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Over the last 8 months I have started to do a lot of running (well - a lot for me). I have built myself up from someone who could not even run a kilometer, to regularly running 3 - 4 times each week, covering anywhere from 3 - 12 miles at a time.
I really enjoy my running and have been amazed by all the things that I have learnt about training, technique, clothing, strategy, and nutrition so far.
Unfortunately back in March I started to get a lot of pain around my ankles and around my hips, and after trying cod liver oil capsules, which did not make any noticeable difference, I happened by complete chance to come across Glucosamine Sulphate, after I saw a free sample offer on the MSE (Money Saving Expert) Site, and so I decided to look into it before ordering my sample from ZIPVIT.
Glucosamine is found naturally within the body. It is basically an amino sugar which contains sulphur and is used for growth and repair of connective tissues, joints and cartilage. As we get older though the substance starts to become quite scarce and so the cartilage begins to get thinner which can lead to arthritis. By taking Glucosamine it gets into the blood stream and finds its way into the tissues to help re-build the weakening cartilage.
Glucosamine actually comes from the ocean where it is extracted from the shells of crabs, lobsters and shrimps. It is therefore probably not a desirable product for vegetarians to take, depending on their view of shellfish, and the extent of the pain,and restrictions to general activities that they might be experiencing.
The tablets that I received from ZIPVIT came quite quickly, and so I started to take them immediately. It came with an extensive guide on glucosamine in general which was a really interesting read, along with ordering information for anyone wanting to order more after their free trial runs out. I was given a sample of 30 tablets of 1500 mg strength, and instructed to take 1 each day with a drink of water. The tablets are big, but have a break point across the centre of them to make them a bit smaller. I thought to myself when I received the sample that this stuff must be good for a company to offer out a free months sample with all the booklets, and postage costs etc to people, and I now understand why!
Within a few days of taking the glucosamine I couldn't tell any difference, but a week or so into the medication, my pain seemed to be disappearing, and towards the end of the 30 day trial I never noticed any pains or discomfort around my joints after even the longest and hardest of runs that I had done to date.
Once my sample ran out I didn't bother buying any more, and continued with my running, thinking that I had been 'fixed' and no longer needed this treatment any more.
A couple of weeks later the same pains started to re-appear around my hips, and so I purchased some more from Sainsbury's, and yet again the pain started to subside.
I know keep a tub of glucosamine tablets in my cupboard, and just take one every couple of days, and this seems to be working well for me. I would perhaps take 1 a day if they were not so expensive, but to be honest I'm not a big fan of taking tablets, and so just taking the odd one every now and then fits better with me.
Glucosamine sulphate tablets can really vary in price and so it is very important to shop around for a good deal. I have seen them at over £10 for a pack of 30 tablets, and at best they can be picked up for around £3 for the same amount of tablets. It is also available in a combination capsule, containing both glucosamine and cod liver oil, which I want to try next time I run out of my current supply. As usual the most cost effective way to buy these tablets is in bulk, if you can afford the outlay in one hit. It is quite common to be able to pick up a large tub containing 180 tablets for around the £10 price mark, which is good value as this will last for 6 months. The are readily in shops such as Boots and Holland and Barretts, along with most major supermarkets.
Overall I have to say that glucosamine sulphate seems to work really well for me. I was getting to the point with my running where I was seriously thinking of packing it all in, as the pain for a few days after a run was starting to get unbearable. I am now enjoying my running again, and more importantly suffering very little in the form of aching bones and joints in the days that follow a run. I'm glad I spotted this free trial as it highlighted glucosamine to me, as I had not heard of it before.
For anyone interested in trying Glucosamine Sulphate tablets, they should be aware that the tablets generally come with the following standard warning on their containers:
Not suitable for children under 12 years.
Before taking this product please consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any medication or are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to become pregnant, have diabetes or taking warfarin or other blood thinning medications.
Do not exceed the stated dose.
