Healthy Articles Archive

Supplement focus: Glucosamine

Words: Susannah Lawson
Susannah Lawson is a nutritional therapist and author of Optimum Nutrition Before, During and After Pregnancy (Piatkus). She combines writing and teaching about nutrition with running a clinic in Hampshire.

Found in shrimp shells and lobster Glucosamine is an amino sugar that was first discovered in the 1960's by scientists.

Whilst our bodies are able to naturally produce Glucosamine by combining glutamine with glucose, this process becomes more difficult as we age. 

When our stores of Glucosamine begin to decrease, the elastin fibres in our skin are unable to renew at a fast enough rate, which can lead to sagging and wrinkles.

Unless crunching on crustacean shells sounds appetising, one of the best ways to boost your Glucosamine levels is to take supplements, which are available in two forms. As Glucosamine is believed to aid cartilage in absorbing sulphur, Glucosamine sulphate it is often considered to be the superior choice. However, those that experience high blood pressure may find that glucosamine hydrochloride is more suited to their needs as it has a lower salt content.

Suitable for vegetarians, Glucosamine hydrochloride is the non-shellfish version.  A gel is also available. Apply topically on joints or add to a running bath.

CAUTION: Consult a doctor if you are pregnant, breast-feeding or under medical supervision.

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