Natural Standard® Patient Monograph, Copyright © 2017 ( All Rights Reserved. Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.


Glucosamine is a compound that is naturally made in humans. It is involved in the creation of molecules that form cartilage.

Evidence supports the use of glucosamine sulfate in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. It is believed that the sulfate portion may help strengthen cartilage. If this is confirmed, it would mean that the glucosamine sulfate form is more effective than glucosamine without sulfate.

Glucosamine is often taken together with chondroitin, which comes from cartilage. The use of integrative therapies like glucosamine is often seen in people with osteoarthritis. These treatments may help reduce doses of drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs).

Glucosamine has also been studied for possible benefits on wound healing, skin conditions such as psoriasis, and the prevention of migraine. More research is needed in these areas.

Research shows that glucosamine is well tolerated for up to three years. However, people who are allergic to shellfish should avoid using it.

There have been concerns about the effects of glucosamine on insulin and blood sugar. However, some recent studies suggest that glucosamine may not affect these measures. This remains an area of controversy.

This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration