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Sports Supplements – Glucosamine and Athletic Performance

Does Glucosamine Improve Athletic Performance?


Updated October 15, 2007

Glucosamine has been used to treat osteoarthritis and helps stimulates cartilage cells to synthesize glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans. In studies oral glucosamine sulfate has had a beneficial effect on inflammation and mechanical arthritis.

Glucosamine Claims

  • Protect cartilage against damage from weight-bearing exercise
  • Slows cartilage breakdown
  • Stimulates cartilage growth
  • Cures arthritis

Research Shows

  • Glucosamine plays a role in maintenance and repair of cartilage
  • Glucosamine stimulates cartilage cells to synthesize cartilage building blocks
  • Glucosamine may have an anti-inflammatory action by interfering with cartilage breakdown

Tips and Cautions

  • Glucosamine is most effective for early arthritis when cartilage is still present
  • Glucosamine is less effective for severe arthritis
  • Glucosamine appears safe, however, more long-term research is needed to determine effectiveness
Glucosamine is a standard therapy in Europe, however, the U.S. suppliers are not regulated, so finding a trustworthy manufacturer can be difficult.

Sports Supplements: Ribose

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