1. Glucosamine Background
2. Types of Glucosamine Supplemenmts
3. Glucosamine & Chondroitin
4. Benefits of Glucosamine
Today sufferers of aches & pains still crave the very same solutions to their pain and discomfort. Tinged with the very same disappointment, let-down by another supplement that failed to deliver.
Here, I’m going to have a quick closer look to see if both glucosamine and chondroitin are really all that and if they need to be in your daily joint protection regime preventing pain and discomfort.
So lets jump right in here.
I’ve always relied on my hands rather than apparatus and equipment, however, glucosamine & chondroitin have been and still make one of the 3 secret foundational components that have consistently helped restore mobility to the human body and improve responsiveness to treatment - regardless of age. The only thing that has changed over all that time is the newer types and forms of glucosamine that have become increasingly available. Some have received a bad rap.
Firstly, and most importantly, increasing your consumption of water, over and above your normal daily intake, is essential when taking any kind of glucosamine. Before I explain this fully however, I need you to understand something even more important still.
And its this: insulin sensitivity and glucosamine don’t mix. If your blood sugar is in any way problematic, avoid taking glucosamine. It unfortunately exaggerates insulin response and may cause unpredictable blood sugar highs and lows. Many people who are mildly insulin sensitive can feel pretty bad with this combination – lethargic, irritable and downright grumpy! There are similar difficulties combining glucosamine with Warfarin. This medication is used to slow blood thinning and some studies have shown that glucosamine can slow blood thinning even more. So unless your doctor can advise you otherwise, my advice is to avoid glucosamine and check out The Jurassic Mud Foot Soak instead.
Glucosamine properties. Glucosamine firstly has very powerful humectant properties. It draws, pulls and attracts water and fluids. In this case, to the joint ends of the bones. For joints, bones, ligaments, etc. - these are the fluids that bathe the deep structural components imparting them their nutriment and delivering their nutrition. Cartilage and in fact to a lesser extent, tendons, are also nourished by the nutrients diffused from their surrounding fluids. Diffusion is simply natures’ phenomenon of ‘mass transport without movement and the process that feeds most structural tissues in the human body.
Solid foundations, in any structure are not renewed with fresh concrete or cement every day, nor are they given a fresh coat of paint or washed down every morning. They are solid, unmoving and tough. And once in place, they remain fixed. The diffusion of nutrients into the same deep structures of our bodies allows this and to keep these foundations in place diffusion is perfect.
Hence the importance of adequate and ample water intake daily when using glucosamine as it powerfully attracts water to these area and facilitating the transport of additional nutrients through the very same fluids. To additionally nutrify these fluids, see the article on Jurassic Mud.
Yet there is more still to glucosamine. There are 3 components in glucosamine that assist the construction of connective tissue further operationg in both foundational structures and in muscletissue. They are called glucosaminoglycans, proteo-glycans and glycolipids.
Glucosaminoglycans – make the spring in your step, your lift & your bounce.
Proteo Glycans – make the cement and the filler ingredients necessary in bone and other connective tissue.
Glycolipids – are the connective tissue available workforce - builders, labourers, plasterers, plumbers and all the necessary trades-people.
The abundance of all these components are necessary for the efficient construction of strong connective tissue. Without them, connective tissue can be constructed inefficiently, as if often the case. Inefficiently constructed connective tissue is commonplace today, due in part to the inadequate supply of other ingredients, minerals, trace minerals & their trace elements. So we’ve got the double effect already of improving the fluid and water supply to the joint ends of the bones and also delivering essential connective tissue building components, essential to sufferers of aches & pains and rapidly decreasing mobility.
Types Of Glucosamine Supplements
1. D-Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCL) - From either Shellfish or Vegetable Sources
2. D-Glucosamine Sulphate 2KCl - From Shellfish Sources
3. D-Glucosamine Sulphate NaCl
4. N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG)
5. Poly N-acetyl-glucosamine (Poly NAG)
D-Glucosamine HCL from vegetarian source is predominantly made from corn. Its absorption is high and obviously suitable for vegetarians. Generally regarded as safe, fast acting and very effective. Reported 85% absorbtion.
N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG) is a completely different molecule and is dealt with differently by the body to other forms of glucosamine. Not top of the lists for effectiveness.
Poly N-acetyl-glucosamine (Poly NAG) similar to (NAG) it has not reached the levels of effectiveness of other forms of glucosamine.
D-Glucosamine Sulphate 2KCl & D-Glucosamine Sulphate NaCl are sulfate bonded glucosamines with around 65% absorption. Until recently Glucosamine Sulphate was made predominantly from shellfish and had to be stabilized with either a sodium or a chloride molecule. Even though the sulfate molecule plays a role in some cartilage formation, the shellfish origin is not good for the following reasons:
- The inclusion of a sodium molecule to the Glucosamine Sulfate increases your sodium intake drastically.*
- The shellfish farms in the South China Sea, where most of the shellfish was sourced, were found to contain certain hormones and impurities.
- Inconsistent batches varied greatly and provided an unreliable product.
- The 2 reasons above led to the U.K government banning all imports of Glucosamine from China.
- Shellfish derived D-Glucosamine may result in an allergic reaction to shellfish.
Glucosamine & Chondroitin
Chondroitin is similar to glucosamine in that it is a glycosaminoglycan but it is specifically a sulphated glycosaminoglycan – acting both structurally and functionally. As well as helping maintain the structural integrity of connective tissue, regulating some cellular activity it regulates the development of the nervous system.
However, it has another fantastic ‘under the radar’ function that’s to often undervalued. It generates ‘electrostatic repulsion power’ in cartilage tissue, making it actively resist the compression inside joints from above and below. The greater this resistance, the greater this electrostatic repulsion power, the greater the resistance between bones and cartilage during movement.
Imagine for a moment, 2 powerful praseodymium magnets pushed and pushed together with great effort. The force with which they powerfully repel each other is due to their inherent charge. Similarly, the greater the force inside your joints as you walk, stand and run, the lower the stress then placed on cartilage and on joint-ends of the bones. This resistance against compression means is less wear and tear and in turn far less degeneration. Chondroitin interacts in this way because of its own negative charges.
Chondroitin also provides configuration and holds water and nutrients, and it allows other molecules to be diffused through the cartilage and overall helps maintain the structural integrity of the tissue. Without this natural electrostatic repulsion, the load bearing stress, grinding and wearing directly on the cartilage and on the joint ends of the bones is increased many times.
Several inconsistencoes have been reported with regards to the concentration of chondroitin supplements to always check and compare the potencies and use a reputable supplier.
“The arrangement of many proteoglycans throughout the extracellular matrix helps to confer these widespread shock-absorbing effects: if ever pushed too close together, the negatively charged chondroitin molecules within the proteoglycans will repel each other.”
Benefits Of Glucosamine
With the above information you can see there are definite benefits to using glucosamine and especially chondroitin given the right situation and circumstances. Safety above all is of paramount important so if in any doubt, consult your healthcare professional before beginning your glucosamine and chondroitin regime. Also, check out the other articles here on the specific collagen for joint pain and on ligaments and their specific repair.
*Sodium rich diets have been linked to high blood pressure. Consuming sodium rich diets is especially problematic if you have high blood pressure, are in the risk zone of developing one and especially if you are currently taking high blood pressure medication. If you are in doubt, always consult your physician before taking D-Glucosamine Sulfate.