Feeling out of joint? Try Glucosamine

You don't need to be a marathon runner to appreciate the pounding your joints take during strenuous exercise. Over a lifetime, joint cartilage that's overworked from even everyday activity can develop into osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition that often keeps people from being active as they age. However, there's plenty of scientific evidence that the dietary supplement glucosamine sulfate can alleviate joint pain, improve mobility and even help damaged cartilage regenerate.

In the past, most people with osteoarthritis reached for acetaminophen, ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce inflammation and pain. However, long-term use of these drugs can cause gastrointestinal upset, ulcers and overtaxing of the kidneys and liver. One clinical study compared glucosamine sulfate with ibuprofen in people with knee osteoarthritis. Both substances reduced arthritis symptoms, but glucosamine was significantly better tolerated, indicating it's well-suited for long-term use (Arzneimittelforschung, May 1998).

Glucosamine also appears to be useful for preventing joint deterioration that's a normal part of the aging process or that's common in athletes. Other evidence indicates that glucosamine may be more effective when combined with proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

— Laurel Kallenbach