As there are few natural food sources of glucosamine, taking a supplement is the most effective way of getting this nutrient. Glucosamine tablets have traditionally been sourced from shellfish, although there are now vegetarian and vegan shellfish-free options available derived from corn. To date most studies researching the benefits of glucosamine on joint pain in humans have focused on glucosamine sulphate, although there are other forms including glucosamine hydrochloride, which also have pain-relieving effects. N-acetyl glucosamine has been studied for its potentially therapeutic effects on arthritic disease or degenerative joint disease, and is absorbed when applied topically to the skin.
Glucosamine can be taken in tablet or capsule form, liquid or applied in a gel. To boost its joint health benefits as well as partnering up with chondroitin, vitamin C is often added to help support collagen formation, necessary for the normal functioning of cartilage and bones.
For the last few years, glucosamine has held dual status as a medicine and a health supplement, but in the spring of 2019 the MHRA (the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) significantly lowered the dose at which glucosamine products are classed as a medicine - the maximum allowable level in a food supplement is now 1,325mg.
Although there is no official recommended dosage for glucosamine in trials, daily amounts of between 1,500mg-3,000mg were taken safely in split dosages, generally with 1,200mg of chondroitin. Do allow around four weeks for the supplements to become effective and take with food to help increase their absorption.