What is Glucosamine HCl?
Glucosamine HCl is a hydrochloride salt form of glucosamine. The HCl form offers greater bioavailability compared to other types of glucosamine. Glucosamine is an amino sugar and one of the more plentiful monosaccharides. Monosaccharides are simple sugars that act as fuel molecules and are the building blocks for nucleic acid and all carbohydrates. Glucosamine is present in the glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans that make up the cartilage matrix that protect the ends of bones. It’s also a component of hyaluronic acid, which is present in the synovial fluid that lubricates and reduces friction between the cartilage and joints.
Manufacturers often source glucosamine supplements from shellfish, making them unsuitable for vegans and vegetarians. PureBulk’s vegan glucosamine HCl comes from non-genetically modified (non-GMO) corn. PureBulk’s vegan glucosamine HCl is also a safe option for individuals with shellfish allergies.
Potential Glucosamine Benefits
Glucosamine for Joints
Most individuals take glucosamine supplements to support their joint health. Glucosamine HCl may improve joint function via several mechanisms. It is a metabolite of connective tissue components that are essential for healthy cartilage and bones, including glycosaminoglycans (GAG), glycoproteins, and proteoglycans. Glucosamine also promotes synovial fluid synthesis. Synovial fluids serve many purposes, such as reducing friction between joints, absorbing shocks, and removing metabolic waste from cartilage. Glucosamine improves joint pain and mobility by inhibiting cartilage from degrading and promoting cartilage healing between joints. Glucosamine also lowers biomarkers of inflammation and suppresses inflammatory pathway signaling in synovial cells.
Glucosamine may be of particular benefit to athletes. Athletes put their joints through significant stress and experience frequent joint injuries. One study examined glucosamine’s effects on professional rugby players and collegiate-level soccer players over a period of three months. Before supplementation, researchers found that athletes have significantly higher levels of collagen degradation compared to non-athletes. However, their collagen synthesis levels were nearly identical. The study reported that glucosamine supplements dramatically decreased collagen degradation in athletes without impeding collagen synthesis.
Supplements for Joint Health
Glucosamine is one of many available supplements for joint health. It has promising synergy with chondroitin, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and hyaluronic acid.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Chondroitin sulfate is a GAG that can relieve joint pain. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and attenuates overactive pathways known to cause joint pain. Studies have noted that taking glucosamine and chondroitin together boosts collagen synthesis and inhibits collagen deterioration.
Glucosamine + MSM
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is another supplement that may benefit joint health. It provides sulfur, which the body uses to form collagen and cartilage. It’s also an anti-inflammatory agent that also enhances hyaluronic acid’s anti-inflammatory activity. One 12-week study noted that taking glucosamine and MSM together produced greater improvements in joint swelling than either supplement alone.
Hyaluronic Acid for Joints
Hyaluronic acid is a GAG and is significant component of synovial fluid. The body requires glucosamine to synthesize hyaluronic acid. Research shows that taking glucosamine supplements may boost hyaluronic acid production. Hyaluronic acid coats each cell of articular cartilage to improve their ability to resist compression. It’s also responsible for lubricating connective tissues. One study found that a combination of glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid produced greater improvements in joint pain and function than a combination of only glucosamine and chondroitin.
Potential Glucosamine Side Effects
Glucosamine doesn’t typically have significant adverse effects. Side effects are uncommon and mild, such as headache, flatulence, constipation, or diarrhea. Glucosamine may increase warfarin’s anticoagulant effects. Individuals with type II diabetes should consult their physician before taking glucosamine supplements, as it may cause a mild hypoglycemic effect. Individuals at risk of developing glaucoma should not take glucosamine supplements.