One of the most common dietary supplements sold in the US today is glucosamine. In fact, some estimate that glucosamine sales will total $757.3 million by 2022 (1).
However, if you were to do a quick Google search on the effectiveness of glucosamine, you would discover that the results vary.
If you are going to spend your hard earned money on a supplement, you would expect it to work. Unfortunately, when it comes to glucosamine, many are left disappointed by products that make big promises but fail to deliver.
Here are 3 reasons why glucosamine does not work for some people:
1.) Manufacturing Quality
Researchers at the University of Maryland conducted an analysis of meeting label claim on 32 different retail products labeled to contain glucosamine and/or chondroitin sulfate (2).
The results of the research found that the actual contents compared to what was claimed on the label ranged from 0% to over 115%. In other words, some products did not even have any of the listed ingredients while others exceeded the amounts listed on the label.
Additionally, the researchers evaluated the label claims based on the dollar value per serving and found, "products with a retail price of less than or equal to one dollar per 1200 mg of chondroitin sulfate were found to be seriously deficient in meeting label claim."
Even though the FDA requires that a product contains the actual ingredients at the doses indicated on the label (3), this study indicates that many products fail to do so! This means that customers who are interested in using glucosamine should purchase from a reputable manufacturer to ensure that there is actually glucosamine in the product.
Utzy Naturals conducts in-house laboratory testing to validate the potency and purity of each raw material, along with its genetic identity, when we receive raw materials from our vendors.
Additionally, Utzy's laboratory conducts post-production testing to ensure that each capsule contains the amount claimed on the label and performs shelf stability testing confirming that the listed dose is the active dose at expiration.
While Utzy has strict internal standards to ensure our facilities are cGMP compliant, we take our compliance a step further by submitting to annual NSF certification review. This additional scrutiny ensures that our products adhere to the strictest standards in the industry for quality and safety.
When you buy a product from Utzy, you can be confident to know that each capsule contains exactly what is on the label.
2.) Raw Material
There are two equally important components to a formula that influence its effectiveness - the raw materials and the dose provided.
The previously referenced study from the University of Maryland highlights the importance of the quality of raw materials used. In this particular study, the researchers investigated the absorption threshold of chondroitin sulfate and found the absorption of the raw material significantly decreased as the molecular weight increased.
While this particular study did not evaluate the glucosamine in each product, the investigation of the chondroitin sulfate underscores the importance of using a raw material that is processed in a way that the body will be able to absorb and utilize.
Anytime we develop a product at Utzy, we take into account the various facets unique to each raw material that influence the absorption and effectiveness of each ingredient in the body.
This is whyAgilen, Utzy's premier joint health formula, utilizes branded raw materials like CS b-Bioactive® and Mobilee®, two patented raw materials from BioIberica. These carefully processed raw materials are designed for optimal absorption and have strong clinical evidence in delivering desirable outcomes.
Glucosamine is oftentimes used as a stand-alone raw material with 1500 mg as a standard dose for most products. When you evaluate the evidence that suggests glucosamine to be ineffective, the research is typically looking at glucosamine as a stand-alone ingredient.
In 2006, the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that "Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate alone or in combination did not reduce [knee] pain effectively in the overall group of patients" (4).
An interesting thing to note is that the researchers continued their conclusions by stating that, "...the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may be effective in the subgroup of patients with moderate-to-severe knee pain."
In other words, glucosamine as a stand alone ingredient was found to be ineffective, however, when used in combination with chondroitin, those with moderate-to-severe pain (the group in greatest need of relief) saw improvement in symptoms.
This evidence suggests that if one were to want the best results, it would be prudent to select a product that contains both glucosamine and chondroitin. Utzy’sAgilen provides 1500 mg of glucosamine, 900 mg of chondroitin and 40 mg of hyaluronic acid in each serving.
While the evidence on the effectiveness of glucosamine varies, there is reason to believe that it can be effective for joint health. However, if you are planning to invest in a product, there are a few things to consider.
1.) Purchase from a reputable supplement manufacturer.
Utzy is committed to ensuring our customers are completely satisfied with our products. We recognize that even when we use the highest quality raw materials at evidence-based doses there are so many other variables that influence the effectiveness of a product. We stand behind each of our products with an Empty Bottle Guarantee. This means that if our product does not meet your needs, we will refund you for that product so you can find a solution that works best for you.
2.) If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
The evidence from the University of Maryland study shines a light on products in this category that are "cheap" are ultimately the most expensive products. If the product is cheap, but does not provide the desired outcome, it is ultimately the most expensive option.
3.) Be consistent in using a product for at least 6 weeks before deciding its effectiveness.
The GAIT trial found that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin provided relief for those in the moderate-severe category, but only after 6 weeks. To evaluate the true effectiveness of a glucosamine product, one would want to consistently take that product for 6 consecutive weeks.
If other glucosamine products have fallen short for you in the past, giveAgilen a try. We have carefully crafted this formula to ensure it provides an effective outcome for anyone that uses it.
With our empty bottle guarantee, you have nothing to lose!