Store in a cool, dry place away from children.
Do not use if seal is broken
Not suitable for Vegetarians
Thanks for reading.
© L500589 2013
I wouldn't consider myself to be old, being in my late twenties, however over the past couple of years, I have had great trouble with my knees. I enjoy walking and try to get out for a walk everyday, but it isn't this time that I feel my the pain in my knees, it is when I go to sit down, or climb the stairs or bend my knees to get something, and I get pain and soreness in my knees. At first I thought I had just got a bit stiff, but when it continued to cause me pain and actually seem to get worse, I started to worry had I early signs of arthritis, as both my parents have this.
I'm not a huge fan of taking a lot of medication, partly because I find it difficult to swallow tablets, but also because I don't like putting anything unnecessary into my body. I must have got my views from my Mum as she is a big fan of natural remedies, and it was her that first suggested that I try glucosamine to help give me some relief from my knees, as she takes it for the arthritic pains she gets in her thumb, and feels that is works wonders. With nothing to lose I thought I would give it a go.
Glucosamine is also a substance that occurs naturally within the body and is made from glucose and animo acid glutamine. Glucosamine is however essential within the body to produce other molecules that help repair cartillage, as since supply of glucosamine within the body appears to decline with age, it isn't much wonder signs of arthritis can appear. Glucosamine is obtained from the shells of shellfish, however you can get shellfish free glucosamine - I have no idea how that works but I am no scientist!
Glucosamine is mainly used for those with arthritis, however recently there seems to have been more negative press about this product in that studies claim that it doesn't have the positive effect that many claim, yet there are also more complementary studies supporting the benefits.
As I said at the beginning, I don't like swallowing tablets, and the tablets of Glucosamine that I take, of which there are two a day, are big, however I never seem to have any problems swallowing these fortunately. Within several weeks of me taking glucosamine I could feel a huge difference in terms of the pain in my knees, especially when climbing stairs or bending, and as the weeks went on, it got to the stage I never felt my knees at all.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was advised by the midwife to stop taking glucosamine as there was no research to date to suggest whether taking glucosamine would be harmful or not to an unborn baby. Although I obviously didn't want my baby to come to any harm, I was aware that if I were to stop taking glucosamine my sore knees would return, and worse, with an extra weight to carry around this would only add more pressure to the knees. So heeding the advice, I didn't take glucosamine during the first three to four months, and after that I only took the occasional tablet, in the futile hope that it would keep some of it in my body to keep my knees as pain free as possible. NOw, I was very fortunate that I didn't end up suffering from sore knees at any point during my pregnancy, however, a few weeks after giving birth, the knee pain returned, stronger than ever. So much so, that when I even sat down at the toilet, I could feel my knees as I sat.
So, I was back on the glucosamine again, and although it took slightly longer this time, I am not practically pain free in my knees again, that is with me taking glucosamine every day. I could feel the gradual improvement in the pain after a few weeks again, and it is only if I were to crouch down that I would still get a little bit of pain, but I hope that it will go like it did before.
All in all, for those who suffer sore knees, and want to avoid conventional medicine, I can honestly vouch for glucosamine as a supplement, as there is absolutely no denying the results in my case. There was a huge difference in the pain in my knees the first time after I used this, and now again after having to stop taking it during pregnancy, I am starting to feel my knees becoming pain free again. Without this, I would be straight to the doctor.
I've been taking glucosamine for six years now and have found it extremely beneficial. I have rheumatoid arthritis and although glucosamine is more widely associated with its beneficial effects for osteo arthritis it can still be useful. At the tender age of 41 I had to have a total hip replacement and when talking to the consultant after the operation he revealed that the damage to my hip was of the wear and tear variety normally found in osteo patients. Knowing that glucosomine was thought to help with cartilege wear and tear I decided to take it to protect my joints. Further x-rays have confirmed that my other hip is still functioning well and I put this down, in part, to glucosomaine.
