Connective tissues made of collagen include ligaments and tendons. Ligaments connect bone to bone or bone to cartilage and tendons connect muscle to bone. The body endures many stresses in the joints and at other connective tissue sites. Taking an enzyme supplement can help rebuild and repair damage to these areas. The best supplement for ligaments and tendons is glucosamine sulfate.
Who uses Glucosamine
The body naturally produces glucosamine on its own. Supplementing is common as the amount organically formed is small. Those suffering with osteoarthritis most often utilize it. Osteoarthritis occurs when connective tissue in the joints breaks down or weakens. Athletes may also use glucosamine to help with injured connective tissue.
How it works
Glucosamine "is used by the body to produce a variety of other chemicals that are involved in building tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and the thick fluid that surrounds joints.". It can help keep joints moving smoothly or help repair those already damaged. "Glucosamine stimulates the production of collagen, a protein that helps hold the joints together and acts as a shock-absorbing cushion between the joints".
Often used in conjunction with glucosamine is chondroitin. While the glucosamine encourages the body to produce collagen, chondroitin will help with shock absorption by pulling fluid into the area. "Chondroitin might also protect existing cartilage from premature breakdown by inhibiting certain enzymes that can destroy the cartilage". Using the two supplements together can enhance the positive effects obtained from taking glucosamine alone.
These supplements can come in the form of pills or powders. Mild side effects listed for glucosamine include nausea, heartburn, drowsiness, diarrhea constipation and headaches. Chondroitin also may cause indigestion.
- "The Complete Idiots Guide to Total Nutrition Fourth Edition", Joy Bauer, MS, RD, CDN, 2005
- National Library of Medicine: Glucosamine Sulfate