- Glucosamine (C6H13NO5)
is an amino sugar that is an important precursor in the biochemical
synthesis of glycosylated proteins and lipids. Glucosamine is a
naturally occurring substance. Glucosamine is commonly used as a
treatment for osteoarthritis, although its acceptance as a medical
- It is produced in an
animal's body (and in yours!) from glucose, and is used in the
maintenance and regeneration of healthy cartilage in joints. Glucosamine
sulphate and chondroitin sulphate help the body repair damage and wear
and tear to cartilage. Glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin only work
when they get absorbed into the body - the problem Glucosamine sulphate
is a very large sized molecule.
Glucosamine is made from a combination of sugar - hence the first
part of the name glucos(e) - and an amine, which is a derivative of
ammonia containing nitrogen (N) and hydrogen (H) atoms. It is a
naturally occurring substance found in the body’s cartilage. It
provides the building blocks needed for the body to repair and make
Glucosamine declines because of reductions of the converting enzyme
i.e. Glucosamine syntheses. When the body supplies too little
Glucosamine Sulfate to the joints, cartilage begins to break down.
By taking Glucosamine supplements, it can replenish our body supply
of Glucosamine and restore healthy joints that are damaged by
osteoarthritis or other injuries.
- Oral glucosamine
preparations are widely used as a treatment for osteoarthritis,
purportedly functioning by a variety of mechanisms suggested by
results of in vitro experiments, and generally using glucosamine
concentrations well in excess of 100 mmol/l.
- As glucosamine is
able to effectively suppress acute EAE, has low or absent toxicity,
and has been safely used in humans orally, it is suggested that a
potential use for this drug alone or in combination with other
disease-modifying immunotherapies to enhance their efficacy and
reduce their doses in MS and possibly other autoimmune disorders.
- Glucosamine is
typically produced as glucosamine hydrochloride, but some
manufacturers add sodium sulfate salt or potassium sulfate salt to
make a mixture of glucosamine and sulfate salt. The counter anion of
the glucosamine salt (i.e. chloride or sulfate) is unlikely to play
any role in the action or pharmacokinetics of glucosamine.
Demand for an alternative glucosamine
supply in Europe, which restricts much of the material being
produced in China and is suffering from a shortage of raw material
production elsewhere, prompted Cargill to apply for novel foods
approval earlier than planned. A Company is aiming to produce active
pharmaceutical ingredient (API) glucosamine, based on a novel
A company, using shrimp residues from
the waters around Iceland, claims to supply about 50 per cent of
Japan's glucosamine, one of the fastest-growing markets for the
ingredient since the government changed the status of glucosamine
from drug to food. According to a Nutriceuticals consultant , it has
tripled in sales since then to $58 million in 2003.
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