proven very efficient in fighting arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, disc degeneration or hip dysplasia in canines. Glucosamine comes in many forms, but the most efficient in relieving arthritis associated discomfort are glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride.

Glucosamine is obtained from crustacean exoskeletons or, rarely, from grains (corn, wheat); the substance is also to be found in the composition of joint cartilages. Clinical trials have shown that glucosamine sulfate has the best results in treating arthritis in dogs, when compared to other glucosamine forms. Glucosamine sulfate works better in tall breeds. Glucosamine can also be used as preventative treatment for joint conditions.

What Are the Common Uses for Glucosamine?

The most commonly used type of glucosamine for joint pain and joint conditions is glucosamine sulfate, as it is easily absorbed and processed into the body and passed into the joints. Glucosamine sulfate stimulates the production of glycosamine glycans in the dog’s cartilage which are actually nutrients that stimulate the cartilage formation.

There are three common forms of glucosamine supplements:

  • Glucosamine sulfate: this is the most common type of glucosamine used in supplements, and the one that’s been most thoroughly researched. It’s extracted from the shells of shellfish or produced synthetically in a lab. It contains sulfur, which is the component that helps build and repair cartilage.
  • Glucosamine hydrochloride: also known as glucosamine HCL, it’s also found in shellfish shells, but doesn’t contain sulfate. It’s more concentrated than glucosamine sulfate but in studies it’s proven less effective in helping joints
  • NAG – N-Acetyl-Glucosamine: this form of glucosamine is a derivative of glucose the body’s precursor to hyaluronic acid, which is part of the synovial fluid that lubricates joints. NAG can be used for both joint and gastrointestinal issues.

Glucosamine Hydrocholride vs Glucosamine Sulfate

Some research suggests that Glucosamine sulfate is more effective at alleviating osteoarthritis symptoms because it is more bio-available, or most easily absorbed by the body compared to hydrochloride supplements. Other studies however suggest that Glucosamine hydrochloride supplements are more concentrated, and are absorbed more rapidly in the gastrointestinal tract than other Glucosamine supplements. A third school of thought holds that Glucosamine supplements are most effective only when they are taken along with chondroitin supplements.

Are There Topic Specific References for Glucosamine?

  • The Best Sources Of Glucosamine For Dogs [DNM]
  • Glucosamine Sulfate for Dogs [VetINFO]
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin use in canines for osteoarthritis: A review [PubMED]

PLEASE NOTE that herbal and other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.

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