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Introduction Glucosamine

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  • Glucosamine, which is formed in the body as glucosamine 6-phosphate (G6-P) is the most fundamental building block required for the biosynthesis of the classes of compounds such as glycolipids, glycoproteins, glycosaminoglycans (formerly called mucopolysaccharides), hyaluronate & proteoglycans requiring amino sugars. Because it is a component of all these compounds, it is an essential component of cell membranes and cell surface proteins as well as interstitial structural molecules that hold cells together. Directly or indirectly, glucosamine plays a role in the formation of articular surfaces, tendons, ligaments, synovial fluid, skin, bone, nails, heart valves, blood vessels, and mucus secretions of the digestive, respiratory and urinary tracts.
  • Glucosamine is a naturally occurring amino sugar found in GAGs. Glucosamine is rapidly incorporated into articular cartilage following oral administration2 .In fact, articular cartilage concentrates glucosamine to a greater extent than any other structural tissue2 .

  • Glycosaminoglycans are generated by the glycolytic pathway, the same pathway that makes energy from sugar in the body. They are primarily a bunch of sugar molecules linked together and play important role in making new connective tissue2.

  • Dietary glucosamine serves as an immediate precursor for glycosaminoglycan synthesis, and also stimulates incorporation of other precursors into the connective tissue matrix. Bioavailability of oral glucosamine sulfate is excellent. It is absorbed intact and utilized very quickly by all tissues including connective tissues.

  • Glycosaminoglycans formed from Glucosamine are integral components of the proteoglycans found in joint cartilage. Proteoglycans are large carbohydrate rich structures that provide resiliency, load distribution, shock-absorbing, compressive and lubricating properties to joints and connective tissues.The availability of glucosamine is an integral part of the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans & proteoglycans that are necessary during the constant remodeling the aging cartilage undergoes.

  • Natural glucosamine levels drop as people age. This can lead to gradual deterioration of the joint. In such conditions supplementation of glucosamine is beneficial to enhance the deposition of glycosaminoglycans & proteoglycans & form healthy cartilage.

  • Glucosamine is also thought to stimulate cartilageproducing chondrocyte cells to make new cartilage.Glucosamine also affects how much hyaluronic acid one makes. Hyaluronic acid is a main GAG secreted during tissue repair.

  • Glucosamine sulfate is more efficiently used for connective tissue metabolism than other glucosamine sources such as cartilage extracts or chondroitin sulfate.

  • In humans an impressive number of studies over the last 22 years have provided relatively consistent findings on the safety and efficacy of glucosamine for joint health.