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Glucosamine: joint help or supplement hype?


With my recent amped-up workout routine I've noticed some next-day knee pain after particularly hard workouts. Some friends of mine suggested taking glucosamine every day to aid with the aches.

As a typical skeptic, I  jumped onto Google and did some inspecting about the effectiveness of glucosamine. I should have expected I'd find totally conflicting information on the internet.

I reached out to Mark Stovak, MD, medical director of Via Christi’s Sports Medicine program. The first thing Dr. Stovak told me about glucosamine is that anyone on a blood thinner or who has shellfish allergies should completely avoid taking glucosamine. The supplement can interfere with blood thinners or cause an allergic reaction for those with allergies.

Anyone having surgery (i.e. athletes, very often) needs to quit a glucosamine regimen at least a month before surgery as it could affect the blood. Dr. Stovak also added that although evidence based medicine cannot wholly support the use of glucosamine pills to reduce joint pain, there are a number of patient testimonials indicating that consistent use can be effective.

I won't know whether it works for me unless I give it a shot myself. Have you had any success with glucosamine for achy joints?