Glucosamine Sulphate – Miracle or Placebo?

Sports and injuries have always gone hand in hand. Whether it is on-field games or lifting weights, one has to abide by the injuries that happen along the course, be it during training or during the actual performance. Luckily, every problem has a solution, and when it comes to injuries affecting the back or the knee, the one word that really comes to our mind is – Glucosamine Sulfate!

Going by the trends so far, yes, it is a good supplement, but then a niggling question does pop up at the end of the day – Is glucosamine sulfate really magical, or just a hype that is being propagated by few enthusiastic minds? Why is it that every other person suffering from osteoarthritis wants to try it? Why should a person with back pain go for it? Well, before going into the ‘why’s and ‘how’s, let’s first try finding out the ‘what’s of this much-touted remedy.

What is Glucosamine Sulfate?

Glucosamine sulfate is an amino sugar found in and around the fluid and tissues that cushion our joints.

Glucosamine sulfate supplements are often made of shellfish. Now, there lies the supposed logic behind the exaggeration of this supplement’s capacity to speed up the injury healing and curing process. As a matter of fact, it has been shown to lessen the symptoms caused by an injury to the affected joints or tissue during arthritis. However, the fact remains that there is no clinical evidence of glucosamine sulphate successfully reversing such conditions.

Glucosamine Sulfate – Is this a placebo, or is this for real?

Now we can quickly move onto the next point that excites our curiosity – the ‘placebo effect’ theory of glucosamine sulfate. Just like every other person would advise you to get on the treadmill and reduce the quantity of ghee/butter if you wanted to burn that stubborn fat around your midsection, the general public opinion has been overwhelmingly similar when it comes to the curing effects of glucosamine for arthritis or back pain or any related injury! Sadly, it is true that most of us have a tendency of getting blindly influenced by public opinion and end up using substances with no tangible medical proof or backing to their claims. And yet, the use of these substances often leads to an improvement in our conditions! That is what is called a ‘placebo effect.’

We may not know the exact reason why a complete ‘powerless’ remedy (the placebo) sometimes has the most powerful positive effects, yet experts attribute it to the mind- body interaction. (Recall the time when you bought whey protein powder to get those giant biceps!)

The Final Verdict

The verdict, therefore, is that it is undeniably true that there are several benefits of glucosamine sulfate, but it’s important to understand the physiological conditions and factors that act as a support environment to it (therefore bringing about its success,) before we draw a final conclusion.

Lastly, since we cannot completely disregard the benefits of glucosamine sulphate as a supplement, let us note down a few pointers related to its usage –

 

  • Glucosamine sulphate is no magic wand to heal injuries.
  • It can be used to reduce the symptoms caused by arthritis.
  • It’s not a foolproof, research-backed solution to completely eliminate arthritis.
  • It is not a standalone remedy for chronic back or joint pain.
  • With strong support of correct nutrition, rest, and good hydration levels, it can be helpful in reducing the pain caused due to mild injuries like lower back spasm, or joint pain – provided that other medications needed are on point.

 

Article Credits – Shanu Shashank

References:

https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/complementary-and-alternative-medicines/cam-report/complementary-medicines-for-osteoarthritis/glucosamine/glucosamine-sulphate-oa.aspx

http://www.arthritis-allergy.net/index.php/articles-and-publications/arthritis-articles2/18-medications-supplementation/80-glucosamine-cure-or-hoax

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/glucosamine-sulfate-uses-and-risks#1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19903416

Shanu Shashank

Shanu Shashank

Hi All! I’m Shanu. I have been working as a Nutrition Expert with SQUATS for past more than a year and have been able to guide more than 300 people in this short span of time. As a person, I have always been enthusiastic about fitness and sports, with cricket being my first passion. I also have a transformation story. I transformed myself from a 47 kg skinny guy to what I am today, with a much better and muscular physique. During my journey, it was reading that always stood by me and opened my eyes to a deeper awareness of the human body. As a Fitmag Author, it has been my aim to help others through my writings, and with Fitmag serving as the best online platform that makes fitness accessible to EVERY man and woman out there, it becomes easier to reach out to those that need help and support! I love writing as much as I love lifting. And I encourage you to read Fitmag and open your eyes to a better world and a better you!