Can Glucosamine Sulfate relieve joint pain?

I’ve had this question asked often for many years. My first response is always yes it can, but not for everyone.  To some that may sound disconcerting, we all would like guarantees – but that’s rarely the case even when taking prescription meds, or NSAID’s (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) the most often prescribed medicine for joint pain. In fact I just saw a recent study that showed that different people react differently to different types of NSAID’s – the suggestion being that if one doesn’t work try another.

Back to the question about glucosamine sulfate. Does it really help with joint pain? Well, what we do know is that glucosamine is a natural compound found in healthy cartilage, that glucosamine sulfate is a fundamental building block of the cartilage matrix. The debate begins with why some people benefit   from supplementation, and why some don’t. Again I would go back to every ”body” is different, absorption rates can differ, compound quality can differ, underlying causes of joint pain can differ.

When deciding whether or not to take or try glucosamine sulfate I like to refer to a couple of summary statements from two recognizable, reputable sources outside of the possibly biased supplement industry:

  • Mayo Clinic: “Available evidence from randomized controlled clinical trials supports the use of glucosamine sulfate in the treatment of osteoarthritis, particularly of the knee.”  Learn More
  • Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, USC (Arthroscopy, 2009 Jan. (1):86-94. A review of evidenced-based medicine for glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate use in knee osteoarthritis. “ Which summarizes: “The excellent safety profile of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate therapy should be discussed with patients, and these supplements may serve a role as an initial treatment modality for many OA patients.”  Learn More

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