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Quest Vitamins LTD,
8 Venture Way,
Aston Science Park,
B7 4AP.

Tel: 0121 359 0056
Fax: 0121 359 0313
Registered in England No. 2530437

Glucosamine Sulphate


Glucosamine sulphate is a Sulphur containing amino sugar. Whilst many forms of this substance exist, a vast quantity of research supports the use of glucosamine sulphate alone. Glucosamine sulphate is well recognised for its uses in the management of osteo- and rheumatoid Arthritis, inflamed joints and discs, tendons, ligaments, muscles and damaged tissues.


Glucosamine sulphate occurs naturally in the connective tissue and cartilage where it contributes to the mobility, strength and integrity of joint structures. It is also located in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, spinal discs and heart valves.

Glucosamine sulphate stimulates the cells that are involved in the production of bone and cartilage.

Glucosamine is fundamental in the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are responsible for producing the framework on which collagen is built and for protecting against the breakdown of cartilage. The major glycosaminoglycans derived from glucosamine include hyaluronate, chondroitin sulphate, heparin and keratan sulphate (1). Glucosamine sulphate also helps to thicken the lubricating synovial fluid that cushions and supports the joints.

The sulphated form of glucosamine is recommended in preference to other forms (such as N-acetyl-glucosamine and glucosamine hydrochloride) as the sulphur helps in the metabolism of glucosamine and its incorporation into the body. Additionally, glucosamine sulphate is a smaller molecule than other glucosamine derivatives and is, therefore, easier to absorb.

Studies show that between 90 and 98% of an oral dose of glucosamine sulphate is absorbed. However, detailed absorption studies on the other forms of glucosamine do not exist.


500-1500 mg daily.

For osteoarthritis, 1500mg of glucosamine sulphate is recommended for 8 weeks.

Daily intakes for health maintenance are 500mg.


Glucosamine sulphate is used primarily to maintain the health of the joints. The amino sugar helps to thicken the lubricating synovial fluid that cushions and supports the joints, helping to build and rebuild cartilage.

Investigations have shown that glucosamine sulphate is an effective therapy for the management of Arthritis. Patients taking 1500mg of glucosamine sulphate daily have experienced partial or even full recovery from the symptoms of osteoarthritis after just 8 weeks of supplementation (2). Glucosamine works by helping to rebuild damaged cartilage and increase the thickness of the synovial fluid. Arthritic patients noted a positive effect on joint mobility (increased elasticity). Pain and Inflammation of the joints has also been relieved using daily intakes of glucosamine sulphate (3).

Wound Healing:
The availability of glucosamine is rate- limiting in the production of hyaluronic acid (HA). Administration of glucosamine by mouth after surgery or trauma enhances the HA production in the Wound, thereby promoting swifter healing and possibly diminishing complications related to scarring (4).

Crohn?s Disease and Colitis:
Glucosamine forms part of the rate- limiting enzyme needed for the synthesis of glycoproteins in the gastrointestinal tract. Activity of the enzyme has been shown to vary in those with Crohn?s disease and Ulcerative colitis (5,6). The mechanism by which this process occurs is not known, although it is thought that alterations in the levels of glucosamine may affect the structure of the mucosal membrane. However, the use of supplements containing glucosamine for these conditions requires further studies.


Glucosamine sulphate can be taken safely on a long-term basis at levels up to 1500mg daily.

Mild side effects have been noted in some studies, including nausea, Heartburn and Headaches. However, many of these side effects were noted in elderly patients which may have been related to pre-existing gastrointestinal disorders and their treatments.


Diabetics should consult a doctor before taking glucosamine sulphate and should monitor blood sugar levels if taking glcosamine.

N.B. Glucosamine sulphate has been shown to be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) in relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis.


1. "Biochemistry", L Stryer, Freeman, 1995.
2. Pujalte JM, Llavore EP, Ylescupidez FR. Double-blind clinical evaluation of oral glucosamine sulphate in the basic treatment of osteoarthrosis. Curr Med Res Opin, 7:110-114 1980.
3. McCarty MF. The neglect of glucosamine as at treatment for osteoarthritis - a personal perspective. Med Hypotheses, 42;5:323-327 1994.
4. McCarty MF. Glucosamine for wound healing. Med Hypotheses, 47;4:273-275 1996.
5. Winslet MC, et al. Mucosal glucosamine synthetase activity in inflammatory bowel disease. Dig Dis Sci, 39;3:540-544 1994.
6. Winslet MC, et al. Faecal diversion for Crohn's colitis: a model to study the role of the faecal stream in the inflammatory process. Gut, 35;2:236-242 1994.

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