It has had no adverse effects even at higher doses, although the pills themselves are rather large to swallow. It is worth shopping around as prices vary enormously although high street stores often have them on special offer.
A while back I worked for a vitamin and supplement company and we sold more glucosamine than anything else. Virtually every customer wanted to get their hands on this magic product and we regularly sold out.
I myself started using glucosamine for a knee problem. I knew it was alleged to help rebuild cartilage and I'd had a persistant pain in my knee since a lunging incident in the gym where I lost my balance with rather alot of weight on my shoulders.
I bought 1,000mg strength, the maximum dose is 1,500mg a day so I thought I'd start at 1,000mg and move up to maximum dose if necessary.
Glucosamine is usually derived from shellfish so if you have an allergy to shellfish it's best to seek out the vegetarian glucosamine which I believe is derived from corn. So it is suitable for practically everyone.
It takes about 3-6 weeks to become effective and I noticed the pain had decreased after about a month. I continued to take it for the next few months and the pain totally disappeared, just like all the pensioners we dealt with at work had reported about their arthritis pain!
So having had good results myself I recommended it to my brother who had back pain. I want to add at this point it doesn't help all problems, it really depends on the source of the pain, I have a back problem it doesn't touch because mine is caused by clinical instability but for people with arthritis in their backs, fingers, knees etc it is very useful.
My brother ordered some and tried it too. His back pain disappeared within 6 weeks. However, he left ordering his next batch too late and had to wait for new stock to arrive and his back pain started creeping back in once he wasn't taking glucosamine so I think it's something you have to take forever to maintain results. His pain disappeared again after a few weeks back on the tablets.
Glucosamine is extraordinarily good at reducing arthritic pain, just one tablet a day is enough to help as long as the problem is not instability, infection etc. I've recommended it to many people over the years with some very good feedback. The customers at the supplement company I worked for usually reported excellent results with it and none of us have had any problems taking it long-term.
I even recommended it to a friend whose dog had been diagnosed with arthritis of the hips, in a lower dose of course, and she rang to tell me he wasn't limping anymore after a couple of months so it's useful for animals too!
The price of glucosamine does vary wildly however, I've seen companies selling a 60 day bottle for £25 and others selling 90 tablets for £40 but I believe I've found the cheapest supplier on the internet and buy a years supply of 1,000mg for £9.99 from www.zipvit.co.uk.
It is available in liquid form too if you don't like tablets and as long as you don't exceed the 1,500mg dose per day seems perfectly safe. A temporary side effect in the first few days is an upset stomach but if you do encounter this it usually passes after your body becomes accustomed to the tablets.
I highly recommend it especially now the weather is cooling off!
before i go on can i please just say many people have told me i need to write longer reviews, i have trouble writing what i do, i cant use my hands, and rely on a helmet with a stick on with which i type. so i do try my best to type for as long as i can.
i take this stuff myself, and used to be a nures.
So I know, unlike some poeple who dont realise. that the recommended dose to take is 1000mg a day.
now you can get this stuff in the pound shops, but dont be fooled, read the label, it'll say 100mg, yeah like im gonna take 10 a day!
you can take 1500 or 2000mg a day if needs be.
I've personally recommended this stuff to 16 people so far, only two said they felt no benefit, but one's the sort of person who nothing works for anyway!
This stuff really does help ease joint aches pain and stiffness.
You dont realise it at first, but stop taking it for a day or two and you realise how much it was actually working for you.
I swear by the stuff, and think supplements are better than artificail drugs, cos i take like 28 pills a day, without my pain killers! ( yes i rattle when i bounce)
IF YOU'RE Going to get this stuff then bear in mind you want a fairly decent brand name, as anything you get hwat you pay for.
you can pick this up cheap from places like savers, superdrug etc, or you can get good deals on ebay, i just got a whole year supply for under £15, which is far better than the £9.99 a month it cost me from health shops.
