Glucosamine – What is it?
Glucosamine is one of many ingredients in the Tikva product. It is a sugar produced in the body and found in small amounts in foods. It plays an important role in maintaining Cartilage, the gel-like material that cushions joints. When taken as a dietary supplement, it may help to relieve the pain, stiffness, and swelling of osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disorder that affects 12% of the population, in which cartilage has worn down. Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers report improvements with glucosamine supplements as well, as do individuals with other types of joint injuries. Some 70 countries around the world sanction glucosamine as a treatment for individuals with mild to moderately severe osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine Health Benefits
Relieve osteoarthritis-related pain, stiffness and swelling.
The millions of Americans who suffer from osteoarthritis have cartilage that has dried out and gradually broken down over time, cracking and flaking off. When joints are deprived of this cushioning, painful stiffness and inflammation can develop. It helps to prevent these symptoms by protecting and reinforcing cartilage. Studies indicate that some arthritis sufferers experience improved range of motion after taking it. Others report increased overall mobility. And several studies suggest that it may be as effective in easing arthritic pain and inflammation–and not nearly as irritating to the stomach–as the NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) typically recommended for osteoarthritis. These studies are forcing doctors to reassess the use of acetaminophen as the first-line drug therapy for all patients with knee OA. Furthermore, the documented efficacy of glucosamine for pain relief and function improvement in patients with knee OA, with an effect size that is comparable with that of NSAIDs, requires us to reassess the use of glucosamine as a potential first-line agent at least for patients with knee OA who have mild-to-moderate pain.
A recent Chinese study of individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee found that while participants taking l,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate daily experienced a similar reduction in symptoms as those given l,200 mg daily of ibuprofen, the glucosamine group tolerated their medication much better.
Slow and possibly halt osteoarthritis-related damage to joints.
It appears to protect and strengthen the cartilage around joints, particularly in the knees, hips, spine, and hands. In so doing, it may help to prevent further joint damage. And while it can do little to actually restore cartilage that has completely worn away–or reverse joint damage that has already occurred–it appears to slow the development of mild to moderately severe osteoarthritis.
A study that followed 414 postmenopausal women for three years and found that supplementation with glucosamine sulfate prevented the structural changes typical of knee osteoarthritis when compared with Placebo. Recently, another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that the pain, and loss of functional mobility associated with osteoarthritis lessened 20-25% with a daily dose of 1500 mg.
In another trial conducted on 212 subjects with knee osteoarthritis, Belgian investigators reported that it actually slowed the progression of the disease. Over the course of three years, scientists measured spaces between joints and tracked patients’ symptoms. Those on glucosamine showed no further joint narrowing in the knees. Put another way, supplementation appeared to protect the shock-absorbing cartilage that cushions the bones. In contrast, the condition of the patients taking the placebo steadily worsened. In an Academic and clinician roundtable review of treatments for osteoarthritis of the hip, glucosamine sulphate was included as one of the 10 key treatment propositions listed under the category of disease- modifying drugs.
What Happens When Glucosamine and MSM Are Taken Together?
In an exciting new study, the combination of glucosamine with methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) was found to be more effective in the maintenance and protection of joints and bones than either agent alone.
Glucosamine is known as a chondroprotective agent since it helps to protect and restore joint cartilage. MSM is known as an effective natural lubricant that promotes comfort. We now know that the combination of the two is even more powerful than each individual compound.
In this study, 118 patients with mild to moderate joint discomfort were treated three times daily for 12 weeks with either 500 mg of glucosamine, 500 mg MSM, a combination of both, or an inactive placebo. The patients were evaluated at 0, 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks. The study evaluated patients’ pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Glucosamine, MSM, and the combination of glucosamine and MSM improved the pain and swelling compared with placebo. After 12 weeks of treatment, the average pain score in the glucosamine-only group dropped from 1.74 to 0.65…a 63% reduction. In the MSM-only group, it fell from 1.53 to 0.74…a 52% reduction. However, in the group taking glucosamine and MSM, the average pain score dropped from 1.7 to 0.36…an astounding reduction of 79%! The researchers also found that the combination therapy had a faster effect on pain and inflammation than either glucosamine or MSM alone.
The authors of the study concluded that the combination of glucosamine with MSM provides better and more rapid improvement in patients with osteoarthritis than either agent alone.
Glucosamine is different than NSAIDs or COX 2 drugs.
Glucosamine works in a much different way than NSAIDs or COX-2 drugs because it is natural. It builds and maintains cartilage, tendons and other connective tissues in the body by acting as a building block for these materials and inhibiting enzymes that destroy cartilage. When the body does not have an adequate supply, arthritis – most commonly osteoarthritis – can develop. This debilitating condition that afflicts millions of people worldwide is characterized by a breakdown in the “shock absorbers” of the joints, particularly weight bearing ones such as the hip or knee. It works by preventing the cartilage destruction, joint pain, swelling and loss of flexibility in a natural way and without the harmful side effects that are associated with NSAIDs or COX-2 drugs.
It cannot cure your arthritis, but it will do wonders for your arthritis and joint pain. Because it works from within, bathing your joints in a proverbial warm and protective solution and working to heal your joints instead of merely cover up pain, results take a little bit longer than NSAIDs or COX-2 drugs. Once you have achieved relief, however, itworks to protect your joints from further damage while continuing to stave off further damage. Contrasted to glucosamine, there is evidence that many of the NSAIDs can actually work against your arthritic joints, to cause your arthritis pain to become even worse by breaking down your joints.
-Arthritis and Glucosamine Information Center
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