Glucosamine For Arthritis Pain Relief!

Did You Know That Some Forms of Glucosamine Are Better Than Others?

Glucosamine Sulfate Information

Glucosamine Sulfate (also known as Glucosamine Sulphate) is the form of glucosamine that is found naturally in the body, and the form that has been tested in dozens of clinical trials. It is very similar to glucosamine HCL (hydrochloride) in effectiveness, because the sulfate is simply a carrier molecule for the actual glucosamine. Another popular form of glucosamine is known as glucosamine HCL, or hydrochloride. This form is the second most popular form, after sulfate.


Some studies have shown the HCL to be more effective and some have shown the sulfate to be more effective, so it would be prudent to either try both individually (probably not the most cost effective option) and see which one works better for you, or ideally simply find a product that contains both HCL and Sulfate.

One product we have found that contains both HCL and Sulfate and is in a liquid form which is absorbed better by the body is Syn-flex® with all-natural glucosamine made in the USA and with free shipping.

Types of Glucosamine to Avoid

Glucosamine sulfate is ok but you should avoid glucosamine sulfate NaCL (or KCl) (or if the ingredients list says potassium or salt after the sulfate). Some companies are very tricky about this – unless it just says glucosamine sulfate or HCL, you are getting an inferior product. We are not all molecular scientists after all.
The NaCl and KCl (or salts) refer to even more (unneeded but cheaper) carrier molecules that can be up to 30% of the product’s weight. Some carrier molecule is needed (such as sulfate or HCL alone) because raw glucosamine is unstable by itself – it needs to be bound to the sulfate or HCL carrier in order to be stored. So if you have one of the KCl or NaCl forms of the sulfate when you think you are buying a quality product, you are actually getting 30% of your dose as ordinary table salt. Not good if you are on a low sodium diet and even worse because they are effectively (but legally) lying to you about the active dose of glucosamine you are getting. Be advised to watch out for products with those markings.

The less active amounts of glucosamine you get, the slower your pain relief will be. At some point it will likely be so low that you will get no benefit at all. NAG (N-Acetylglucosamine or N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine), is another form of glucosamine but should generally be avoided due to its relative ineffectiveness and expense.

All of the glucosamine forms originated from shellfish, and has been shown since the first clinical studies in 1980 to be effective at easing arthritis pain – at least – if not more effectively than common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin. Glucosamine also has very few side effects in comparison to NSAIDS, which can erode your digestive tract and cause internal bleeding, liver failure or death when taken over time or in people over the age of about 45 when your body is not able to heal quite as effectively. “Anti-inflammatory drugs (prescription and over-the-counter, which include Advil®, Motrin®, Aleve®, Ordus®, Aspirin, and over 20 others) alone cause over 16,500 deaths and over 103,000 hospitalizations per year in the US”, according to a review article published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Clearly you can see that for long term care, simply masking your pain with NSAIDS is not the solution, particularly in light of the facts of how toxic they can potentially be. It seems that many of the newer COX-2 medications such as Vioxx® or Celebrex® may not be much better either. They are “selective” but only slightly more so than the NSAIDS, and their toxicity and side effect lists are said to be extensive. There may also be potential issues with blood clotting – which can mean strokes or heart attacks.

As a result of all of the information out there on the many forms of glucosamine, it is advised that one seek out a reputable manufacturer and follow the old adage that you get what you pay for. It can also be helpful to look at the label before you buy. A good liquid brand should run you about a dollar a day or slightly less and include glucosamine sulfate or HCL or both and other “synergistic” (effective in combination) ingredients as well. Again, glucosamine in tablet form is not recommended due to absorption issues. Some of the better formulas will also contain chondroitin and MSM.



The information in this website is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult a qualified healthcare provider. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease yourself. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

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