Glucosamine supplements are widely marketed as an aid for those who suffer from joint pain brought on by conditions such as osteoarthritis. Television’s Dr. Oz says glucosamine appears to be safe and well-tolerated, but there is conflicting evidence about whether it relieves pain. The Mayo Clinic says there’s little scientific evidence to support claims the supplement can help rebuild cartilage.
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Costco sells its Kirkland brand glucosamine as an Extra Strength Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplement. The product sells online in bottles containing 190 tablets, and a serving is defined as two tablets. Kirkland suggests that for the best results, you take one tablet, two times daily. Each two-tablet daily dose contains 1.5g or 1500mg of glucosamine hydrochloride. The Mayo Clinic explains that glucosamine is a natural compound in the body that helps make cartilage strong and rigid, and proponents of the supplements say they may help the body repair damaged cartilage. The glucosamine hydrochloride is derived from crab, crayfish, lobster, prawn and shrimp, so people who are allergic to shellfish are advised to speak with their health care providers before taking the supplements.
Kirkland’s Signature Extra Strength Glucosamine/Chondroitin also contains chondroitin sulfate sodium. There are 1.2g or 1200mg per two-tablet dose. Dr. Oz says chondroitin is another component of normal cartilage, and clinical trials which have shown chondroitin to be of some use in relieving pain have used doses of 1200 to 1500mg daily.
The ingredient label on Kirkland’s Signature Extra Strength Glucosamine/Chondroitin also lists the following in unspecified, descending amounts: Calcium Carbonate, Croscarmellose Sodium, Povidone, Cellulose, Crospovidone, Silicon Dioxide, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Magnesium Stearate, Talc, Artificial Vanilla Cream Flavor, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Polyethylene Glycol, Maltodextrin, Acacia, Hypromellose, Polysorbate 80. Calcium carbonate is a common form of supplemental calcium, which helps bones and teeth. Other ingredients are designed to improve the effectiveness of the supplement. For example, croscarmellose sodium and crospovidone help tablets disintegrate. Kirland says each two-tablet serving of the supplement contains 15 calories, two grams total carbohydrates and 130 milligrams of sodium. The label says there is no gluten, lactose or added preservatives in the supplements.