Glucosamine is commonly used as a treatment for osteoarthritis, although its acceptance as a medical therapy varies. It is an amino sugar and a prominent precursor in the biochemical synthesis of glycosylated proteins and lipids. Since glucosamine is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans, and glycosaminoglycans are a major component of joint cartilage, supplemental glucosamine may help to rebuild cartilage and treat arthritis.
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Humans and other mammals
Glucosamine is usually used in the treatment of osteoarthritis, although its efficacy is still in question.
Osteoarthritis is characterized by the progressive degeneration of cartilage glycosaminoglycans. The formation of glucosamine is the rate limiting step in glycosaminoglycans synthesis thus the addition is glucosamine, would in theory provide a building block towards the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans and thus slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. Thus far however, the results have not been conclusive.
Mechanism of action
Glucosamine is an amino sugar and a prominent precursor in the biochemical synthesis of glycosylated proteins and lipids. Oral glucosamine is commonly used for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Since glucosamine is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans, and glycosaminoglycans are a major component of joint cartilage, supplemental glucosamine may help to rebuild cartilage and treat arthritis. Its use as a therapy for osteoarthritis appears safe, but there is conflicting evidence as to its effectiveness with more recent studies showing limited to no clinical benefit of use. In the United States, glucosamine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for medical use in humans. Since glucosamine is classified as a dietary supplement, safety and formulation are solely the responsibility of the manufacturer; evidence of safety and efficacy is not required as long as it is not advertised as a treatment for a medical condition.
Route of administration
Antiinflammatory and Antirheumatic Products
Antiinflammatory and Antirheumatic Products, Non-Steroids
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