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Glucosamine is a natural substance found in and around the cells or cartilage and is an amino sugar that the body produces and distributes. It can be found in dietary supplements and is commonly used in conjunction with chondroitin.

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› Health Benefits

Glucosamine has been studied for treatment of osteoarthritis but has had mixed results. Some studies have shown that patients exhibited short-term pain relief, while others showed no changes.

Studies have looked at whether glucosamine can have beneficial effects on joint structure and have shown it may help, but the improvements may have been too small to make a difference.

› How much do I need?

The dosage varies depending on age and what it is being used for. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels, and consult your pharmacist, physician or other healthcare professional before using.

No serious side effects have been reported in large, well-conducted studies of people taking glucosamine, chondroitin or both. However, these supplements may interact with the anticoagulant drug warfarin. A study with rats shows that long-term use may damage the kidneys.

Glucosamine may affect the way the body handles sugar, especially if you have diabetes or other blood-sugar issues.

› Dietary supplements

Glucosamine can be found as tablets and capsules, as well as a powder.

Source: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Please consult your health care provider before making changes to your vitamin/supplement regimen.

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