How it works: Glucosamine Sulphate

By on December 23, 2013
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GoNutrition® nutritionist Charlotte Mullins explains why Glucosamine Sulphate can help keep your cartilage healthy and protects it from damaged caused during training.

What is Glucosamine Sulphate?

Glucosamine Sulphate acts as a building block that helps restore the balance of the building up and breaking down of cartilage. A contributor in repair and maintenance, Glucosamine Sulphate is required by the body to manufacture specialised molecules called glycosaminoglycans, (GAGs) found in cartilage. It also also protects damaged cartilage from further impairment.

What does cartilage do?

The function of cartilage is to distribute load, minimise bone stress and provide a friction-reducing, weight-bearing surface. Cartilage can be deformed and regain its original shape, because it is remarkably elastic. The simple appearance of cartilage hides its highly ordered complex structure. This structure apparently remains unchanged unless affected by disease or injury.

What happens when cartilage gets damaged?

Cartilage exposure to an injury can stimulate degeneration of GAGs. These GAGs are key in stimulating proteins which bind to collagen, minerals (such as sodium, potassium and calcium) and water. If the degeneration process continues, damage sustained by the cartilage may become irreversible. An abundance of methods for promoting cartilage repair have been researched. Apart from the long list of clinical procedures for treating cartilage injury there are more conservative measures which include the use of chondroprotective supplements, such as Glucosamine Sulphate.

How does Glucosamine Sulphate help?

Many athletes credit Glucosamine Sulphate as being effective in reducing joint pain, particularly mid to long distance runners, who tend to suffer with knee problems. Glucosamine Sulphate is well absorbed by cartilage. And as they are not available from food, it is not uncommon to have to take these supplements indefinitely to continue to experience relief. The most commonly used method is oral supplementation as it has been deemed the most effective because of the mode of delivery.

Why take Glucosamine Sulphate supplements?

Glucosamine sulphate assists the body in providing the components necessary to synthesise GAGs, which are required for cartilage synthesis. Ultimately, it appears to slow the process of cartilage degeneration and facilitate the recovery of normal joint mobility.

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