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The Proper Dosage of Glucosamine MSM

author image Jan Annigan
A writer since 1985, Jan Annigan is published in "Plant Physiology," "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences," "Journal of Biological Chemistry" and on various websites. She holds a sports medicine and human performance certificate from the University of Washington, as well as a Bachelor of Science in animal sciences from Purdue University.
The Proper Dosage of Glucosamine MSM
Glucosamine MSM may help relieve the pain of certain forms of arthritis. Photo Credit phototake/iStock/Getty Images

Glucosamine and MSM are dietary supplements that may alleviate pain associated with health conditions such as arthritis. They are available as individual supplements, but are also bundled together into one, sometimes with supplemental condroitin added in. Because it is a dietary supplement, glucosamine MSM does not follow strict dosage schedules, but recommended intakes are available. As with any dietary supplement, consult with your health care adviser to help determine if glucosamine MSM is appropriate for you.


Glucosamine supplements derive from the outer shells of crustaceans such as lobster, crab and shrimp. Your body also produces this molecule to help build and repair the cartilage that protects your joints. In proper doses, glucosamine supplements may bolster the amount manufactured by your body to help restore cartilage you lose as you age or due to disease. MSM, or methyl sulfonyl methane, occurs naturally in many food sources. Your body does not synthesize MSM or require it for any physiological processes. However, certain doses of MSM supplements may mitigate the effects of a variety of disorders. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that there are forms of glucosamine made for those with seafood allergies. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you need this specific type of glucosamine.


In a study noted by New York University Langone Medical Center, glucosamine MSM significantly reduced osteoarthritis pain in study subjects who consumed a specific dose daily for 12 weeks compared to those who took no supplement. While glucosamine and MSM alone, at the same dose as the combined supplement, decreased the pain experienced by the study subjects, the effect was less than when they took both supplements together. Glucosamine MSM may also relieve the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, one or the other may offer benefits against temporomandibular joint arthritis, interstitial cystitis, inflammatory bowel disease, rosacea and sports-related injuries. However, some of these potential uses are based only on animal studies and may not be applicable to humans, cautions New York University Langone Medical Center.

Suggested Doses

A common daily dose for glucosamine is 1500 milligrams, consumed as either a single dose or three 500 mg doses throughout the day, according to both the University of Maryland Medical Center and MedlinePlus. New York University Langone Medical Center offers a wide range of suggested doses for MSM, from 1.5 to 10 grams per day, split into three doses. In a study described in the March 2006 issue of “Osteoarthritis and Cartilage,” study subjects consumed 6 grams of MSM daily, divided into two doses, for 12 weeks to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis in their knee joints.

Other Considerations

At recommended doses, glucosamine MSM may not provide pain relief until you have taken it for an extended period of time. Any dose of glucosamine may be contraindicated if you take blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin, or if you are allergic to shellfish. MSM appears to be safe, however, even in high doses.

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