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Glucosamine Sulfate?

In the book The Arthritis Cure by Theodosakis, Adderly, and Fox, it is recommended that both glucosamine and chondroitin be used as part of their 9-step arthritis program. However, it is also true that glucosamine sulfate by itself has also been helping people for many years. So we thought it might be useful to step back and understand first what is glucosamine sulfate.

Glucosamine is an important component of the body's basic structure. The word "glucosamine" is a fancy way of saying "aminos + sugar". It is the starting point for the synthesis of many important macromolecules that make up body tissues, including tendons and ligaments, cartilage, synovial fluid, mucus membranes, several structures in the eye, blood vessels, and heart valves.

Glucosamine sulfate contributes to the cushioning nature of the joint fluids and surrounding tissues. For instance, it helps to make the synovial fluid in joints and vertebrae thick and elastic. When this fluid becomes thin and watery, due to insufficient glucosamine production, the cushioning lessens and the bones and the cartilage scrape against each other inside the joint space, causing damage. Weakened bursa sacs in the joints can also cause tendons to rub against the hard edges of bones, increasing the chance that the cartilage will erode and cause problems with movement and flexibility. 

These problems can also occur in the spinal column where the individual vertebrae are stacked on top of each other, separated only by the cushioning disc. The space between the vertebrae is where many nerves leave the spinal cord, which increases the value of the cushioning fluid. Any injury to the back may cause the gelatinous cartilage to soften. When this happens, pressure may be put on the nerves, causing damage and loss of nerve function. Glucosamine sulfate helps increase the thickness of the gelatinous material, creating more support for the joints and vertebrae.

There have been numerous studies showing the beneficial effects of glucosamine sulfate and its relationship with the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. The many over-the-counter medications available to relieve arthritis symptoms do not control or reverse the condition. In fact, there is evidence that long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) actually accelerate joint destruction in patients with osteoarthritis, by interfering with the body's healing mechanism.

Glucosamine sulfate appears to be one remedy that helps with both the causes and the symptoms of osteoarthritis. It exerts a protective effect against joint destruction and is selectively used by joint tissues, exerting a powerful healing effect on arthritic symptoms. It is not an analgesic or an anti-inflammatory agent, but rather appears to halt the disease process. Improvements occur more slowly with glusosamine sulfate than with over-the-counter NSAID's, but eventually glucosamine proves more effective.

In one study that compared glucosamine sulfate to Ibuprofen, pain scores decreased faster in the first two weeks in the Ibuprofen group. However, by the fourth week of the study, the group receiving the glucosamine sulfate was doing significantly better than the Ibuprofen group. In another study 30 patients with osteoarthritis were divided into two groups. Half of the patients received glucosamine sulfate, while the control group received a traditional arthritic drug formula. Both groups showed improvement in the early stages of the study, but by the end of the study, the group using the arthritis drug reverted almost to pretreatment levels, whereas the total symptom score of the glucosamine sulfate group improved dramatically.

In yet another study, 30 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee received glucosamine sulfate or a placebo, for eight weeks. The glucosamine sulfate group showed increased positive results, compared to the placebo group in the following areas: relieving pain, joint tenderness, and swelling. The results of the glucosamine sulfate group were consistently higher in all 10 patients, whereas the placebo group showed some change in the beginning, but very little change over the entire length of the study.

Glucosamine sulfate is a natural substance that improves a condition by addressing the underlying cause and supporting the body's natural ability to heal itself. These problems may include:

  • breakdown and inflammation of the synovial fluids
  • damage to the tissues, ligaments and muscles
  • inflamed disc and sciatica nerve
  • inflamed joints associated with aging
  • loss of elasticity in the invertebral discs.

Glucosamine sulfate is a stable, tasteless and water soluble nutrient. It is readily absorbed from the intestines, stays in the blood for several hours and very little is excreted. It is virtually free of side effects and there are no known contraindications. For more information about glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and a promising new protocol for the management and possible cure of arthritis, please refer to The Arthritis Cure.

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