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Glucosamine/Chondroitin: Introduction

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Another approach to arthritis

Are you among the one in seven Americans who suffer from osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that is a common form of arthritis? If so, you may want to learn more about glucosamine and chondroitin.

Both glucosamine and chondroitin occur naturally in our bodies and are important to proper cartilage and joint function. Chondroitin helps to form, nourish, and replace collagen, which helps make up our cartilage. Glucosamine works alongside chondroitin to help stimulate the production and maintenance of collagen.

Together, glucosamine and chondroitin play important roles in cartilage metabolism, maintenance, and regulation. Adequate amounts of these two nutrients can be crucial for our joints.

Quick Facts About Glucosamine Chondroitin

  • Glucosamine has been called an amino acid sugar, but it is not an amino acid. Rather, it is manufactured from an amine and glucose. (This is how it got its name.)
  • There are no food sources of glucosamine. The only natural sources are in your body and in chitin (the exoskeleton of shellfish -- crab, lobster, shrimp, and so on).
  • Chondroitin can be found in all mammals, including humans, and some shellfish. It connects the protein filaments in your cartilage.
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Updated on: 02/01/10
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