Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Glucosamine Sulfate Supplements

Glucosamine Sulfate Supplements


Glucosamine sulfate is the supplemental form of glucosamine and is primarily used to help form the cushioning ingredients of joint fluids and surrounding tissues: thickening synovial fluid, making it more elastic; repairing damaged arthritic joints; and creating more support for joints including the vertebrae. It also helps the body.

Method of Action

Glucosamine sulfate is a stable, water soluble nutrient which is absorbed quickly in the blood from the intestine and very little is excreted.

It is generally used in tablet form, alone, or in combination but is also available as an injectable.

Murray has provided a summary of the different forms of glucosamine: Glucosamine Sulfate [GS], N-acetyl-glucosamine [NAG] and Glucosamine Hydrochloride [GHCL]:

Active intestinal transportYesNoYes
Detailed absorption studiesYesNoNo
Detailed clinical studiesYesNoNo
Long history of useYesNoNo

Therapeutic Approaches

Glucosamine, occurs naturally in joint structures, as supplemental glucosamine sulfate, it is currently prized primarily for its efficacy in arthritic conditions, contributing to the reduction of arthritic joint pain and the repair of the joint surfaces. Dr. Bucci classifies it as a “nutraceutical” since it occurs naturally but is clinically efficacious.

To be more specific, beyond the vague generalization of “arthritis”, glucosamine is indicated for the following tissues:
· synovial fluids;
· muscle tissues, tendons and ligaments;
· dehydrated inter-vertebral discs;
· inflamed discs and sciatica;
· degenerated joints (osteoarthritis associated with aging);
· inflamed joints (“rheumatoid arthritis”).

Some studies showed no advantage of the injectable form over the oral tablets. However, when such choices exist, some clinicians report a benefit in expectations, compliance and adherence if they begin the patient with an injectable and require regular attendance for a repeat “booster”, not only to achieve metabolic saturation but also to reinforce the patient’s therapy and the doctor-patient relationship.

Therapeutic dosages for arthritis tend to be in the order of: 500 mg three times daily.

Toxicity Factors

Glucosamine is a stable, tasteless, water soluble material with a low incidence of minor side-effects.

Normal dosage is 500 mg three times a day.

Research shows it can improve osteoarthritis without any side effects, contra-indications, and/or toxicities that are usually associated with non steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). Also, unlike many currently used NSAID drugs for osteoarthritis which only take the pain away temporarily, it gets to the root of the problem and supports the body's natural healing abilities. However, since it is not a pain reliever, it will take longer to produce tangible results. It was reported that symptoms of pain improved steadily throughout the treatment period, even in patients that had not responded to previous therapy.

In the Vaz study, with a small sample, 2 (11%) patients receiving glucosamine sulfate and 5 (25%) on ibuprofen reported mild side-effects, including heartburn, epigastric pain, nausea, abdominal pain and headache. Tapadinhas with a much larger population (#1,208) registered 186 complaints from 146 patients (12%).

These were mainly light to moderate epigastric pain or tenderness, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, dyspepsia, vomiting and drowsiness. Tapadinhas recommends treating patients with concomitant gastro-duodenal illnesses with parenteral glucosamine.



Bagasra, O. et al: Anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 activity of sulfated monosaccharides: comparison with sulfabed polysaccharides and other polytons. J of Infectious Dis. 1991, 164(6): 1082 - 1090.

Bucci, L.R. Glucosamine - a new potent nutraceutical for connective tissues. AAOJ Summer 1993 : - 27.

Crolle,G. & D’este,E. Glucosamine sulfate for the management of arthrosis: a controlled clinical investigation. Curr. Med. Res. Op. 1980,7: 104-14.

D'Ambrosia, E. Glucosamine sulfate: controlled clinical investigation in arthritis. Pharamtherapeutica, 1991, 2: 504 - 508.

Drovanti, A. et al: Therapeutic activity of glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthrosis: a placebo-controlled double-blind investigation. Clin. Therapeutics,1980,3(4): 260-72.

Murray, M.T. & Pizzorno, J.E. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Prima Publishing, Rocklin, CA 1990.

Murray M.T. Arthritis - A Natural Solution. Whole Foods, 4: 75-6, 1993.

Pujalte, J.M. et al: Double-blind clinical evaluation of oral glucosamine sulphate in the basic treatment of osteoarthrosis. Curr. Med. Res. Op. 1980,7(2): 110-4.

Reichelt-A; Forster-KK; Fischer-M; Rovati-LC; Setnikar-I: Efficacy and safety of intramuscular glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthritis of the knee. A randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Arzneimittelforschung. 1994 Jan; 44(1): 75-80.

Setnikar, I., Pacini, A., & Revel, L. Antiarthritic effects of glucosamine sulfate studies in animal models. Arzneim-Forsch, 41: 542-5, 1991.

Tapadinhas, M.J. et al. Oral glucosamine sulfate in the management of arthrosis: report on a multi-center open investigation in Portugal. Pharmatherapeutica, 1982,3: 157-68.

Vaz, A.L. Double-blind clinical evaluation of the relative efficacy of ibuprofen and glucosamine sulfate in the management of osteoarthritis of the knee in out-patients. Curr. Med. Res. Op. 1982,8:145-9.

Whitaker, J. Reversing Arthritis. Health & Healing. Vol 3, no 6: 1-3, 1993.


Follow Applied Health on FaceBook Follow Applied Health on Twitter Follow Applied Health on Pinterest Follow Applied Health on YouTube

cruelty free - tested only on humans
We test only on humans