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Scientific names: 2-Amino-2-deoxyglucose

Common names: Chitosamine

Efficacy rating:

ÒÒÒ...Positive clinical trials

Safety rating:

...No safety concerns despite wide use.

What is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a building block of mucopolysaccharides, mucoproteins, and chitin. Chitin is a major structural component of the exoskeleton of yeasts, fungi, arthropods, and various marine invertebrates. It also occurs in other animals and members of the plant kingdom. Glucosamine is isolated from chitin and can also be prepared synthetically.

What is it used for?

General uses

Glucosamine has been investigated extensively for its action in osteoarthritis. However, there is a lack of consensus in clinical trials regarding its efficacy.

Glucosamine is commercially available alone or in combination with chondroitin sulfate (with or without mineral elements). Only studies evaluating the effect of glucosamine alone are discussed in this monograph.

What is the recommended dosage?

In clinical studies of arthritis, glucosamine dosage has typically been 1.5 g/day, as a single dose or in divided doses.

How safe is it?


No absolute contraindications have been identified.


Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.


None well documented.

Side Effects

Glucosamine is generally considered safe. Use caution when administering to persons with poorly controlled diabetes.


Mutagenicity studies are limited and conflicting.


  1. Glucosamine. Review of Natural Products. Facts & Comparisons 4.0. September 2007. Accessed October 16, 2007.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.