I noticed the beenfit in only tow days of taking this stuff, it works that quickly, and i sure do pay if i miss a dose or two, i got back to being achey and stiff and have painfull jints.
this stuff isnt just for arthritis, it's a great supplement for repairing and mainiting joints.
There is a saying in Wales: old age doesnt come on its own.
After arriving on the wrong side of 25 (as my mother says, its all downhill from there), my joints started playing up, almost on cue. To be more precise, they made rather alarming clicking and popping sounds at irregular intervals, loud enough for other people to look at me as if I was about to crumble into dust in front of them. Most of these incidences werent painful (thankfully), but the development of these bizarre noises did trouble me, as you might expect. I had always been used to my left wrist causing me problems - I had broken it badly as a child and the fracture slipped when setting and the aches, pains, cracking sounds and general weakness from this joint were unfortunately quite normal for me. Equally, my knee had not been quite right since I sprained it a couple of years ago (I should really have been given crutches, as Im sure walking around on it did me no good at all). I had previously consulted doctors on these matters, and they had been dismissed time and again as just one of things. The best I got was a cheerful, youll probably get arthritis in that wrist when youre older, you know. Gee, thanks.
My latest foray to the medical profession about my dodgy joints came about six months ago. As some of you may know, I am currently writing my PhD thesis, which involves considerable amounts of typing as a result of which, I had strained my good wrist. <Sigh>. This doctor finally took my problems seriously though, bundling me off to a physiotherapist and urging me to take glucosamine sulphate. Which brings me to the point of this review. I have been taking glucosamine daily on this advice ever since that appointment and after half a year, I feel able to pass on my considered opinion on this product.
But what on Earth is glucosamine sulphate?
Glucosamine is an extract taken from shellfish, strangely enough. Yes, that surprised me, too! Our bodies need glucosamine to maintain healthy cartilage, tendons and other joint tissues. We do make it ourselves, but the ability to manufacture adequate amounts of it can be lost, and it is currently believed that this could be a trigger for joint pain and degenerative joint disease. There is no natural food source for glucosamine, which is why it has to be manufactured from shellfish.
This supplement has been studied in humans for over 40 years, producing good evidence that it is beneficial to joints, promoting good function and mobility by providing the proper material for repair and rebuilding of connective tissues. Taking supplements of it has been proven to regrow cartilage and be effective in reducing joint pains; studies of arthritis patients have found it to be at least as effective as aspirin and ibuprofen in controlling pain, and without most of the side effects associated with these drugs. This is not to say that glucosamine acts as an analgesic rather, it repairs the part of the joint that was causing the pain in the first place. Therefore, glucosamine doesnt just mask pain; it actively helps your body to tackle the root cause of the problem. The link between glucosamine and arthritis was particularly important for me as I do have a family history of arthritis. My doctor did suggest to me that taking glucosamine may have a preventative effect in this regard, but I have found no scientific studies to back this up. This aspect of glucosamine is still unproven.
Glucosamine sulphate has a very good safety record and it can be tolerated very well by most people (around 95% of the population). However, you should consult your doctor if you are allergic to shellfish (the source of the supplement) or are diabetic (as glucosamine is a type of sugar), and pregnant women should avoid it altogether. I have heard of some American manufactures managing to produce glucosamine from corn, but I dont know if it is available in the UK yet or how affective it is.
So what is my considered opinion? Well, after six months of pill-popping my joints do feel better. My left wrist, which usually aches over winter, didnt this year and my joints pop and click far less than they did before I started to take glucosamine. The two joints I damaged are not 100%, but there is certainly a noticeable improvement. I should mention that some other factors may have contributed to this improvement - I have lost weight and have been doing the exercises that my physiotherapist gave me so these improvements might not be wholly attributable to taking glucosamine. However, I have felt it to be beneficial and I would happily recommend it to any readers with similar problems, but please remember to consult your GP first, especially if you are already on medication. Although this is an over-the-counter and generally safe supplement, it is always good to take medical advice before starting such a course.
