Glucosamine can help joint and tissue injuries
A reader asks about the benefits of the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for his son, an athlete.
Before beginning this column, I would like to stress that, as with any supplement, it is your responsibility to research the supplement, assess the information and decide whether it could benefit you. Next, talk with a medical provider and make sure this supplement will not react with any medication you are taking.
Should you decide to take the supplement, begin with a low dose, monitor your bodys reaction and adjust accordingly.
To answer the readers question: Yes, your son may benefit from supplementing his training with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Athletes put a tremendous amount of stress on their bodies through training and often overtrain. But the reader, who noted his own problems with knee pain, could benefit as well.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have been known to work for both athletes and people who experience joint pain and strain, and have been used to treat osteoarthritis.
The supplements can reduce degradation of connective tissue in joints, as well as symptoms associated with joint pain such as inflammation, stiffness and weakness of the tissue around the joints. They also assist in supporting connective tissues such as skin, tendons, ligaments, bone and cartilage.
Because of these benefits, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have been used to aid in healing wounds.
Athletes and people of all ages may benefit from the supplements, as they help joints with cushioning and shock absorption, improve hydration of tissues, reduce connective-tissue injuries and improve joint lubrication, according to the article Glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate are for athletes young and old, by Daniel Gastelu for Bodybuilding.com.
Many people take glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate instead of ibuprofen or aspirin. Those who suffer from neck and back pain also have used them as an alternative treatment. The supplements also may prevent osteoporosis.
There have been no reported severe side effects. However, some people may experience increased intestinal gas and softened stool.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are derived from animal tissue and chitin, a component found in shellfish.
The shells of crabs, shellfish and lobsters often are used to manufacture glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. The supplements are sold in liquid and capsule form and are quickly absorbed by the body when taken as liquid.