Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when cartilage—the slippery layer between bone ends—breaks down and wears away. When this “shock absorber” wears away, bone rubs on bone, leading to pain and swelling. If the cartilage hardens, bone spurs result, which may lead to deformities.
Though osteoarthritis affects mostly the middle-aged and the elderly, anyone over 45 is at risk for developing the disease. Women are slightly more likely to get it than men. Every year, about 16 million people seek medical care for the pain caused by osteoarthritis.
There is no cure for arthritis and once you have it, it isn’t going to go away. There are various causes of osteoarthritis, including injury to the joints, repetitive occupational usage and obesity. But the main cause is simply age. The older we get, the harder it is for the body to stimulate the formation and repair of cartilage.
What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is an amino sugar, produced naturally by the body. High concentrations of glucosamine are found in the joints, and it is theorized that this substance is necessary for joint repair. The body’s reduced ability to produce glucosamine as it ages leads to the breakdown of cartilage in the joints.
Can You Slow Down the Effects of Osteoarthritis?
Yes! While we can’t cure osteoarthritis, it is possible to slow down its effects. Maintaining a healthy weight will lessen the stress on your knees and hips. Supplementing daily with glucosamine can also help slow down the effects of osteoarthritis. If you’re in the at-risk age group, don’t wait for the disease to develop before you decide to do something about it. Prevention is still the best cure.
Lab Studies Show Glucosamine Works
A study published in the Lancet reported that patients given glucosamine showed improvement in the regrowth of cartilage, while those in the placebo group suffered a marked wasting of cartilage. A study on patients with osteoarthritis of the knees that was conducted by the American College of Rheumatology reported that joint space narrowing (due to deterioration of the cartilage) continued in placebo patients, but was stopped in patients taking glucosamine. Other studies confirm these results. And all studies show a significant decrease in pain symptoms.
What’s Wrong With Other Treatments?
Drugs and NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin) are commonly prescribed for arthritis. There’s just one problem with drugs and NSAIDS: large doses or long-term use can cause serious side effects such as nausea, kidney damage, liver failure and damage to the lining of the stomach or intestines. And NSAIDS can actually worsen osteoarthritis! There are very few side effects with glucosamine treatment, and its pain-relieving effect remains stronger over a longer period of time.
If you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any medication or have a medical condition, please consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplement. Keep out of reach of children. Store product in a cool, dry place. Do not use product if outer bottle seal is missing, torn or damaged in any way.