Glucosamine sulphate supplements are very widely available. My advice for selecting one is:
1. Choose products made by established companies that you have heard of. Some poor quality products contain up to 30% salt.
2. Most places recommend a dosage of at least 1000mg to get the benefits I mention above. However this can mean quite large tablets that are difficult to swallow, so you may want to look for a brand that offers tablets with a break line (such as Vega) or give you several smaller tablets to take over the course of the day. Liquid glucosamine is also available, but this costs more than tablets.
3. Prices vary widely, so shop around (although make sure you are comparing the same strength products).
4. If you have any queries about strength or ingredients, consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
5. Be prepared to buy at least a months worth of tablets. It will take at least this long to assess whether they benefit you or not (preferably, go for 6 weeks to 2 months before making your mind up).
The major problem associated with taking glucosamine is the cost of it: it is classified as a supplement, so will never be available on prescription or through medical insurance. If you want it, you have to pay for it! As a price guide, you will be looking to pay in the region of £10 to £20 a month for a supply of tablets, depending on their strength. As you can see, products vary widely, so you need to make sure you know what you want:
1. Holland & Barrett: £19.99 for 60 tablets (1000mg)
2. Health Perception Glucosamax: £19.99 for 30 tablets (1500mg)
3. Pharmacy 2 U: £11 for 90 tablets (1000mg)
4. Boots: £8.99 for 30 tablets (750mg)
Jody, my Jack Russell Terrier is getting old, and it hurts. It doesn't hurt Jody, but when I remember her age a knot of fear tightens inside me. Until recently the fact that she will be 14 soon was a natural passing of time and this is a breed which has a superb record of longevity. I had noticed somewhere in the back of my mind that over the past few months she had started walking behind me rather than tearing at full speed ahead, and that my quiet "Jody!" no longer brought a response which had her flying downstairs to see what I wanted - or more importantly what I had to offer her. She is becoming a little deaf and I need a louder voice or more insistent tone to attract her attention. Actually a strident "Oi!" works best when we are out and about. The real shock of recognition came when she needed a couple of attempts to jump on to the back seat of my little Ka and that, like me, the trip upstairs to bed at the end of the day was taken more slowly. Thus I saw clearly for the first time that what 14 years old really meant was that, at best, I had only 3 or 4 years left with my dear friend. I love Jody for herself, as do all who know her. However, she was also my late husband's dog and the last living reminder of him. So to actually see that time is flying by produces an almost daily depression for me. Since dogs live one day at a time, I cannot let her know my sadness. She has no pain, and growing stiffness has been taken care of for some time by the magnetic collar that she wears. All I can do is make darn sure that her quality of life for these last years is at an optimum. Of course if I felt that it were necessary or helpful Jody would have been in the vet's surgery by now. But I am not happy with the thought of drugs unless there is an actual condition to be cured or put into remission. I have been through the business of allowing a dog on lifetime steroids, knowing that this life was thu
s shortened but symptom - free. Before I made an appointment, therefore, I cast my mind back to all the things that I had been told about Glucosamine Sulphate and then, as we do, dived into the net. I wanted to know what Glucosamine was, that it was a natural remedy and it's availability. I also wanted to research as many valid reports as I could about it's efficacy and any side-effects. I found that there are many suppliers of Glucosamine, many of whom have a section for dogs, cats and horses. I was aware that this treatment had already been used for horses before it became popular as an aid for other animals and then human arthritis sufferers. Glucosamine is a sugar, produced naturally in the body. With age this production and it's protection of the joints diminishes. Glucosamine Sulphate as a dietary supplement, together with it's synagynistic partner Chondroitin Sulphate, aids repair of the cartilege in joints and helps maintain the lubricating Synovial Fluid. Several independent sources stressed that pills cannot be as easily absorbed or are as effective as liquid. My first choice was Cortaflex, mainly