Supplement Forms/Alternate Names

  • Glucosamine Hydrochloride
  • Glucosamine Sulfate
  • N-Acetyl Glucosamine


Principal Proposed Uses

  • Osteoarthritis (Relieving Symptoms and Possibly Slowing the Course of the Disease)

Other Proposed Uses

Glucosamine, most commonly used in the form glucosamine sulfate, is a simple molecule derived from glucose, the principal sugar found in blood. In glucosamine, one oxygen atom in glucose is replaced by a nitrogen atom. The chemical term for this modified form of glucose is amino sugar . Glucosamine is produced naturally in the body, where it is a key building block for making cartilage.


There is no US Dietary Reference Intake for glucosamine. Your body makes all the glucosamine it needs from building blocks found in foods.Glucosamine is not usually obtained directly from food. Glucosamine supplements are derived from chitin, a substance found in the shells of shrimp, lobsters, and crabs.

Therapeutic Dosages

Osteoarthritis is a disease in which cartilage in joints becomes stiffer and may wear away. Glucosamine is used to treat this condition. A typical dosage of glucosamine is 500 mg 3 times daily. A 1,500-mg dose taken once daily is another option. 6 Glucosamine is available in three forms: glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetyl glucosamine. All three forms are sold as tablets or capsules. There is some dispute over which form is best. One study provides some evidence that glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate are equally effective. 53 Glucosamine is often sold in combination with chondroitin . It is not known whether this combination treatment is better than glucosamine alone, although animal studies suggest that this may be the case. 7,8

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