therefore cannot receive nutrients from the blood stream. It receives nutrients through body fluids, such as synovial fluid. This fluid protects the joints from excessive wear and tear by acting as a cushion. Pressure
on the joints moves this fluid portion of the cartilage about, helping distribute the available nutrition more easily. For this reason, movement and exercise help make your joints healthy.
Recent studies indicate that glucosamine raises fluid levels within the cartilage. Glucosamine helps attract and keep water in the joints where it can do the most good. Low water levels cause damage to the nerves in the joint due to a lack of resilience. The shock absorbing effect and the health of your joints depends on an adequate supply of fluid in the cartilage.
In addition to lessened nerve damage, higher fluid levels over several months allows the peripheral nervous system to re-grow into areas already damaged. Adequate glucosamine supplies can help rebuild your nervous system and cartilage. But is glucosamine supplementation a good idea?
Hazards of Glucosamine Supplementation
Studies have linked glucosamine to an increase in Type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that fat cells exposed to glucosamine, which directly enters and stimulates the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway, develop insulin resistance. In addition, activating the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway causes defects in insulin production and secretion. Stimulation of this pathway by glucosamine demonstrably causes death in both rodent and
human pancreatic b-cells, which store and release insulin and control the level of glucose in the blood. The liver maintains the base-line glucose level, while the b-cells respond quickly to spikes in blood glucose by releasing stored insulin and producing more.
B-cells also release C-peptide, which helps to prevent neuropathy and other symptoms of diabetes related to vascular deterioration. In addition, they produce amylin, or islet amyloid polypeptide. Amylin contributes to glycemic control by inhibiting the appearance of glucose in the plasma. It functions as a partner to insulin, which regulates long-term food intake; amylin decreases food intake in the short term.
In short, glucosamine appears to play a role in destroying the cells in the body that directly deal with glucose regulation in the body, which can result in Type 2 diabetes.
Producing Your Own Glucosamine
Stimulating your body to produce more of its own glucosamine safely protects it from a lack of glucosamine. Of the two basic ingredients of glucosamine—glucose and glutamine—glucose is abundant in the body. Glucose is the fundamental nutrient that circulates through the blood stream and feeds the body’s cells.
Glutamine is another story. Animal foods are usually the primary sources for glutamine, which is one of the primary amino acids. Your body can also produce glutamine when you eat foods high in glutamate, such as seaweed, parsley, spinach and cabbage.
MSG, monosodium glutamate, is also another source of glutamate. However, glutamate may be harmful since it is an excitotoxin. Excitotoxins can over-stimulate nerve cells to the point of death. So it is best to take in glutamate through natural food sources. The following are some good sources for more glutamate in your diet—as well as antioxidants, phytochemicals and minerals!
• Rich in chlorophyll, glutamate and iodine
- Antioxidant properties
- Reduce oxidative stress
• Many amino acids
- Promote bone and immune system health
- Helpful for chronic joint diseases
• High levels of phytoestrogens
• Rich in glutamate, chlorophyll, vitamin K and phytoestrogens
• Many essential amino acids
• Helps relieve arthritis symptoms
• Helps relieve inflammation
• Antioxidant property
• Fights free radicals
• Rich in glutamate, chlorophyll, vitamin K and other nutrients
• Rich in calcium and boron, which aids in metabolizing calcium
• High in flavonoids
• Aids in maintaining normal bone density
• Promotes immune system function
• Helpful for arthritis and rheumatism
• Rich source of glutamate and vitamin K
• Low vitamin K intake may lead to:
- Low bone mineral density
- Increased hip fracture risk
• High in chlorophyll, manganese, calcium and vitamin C
• Supports bone health
• Abundant in phytochemicals
• Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
Your body needs glucosamine to keep itself in good repair but, as you age, your systems slow down. Make sure your body has everything it needs to keep producing adequate amounts of glucosamine to keep you young and healthy!