because it was distributed from a UK company, and I paid £22.50 for 47 days supply which arrived a day or two later. The mixture is palatable (smells like cough medicine) and Jody had her first dose of a teaspoonful on her dinner a month ago. Very little difference was noticeable over the following couple of weeks, although I found that she had managed to climb onto my rather high settee by herself. However, she still needed a little help when jumping on to the back seat of the car or on the bed of a night. This is mildly upsetting anyway, as I need to be sensitive to Jody's feelings in this matter. Jody may love to cuddle into laps, but will not permit being picked up. To be lifted from her feet does terrible things to her dignity and results in a small, but heavy dog wriggling and struggling to be set
down. It seems such a short time ago that once released she would do a "wall of death" run around the house. Lately she just walked away looking miffed. It used to be heaven to stroll down the 400 yards or so with my horse from stableyard to field, up and down an undulating farm track with wild flowers either side and stunning views below us. Jody would run ahead looking pleased with herself if she set up a pheasant. On the way back in the evening she would trot easily behind the horses, a stocky little white creature wearing a satisfied grin on her face. Now she was way behind, and even stopped at times and waited to meet me halfway on the return journey. It was breaking my heart, and I only took her with me to keep the exercise going for her. A week ago the Glucosamine kicked in. At first it was Jody's ability to see herself into the car, then to keep up with me on the farm. A few days ago I left her as usual on the front doorstep while I opened the car door. I called her and she ran down the drive and leapt straight on to the seat. What is more, she was ahead of Ben and I as we walked to his field. The following evening as I was dooyooing I heard an impatient shuffle by my side. Jody was sitting, ears erect and a huge hopeful grin on her face asking for a "bicky". She just didn't look old any more. As I stood up she turned and flew to the cupboard door. I threw the bonio down the hall and she raced after it. A few minutes later this dooyooer was reading and rating with tears trickling down her face. This morning Jody ran backwards and forwards down the farm track and I have promised her that we shall go for a long walk along the riverside. The strange thing is that I have regained my own energy as the depression has lifted. During the time that I waited for the Glucosamine to work, I continued to research. I found the most useful website for me was that of the Arthritis and Glucosamine R
esource Centre on http://www.arthritis-glucosamine.net/pet-arthritis. This site lists various named products which it has tested with a detailed report and star rating on each; so I ordered the most favoured product from the manufacturer's website. However, this was before Jody's improvement had shown with use of the Cortaflex. It would take many thousands of words to reproduce the information on this supplement, so I would advise using the extensive web pages. A Daily Mail article states "Vets advise that Glucosamine should be tried before the onset of arthritis if pain is to be avoided." I believe that I have done that for Jody. I don't believe that she has the condition, just that her joints were stiffening with age and eventually more obvious symptoms would have shown themselves. Wih regard to side-effects, it appears that MSM (Mucopolysaccarides) used by some manufacturers can cause stomach upsets. These additives are in the one Jody has been using with no apparent problems. For Jody there is the well being that comes from easy action. For me there is now the ability to forget her age and just enjoy every moment of our daily lives together. Update. This is almost unbelievable. The Synflex I ordered over the web came just over a week ago. This was £19 (just over $30) and lasts 180 days. I changed to this and don't know if this had the effect or the Cortiflex. I tend to think it is the Synflex. This morning I brought Jody in soaking wet (a few weeks ago I wouldn't have risked her joints getting wet) and had to hold her down to dry her. When released she did her first "wall of death" for months. By this I don't mean she actually runs round the walls, but close to it. A frantic rush around the house and up and down stairs, doing "handbrake turns" to stop crashing into walls. A few minutes of this releases the happy excess energy and she stands panting and laughi
ng. This stuff works!
Glucosamine is a dietary supplement which aids the fight against arthritis.