After consulting a physician, some people with aching joints or damaged cartilage might take glucosamine to relieve the pain. Glucosamine is a type of sugar protein said to help rebuild cartilage and lubricate joints, making them more flexible. Several scientific studies suggest glucosamine may ease osteoarthritis pain, joint swelling and stiffness, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
How to Take
Orthopedic surgeon Thomas J. Haverbush of Online Orthopaedics says there is no best way to take glucosamine, and most people simply follow the directions on the package of the product they've selected. Take glucosamine whatever way works best for you, advises Haverbush, either as divided doses throughout the day or with a meal. If you have trouble remembering to take pills multiple times per day, take the entire daily dose at once, preferably in the mornings.
Available Forms and Precautions
Besides capsules, glucosamine also comes as a tablet, enema, injection or powder. Of the three available types -- glucosamine sulfate, hydrochloride or n-acetyl -- glucosamine hydrochloride may be the easiest for the body to absorb, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The UMMC website suggests that diabetics monitor blood sugar during use, because glucosamine can elevate glucose levels. Brands of glucosamine derived from shellfish could pose a risk to someone with shellfish allergies.