What is Glucosamine Sulfate?

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  • Written By: Lucinda Reynolds
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 29 March 2019
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Glucosamine sulfate is a chemical produced naturally by the human body. This chemical helps to repair damaged cartilage and tissues. It also helps to form new cartilage, and it is found in the fluid around the joints. The body produces less glucosamine sulfate as it ages, which can result in the development of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition in which the cartilage that serves as a cushion between the bones and the joints start to break down. Eventually, the bones of the joint will start rubbing together. Bone rubbing against bone can cause severe pain. When the bones of the joints rub together it will sometimes cause swelling of the joint.

Individuals who have osteoarthritis may try glucosamine supplements that contain chondroitin to ease their symptoms. Chondroitin is a molecule found in cartilage that provides elasticity. It is also thought to help prevent the destruction of cartilage. Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin combined in a single supplement may have a positive impact on osteoarthritis.

The most common joint to be affected by osteoarthritis is the knee joint. Glucosamine sulfate with chondroitin has shown some promise as an effective treatment for the pain and swelling of the knees. The normal glucosamine sulfate dosage for osteoarthritis is 1500 mg once a day. The dose can be broken into 500 mg three times a day if necessary.


When an individual starts taking a glucosamine chondroitin supplement, he should be aware of side effects. In most cases, glucosamine chondroitin side effects are rare or mild. Drowsiness, headache, abdominal pain, and nausea or vomiting are the most common side effects reported. There have been rare cases in which glucosamine chondroitin sulfate supplements have caused an increase in blood pressure or changes in heart rhythm.

It is important that individuals with a shellfish allergy avoid glucosamine sulfate because most glucosamine supplements are made from shellfish. It is possible to find a non-shellfish source of glucosamine sulfate. Read the label carefully to uncover the source of glucosamine. If this information is not listed on the label, it may take a call to the manufacturer to find out if the supplement is made from shellfish.

An individual that is taking warfarin (Coumadin®) to thin the blood should not take glucosamine with or without chondroitin. Glucosamine sulfate can interact with warfarin by increasing its effect on blood clotting. The result could be an increased risk for bleeding which, in some cases, can be serious.



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