Just about everyone develops degenerative arthritis – or what we better know as wear and tear arthritis. Glucosamine is a compound that has received some attention recently as a supplement that has been shown to potentially slow arthritis progression. It is a supplement derived from proteins very similar to those found inside normal healthy cartilage and joints. Anatomical changes to the cartilage in the setting of wear as well as the actual discomfort of joint arthritis have been studied in patients taking glucosamine, with favorable results for both. Glucosamine sulfate is the preferred formulation to the hydrochloride version, but both are beneficial. It seems that glucosamine improves the water retention properties of the cartilage, essentially plumping it up – allowing it to be more flexible and resistant to stresses. Some physicians recommend at least a 3 month trial of any supplement to assess potential benefit from any new vitamin, and patients may typically experience an improvement in pain and movement, however even in someone who does not see a clear cut change in symptoms with regular use of glucosamine benefits may still be gained over time. So it seems this is really an issue of protection. An investment in potential long term cushioning of the aging process of the cartilage and joint structures of the main joints of the body.
-Dr. Olga Kromo M.D – Rheumatologist
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