If there is one thing guaranteed to make us feel tired, old and less-than-wonderful – it’s joint problems. From mobility issues, to pain during movement; when our joints aren’t healthy, it’s only too easy to slip into a more sedentary, less active lifestyle which can trigger a decline in health.
Yet, as we age, time and decades of usage take a real toll on our joints, leaving us feeling stiffer, achier and less keen to get active. Whether our joints become less flexible as part of the natural ageing process (which typically depletes cushioning substances in our knees, hips and other joints), or you suffer from a condition like osteoarthritis, one thing is clear – the better you look after our joints, the happier and healthier you’ll feel.
Glucosamine is seen by many as a key weapon in the fight to help our bodies feel healthier and perform better, even as we age.
How can glucosamine help?
Glucosamine is a substance found throughout the natural world. It’s a key ingredient in the synovial fluid which surrounds our joints, essential for building fresh, supportive and cushioning cartilage. Cartilage is crucial to joint health. This flexible yet tough tissue cushions our joints, keeping them comfortable and mobile. Yet as we age, our bodies are less able to grow fresh cartilage – and that’s where glucosamine comes in, helping to promote cartilage growth and aid in its repair.
Glycosaminoglycans and glycoproteins are essential to the health and growth of our cartilage, tendons, ligaments and synovial fluid, and these two vital substances can only be created with help from our body’s natural reserves of glucosamine.
What is n-acetyl glucosamine?
There are three available forms of glucosamine you can take as supplements:
- Glucosamine sulphate
- Glucosamine hydrochloride
- N-acetyl glucosamine
Most studies and available supplements involve glucosamine sulphate, yet research into n-acetyl glucosamine is also promising. In biochemistry, n-acetyl glucosamine appears as the end product of the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway, which means it’s even closer to conversion into cartilage, tendons and other important “joint supporters”.
N-acetyl glucosamine is easy to absorb through the intestine and has more applications in the human body than glucosamine sulphate.