Last edited, 13 April 2020.

Do you know that our body can produce its own Glucosamine?

Replacing nutrients supposed to be secreted by the body can disrupt natural body processes, create imbalance in the body and cause dependence.

Glucosamine is ten times more potent than regular glucose in causing insulin resistance in animals.  High doses or prolonged use of glucosamine causes the death of pancreatic cells and could increase the risk of developing diabetes, according to scientific research.

Other concerns about manufactured glucosamine include shellfish allergy, contamination, ecological harm and effectiveness

What is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is an amino sugar produced naturally by the body from glucose (a sugar) and glutamine (an amino acid).  Glucosamine is needed to produce glycosaminoglycans, which are major components of cartilage.

Cartilage – The cushion for your joints  

Cartilage covers the ends of bones to prevent them from rubbing painfully against each other and to absorb shock as they move.  It requires glucosamine, which the body produces from glutamine (found in glutamine-rich plant foods) and glucose.

That’s not all.  The human body needs glucosamine to produce chemicals involved in building not only cartilage, but tendons, ligaments, synovial fulid (the thick fluid that surrounds joints), nails, skin, eyes and heart valves. 

Glucosamine helps cartilage absorb water and keeps joints lubricated.  It plays a role in the mucous secretion of digestive, respiratory and urinary tracts.  Glucosamine, a naturally occurring compound in the body, is important for the healthy growth of bones and joints in children so that they can grow tall.

People of all ages, from growing children to the elderly, need glucosamine for healhty joints.  As the body ages, it needs more antioxidants to help maintain healthy cell regeneration.  A plant-based diet rich in glutamine and antioxidants provides the body with material to stimulate glucosamine production and help prevent osteoarthritis.

What is chondroitin sulfate?

Chondroitin sulfate is a glycosaminoglycan that occurs naturally in the body.  It is a major component of cartilage. It helps to keep cartilage healthy by absorbing fluid (particularly water) into the connective tissue.  Chondroitin sulfate may also block enzymes that break down cartilage, and it provides the building blocks for the body to produce new cartilage.

Where does the glucosamine in Glucosamine Supplements come from?

Supplemental glucosamine is either derived from animal sources or made in the laboratory.  Glucosamine does not exist on its own in nature.

SourcesGlucosamine HydrochlorideGlucosamine SulfateChondroitin Sulfate
AnimalExtracted from chitin, a material present in the shells of shellfish e.g. crabs, lobsters and shrimpExtracted from chitin, a material present in the shells of shellfish e.g. crabs, lobsters and shrimp• Bovine cartilage
• Shark cartilage
Man-madeMade in the laboratory using fermented corn as partial materialMade in the laboratoryMade in the laboratory

Do plants contain glucosamine?

No.  Vegetarian glucosamine hydrochloride is made in the laboratory using fermented corn as partial material, and therefore cannot be considered as a natural source of glucosamine.

Do plants contain chondroitin sulfate?


Can the human body produce chondroitin sulfate?


What are the sources of chondroitin sulfate in supplemental chondroitin sulfate?

Supplemental chondroitin sulfate is derived from animal products or made in the laboratory.  It is often combined with glucosamine in joint health supplements.

Glucosamine Pills Interaction with Medication

Diabetes Medications

There has been concern that glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate may decrease the effectiveness of diabetes medications, and may increase blood sugar in people with diabetes.  Diabetics on glucosamine supplements should monitor their blood sugar closely.


Do not take glucosamine supplements if you are taking warfarin (brand name: Coumadin).  Warfarin is used to slow blood clotting.  Several reports show that taking glucosamine supplements with or without chondroitin increases the effect of warfarin, making blood clotting even slower.  This can cause serious bruising and bleeding.

Cancer Medications

Taking glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine sulfate along with some medications for cancer might decrease the latter’s effectiveness.

Glucosamine Sulfate

Glucosamine sulfate can cause some mild side effects including nausea, heartburn, diarrhea and constipation. Uncommon side effects are drowsiness, skin reactions and headache.

Avoid taking glucosamine sulfate while pregnant or breast-feeding.  There is currently insufficient reliable scientific information to know if glucosamine sulfate is safe to take during pregnancy or while breast-feeding.

Why are Wholesome Plant foods better for joint health?

Wholesome plant foods present nutrients in natural, balanced and safe combinations.

The right wholesome plant foods can stimulate the body to secrete glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to protect joints, especially when the body needs them.

Athough the elderly cannot secrete enough glucosamine, antixodants from plant foods can speed up its production.

Each plant food is a unique and balanced package of antioxidants, phytochemicals and polysaccharides to nourish the immune system and cartilage.

What increases the body’s need for glutamine?

The human body may need more glutamine than usual in cases of heavy exercise, infection, surgery, and trauma such as burn injury.  That is why it is important to nourish the body with a plant-based diet that is rich in glutamine.

What are some good Plant sources of glutamine?

Good plant sources of glutamine include brown algae, parsley and spinach.  Note that cooking destroys glutamine in vegetables.

What is Nutritional Immunology’s take on Glucosamine Supplementation?

Consuming any man-made substance or isolated chemicals without any side effects is virtually impossible.  This is because nature is complex beyond the comprehension of science.

Intake of isolated chemicals causes chain reactions in the human body that are often unpredictable and may have severe or long-term effects.  That is why wholesome plant foods are the safest sources of all biochemicals that the human body needs for healing, repair and maintenance. 

Nutritional Immunology advocates eating plant foods rich in glutamine, manganese and antioxidants to stimulate the human body’s natural production of glucosamine.