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The Safety of Glucosamine

Two kids on a bicycle in the forest

We’ve all heard about the benefits of using Glucosamine (especially in conjunction with Chondroitin and MSM) to help treat sore and painful joints. We also think of Glucosamine as generally safe, it’s been rated a toxicity level 5 (on a scale of 0-100) by the Task Force of the European League against Rheumatism. In addition, recent OARSI (OsteoArthritis Research Society International) guidelines for hip and knee osteoarthritis also confirm its excellent safety profile, but have you ever heard much about the glucosamine side effects in humans? There are a few possible adverse affects you should be aware of when taking Glucosamine, most commonly are some mild reactions such as an upset stomach, constipation, diarrhea, and heart burn. Some rare reactions include headache, loss of appetite, rash (or other skin reactions) and drowsiness.

According to mayoclinic.com there is a possibility that taking Glucosamine Sulfate may increase your risk of bleeding. If you are someone with a bleeding disorder, or taking medications to control bleeding, take extra precautions and discuss with your doctor before taking a Glucosamine product. Another possible glucosamine side effect in humans discussed on mayoclinic.com is abnormally high levels of protein in a person’s urine, although “the clinical meaning of this is unclear.”

There is lots of discussion on the glucosamine side effects in humans who have an allergy to shellfish. Since most forms of Glucosamine are derived from shellfish (you can sometimes find it derived from corn) it would seem obvious that someone allergic to shellfish shouldn’t take it. However, Glucosamine is derived from the shells of the shellfish and most allergies are to the meat of the shellfish, based on this, according to the National Institute of Health “There are no reports of allergic reactions to glucosamine in people who are allergic to shellfish.” Nevertheless, caution should always be taken when dealing with your health, so always talk with your doctor before starting any medication or supplementation.

 

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