Glucosamine supplements have soared in in the last decade – in 2014 alone, its estimate that worldwide we ordered over 29,000 tons of the stuff! However, despite its new celebrity status, glucosamine still remains slightly controversial and the truth is that most of us don’t really know what the substance does or the best way to take it. That’s why today I’m going to have a chat about what glucosamine is, how it works, and why it’s a good idea to take it as a gel.
What is glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a chemical compound that is naturally found in the fluid surrounding your joints. It helps to support the health of your cartilage, the tissue that cushions your joints. The compound also helps with the synthesis of essential macromolecules like glycoproteins and glycolipids, which help to support your tendons and ligaments. Unfortunately our levels of glucosamine gradually decline as we age. This can lead to a breakdown in cartilage, making your joints more susceptible to wear, tear and pain.
Part of the reason that glucosamine has emerged in the public consciousness is because it’s believed that glucosamine supplements may be able to slow down this process. This makes the compound extremely popular with those that suffer from joint pan, such as patients of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
However, is glucosamine really that effective? Well, studies and opinions appear to vary greatly right across the board. Some research has found that glucosamine may be capable of preventing the breakdown of collagen, a key protein for your joints, as well as having a natural anti-inflammatory influence that may help to ease cases of joint pain and support healthy cartilage.
Nevertheless, most of the studies carried out around glucosamine that yield positive results tend to be small scale. It has been seen to help the symptoms associated with both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis but leading experts generally believe that larger studies need to be conducted before these benefits can be verified.
So, taking glucosamine on its own to cure all your joint related woes might not be the best idea. This is why glucosamine is frequently taken alongside other ingredients to help boost its potential healing properties!
Why use a glucosamine gel?
Traditionally, most glucosamine supplements come in the form of a tablet to be administered orally to help treat symptoms. Why change up this method in favour of a gel?
Well gels do have a few advantages over oral tablets. For example, in order to reap the benefits of an oral supplement, it first has to pass through your digestive system which can hinder your absorption of certain ingredients, especially if you suffer from a condition like IBS.
Gels do not have this problem as they are absorbed directly through the mucous membranes of your skin, straight into your bloodstream, bypassing your digestive system entirely. This also means that you may start to notice the benefits of the product sooner, giving you quicker relief!
Our favourite glucosamine gel
Okay, so now you understand the benefits of glucosamine and why gels may be a better option compared to the usual tablet supplements you often find on high street shelves. The next question you’re probably asking yourself is ‘what is the best glucosamine gel?’ Well, wonder no more as I introduce you to one of my favourite gels for sore joints and aching muscles - Optima’s Glucosamine Joint Complex!
This gel doesn’t just contain plenty of glucosamine, it also offers plenty of other nourishing ingredients too, including chondroitin, vitamin C and devil’s claw, which as I mentioned earlier, is definitely an advantage! These ingredients all have unique beneficial properties, with antioxidant vitamin C being able to boost your production of collagen while devil’s claw provides a potent anti-inflammatory action.
Not only does this make this Joint Complex extremely soothing, it also absorbs quickly without leaving any greasy residues behind! Definitely a five star product that ticks all of our boxes here at Jan de Vries!