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Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCL) and Joint Pain

  • Starting dose of glucosamine 2000-3000 mg per day for 1-3 months to see if there is an effect on your joints (powder or capsules) - then taper to maintenance dose.
  • Maintenance dose of glucosamine after pain reduction is1000-1500 mg per day.
  • Joint supportive nutrients - flaxseed, fish oil, primrose oil, MSM, niacimamide, zinc, copper, manganese, boron, ginger, boswellia.
  • Eliminate caffeine, alcohol, soft drinks, red meat, dairy products, eggs, grains (except rice), soy, peanuts, oranges, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant and refined sugar for 1month.
  • Exercise and stretch daily in a manner that does not cause pain.

What is glucosamine?

Glucoasamine is a naturally occurring substance in the body found primarily in cartilage and plays an important role in maintaining cartilage health and function. The production of glucosamine from glucose and glutamine is the rate limiting step in glycosaminoglycan synthesis and therefore the building and rebuilding of cartilage. Glucosamine is needed to make glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are proteins that make up the "ground substance" of cartilage. These proteins bind water in the cartilage matrix. These glycosaminoglycans form the tissue that binds collagen. Together, collagen and glycosaminoglycans maintain and rebuild cartilage. Glucosamine from either glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine sulfate has been shown to regenerate cartilage and exhibit some antiinflammatory effects.

What is glucosamine usually made from?

Normally it is made from the shells/waste of crustaceans (shrimp, crab, lobster, etc.). The glucosamine HCL used in Prescription 2000's powder or capsules is derived from corn. Through a wet milling process, the starch is extracted and then enzymatically broken down to sugar (glucose), which goes through a fermentation process, and then a patent pending process which makes the glucosamine HCL. This product is free of animal products and any corn constituents.

Can you be "allergic" to glucosamine?

There is a possibility that if you are allergic to shellfish that you might react to glucosamine sulfate or hydrochloride produced from shellfish waste. It is very unlikely that you would be allergic to glucosamine hydrochloride made from sugar that came from corn, which has goes through a fermentation and patent pending process, and batches of this product have been tested for corn DNA and none has been found (Prescription 2000's glucosamine capsules or powder).

What is the difference between glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate?

Recent studies have shown that glucosamine, in both forms, has provided relief from arthritis pain. (Pr J Sports Med 2003; 37; 45-49). In comparing these two specific forms of glucosamine, pure glucosamine hydrochloride is typically about 83% glucosamine base while glucosamine sulfate is typically 65% glucosamine base (Physicians Desk Reference for Nutritional Supplients, 1st_Edition, 186-189). Furthermore, this source states that "the counter anion of the glucosamine salt (i.e. chloride or sulfate) is unlikely to play any role in the action or pharmacokinetics of glucosamine."Glucosamine sulfate has been studied more than glucosamine HCL since glucosamine sulfate is the more commonly used form of glucosamine and is derived from the abundance of shellfish waste.

What is glucosamine used for?

Glucosamine has been used to treat forms of degenerative arthritis, or the arthritis that occurs from a gradual loss of cartilage that protects your joints, especially the weight-bearing joints such as the knees and hips. People who have used glucosamine have anecdotally stated that glucosamine sulfate or hydrochloride has improved pain in other joints such as the back, hands, shoulders, elbows and neck. The research on glucosamine has mostly dealt with studies of the knees and weight bearing joints.

Can glucosamine "cure" arthritis or joint pain?

No, glucosamine can't cure arthritis. It is believed to have an antiinflammatory effect, and also it may have some cartilage rebuilding potential, though these are still debatable. Glucosamine seems to consistently reduce the degree of pain in people who take it, but the degree of pain relief varies.

How long do you need to take glucosamine before you see benefit?

You should see benefit between 1 and 3 months. If there is no improvement in 3 months then glucosamine probably will not help you.

What dose of glucosamine should be used?

Most studies use 1500-2000 mg per day. 1500 mg per day is the most common dose. Dosages in the 3000 mg per day range have been used safely. Maintenance doses of 750 to 1500 mg per day have been used. We recommend starting with 3000 mg per day of the glucosamine capsules or powder for 1-3 months until some relief of pain has begun, then taper the dose down by 500-1000 mg per day until a maintenance dose is achieved between 1000 and 1500 mg per day. Our 1000 mg capsules allow for a single daily dose in those who have achieved their level of maintenance pain relief.

Are there other nutrients that are free of animal products that can help reduce joint pain?

Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids (flax 1 tablespoon/d, marine algae DHA 1000-3000 mg/d), omega 6 fatty acids (primrose oil) 3-6 capsules/d, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) 1000-500 mg/d, zinc 10-20 mg/d, copper 1-2 mg/d, manganese 5-10 mg/d, boron 1-2 mg/d, niacinamide 1500-3000 mg/d, ginger 1-2 g/d, tumeric extract 500-1000 mg/d boswellia extract 500-1000 gm/d, and avocado/soy unsaponifiables 600 mg/d are all substances that can help reduce inflammation and improve joint pain.

Can diet help reduce the pain in my joints?

Although this is debated, there is no question from listening to patients and reviewing medical studies that diet can influence joint pain. A trial elimination diet of 3-4 weeks is safe, cost effective, and can be of considerable benefit in reducing joint pain. Frequently a committed elimination diet can reduce joint pain by 10-70% alone. If food reactions are found and treated this will not only save costs in testing but also treatment and side effects associated with drugs.

Should I talk to my doctor about taking glucosamine?

Absolutely yes! Many joint specialists (orthopedists and rheumatologists) are recommending glucosamine. Your physician should know about any supplients your are taking whether he has experience with them or not.

Can you give a sample elimination diet that may help reduce joint pain?


  • A one month trial elimination diet is recommended.
  • Avoid coffee, caffeine-containing drinks, soft drinks, alcohol, recreational drugs and smoking.
  • Eliminate red meats, dairy products (cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, etc), eggs, all grains and pastas (except rice), peanuts, soy, cashews, oranges, bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant for 3-4 weeks.
  • Optional but recommended - eliminate all flesh foods.
  • Drink water, sparkling waters, non-caffeinated teas, and non-sugared juices in moderation.
  • Eat only whole foods. Canned beans, prepackaged salads, greens, and vegetables are acceptable. Frozen fruit and vegetables are acceptable.
  • Eat 2 large servings (bowls) of green vegetables daily - cooked or raw.
  • Eat as much raw or cooked orange-yellow vegetables as possible.
  • Eat 2-4 whole fruits per day.
  • Eat 1-2 palm fulls of nuts or seeds per day. (For weight loss small palm full)
  • Eat 1-3 cups of beans per day.(For weight loss 1 cup)
  • Eat 1-2 cooked cups of rice per day. (For weight loss 1 cup or eliminate)
  • Keep a food/symptom diary that has the headings: date, time, weight, food, symptom, exercise across the page.
  • Move everyday for at least ½ -1 hour in ways that don't hurt your joints. Non-pain movement helps joint pain.
  • A basic high potency multivitamin/mineral is recommended with extra calcium/magnesium (1000/800-600 mg) if one chooses not to eat a lot of green vegetables rich in calcium and magnesium.