Glucosamine is a compound found naturally in the body, made from glucose and the amino acid glutamine. Glucosamine is needed to produce glycosaminoglycans, a type of molecule used in the formation and repair of cartilage matrix, synovial fluid and other connective body tissues.
Glucosamine is a compound found naturally in the body, made from glucose and the amino acid glutamine. Glucosamine is needed to produce glycosaminoglycans, a type of molecule used in the formation and repair of cartilage matrix, synovial fluid and other connective body tissues. Production of glucosamine slows with age. Glucosamine is part of the structure of the polysaccharides chitosan and chitin, which compose the exoskeletons of crustaceans and other arthropods. It is produced commercially by the hydrolysis of crustacean exoskeletons.
Glucosamine is used by the horse to maintain and repair cartilage in its joints. It also plays an important part in controlling the inflammatory processes. Results from several well-designed scientific studies suggest that glucosamine supplements may be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis. Glucosamine would be able to reduce pain, improve function in horses with joint disease and reduce joint swelling and stiffness.
Since glucosamine is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans, and glycosaminoglycans are a major component of joint cartilage, supplemental glucosamine may help to prevent cartilage degeneration. Glucosamine is commonly taken in combination with chondroitin sulphate, another glycosaminoglycan. Use of complementary therapies, including glucosamine, is common in case of osteoarthritis, and may allow for reduced doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. As a horse gets older its natural production of glucosamine slows down - feeding a supplement can help protect a horse from the consequences of this ageing process. Furthermore, sport horses with repeated stress on their joints may benefit from glucosamine supplementation, to prevent degenerative process.