with Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Hydrochloride vs. Glucosamine Sulfate
was chosen instead of glucosamine sulfate for a number of reasons. The
hydrochloride form is more concentrated than the sulfate form, and the
hydrochloride form contains substantially less sodium per effective dose
than the sulfate form. Glucosamine sulfate is stabilized with sodium
chloride (table salt) and can contain as much as 30% sodium. This is a
consideration for individuals who want to reduce their dietary intake of
Glucosamine hydrochloride offers the promise of the same efficacy as
glucosamine sulfate, since glucosamine is not absorbed intact with its
carrier. The body doesn't care how it gets glucosamine as long as it is
bioavailable. Nonetheless, we embarked on clinical research to prove the
efficacy of the hydrochloride form.
We first conducted pilot testing, which indicated benefit for those with
osteoarthritis. We then went forward with a full-scale, double-blind,
placebo-controlled intervention trial with glucosamine hydrochloride,
the results, of which, are published in the Journal of Rheumatology
listed in the references on the next page. Results showed a strong,
beneficial effect for between 60 and 70% of the subjects, compared to
their baseline symptoms.
Other clinical studies
"Pharmacokinetics of glucosamine in man"
(Setnikar et.al.), a study referencing the bioavailability of
glucosamine, states that after oral administration, glucosamine sulfate
is rapidly split into glucosamine and sulfate ions and absorbed. After
absorption, the sulfate ions enter the blood stream where a steady level
already exists. None of the clinical studies performed with glucosamine
sulfate indicate that sulfate contributed to the benefits shown in the
study. As a matter of clarification, while this study references
glucosamine sulfate, it was actually glucosamine hydrochloride that was
radiolabeled and used to prove the bioavailability of glucosamine. We
can conclude that since sulfate and hydrochloride are not the key
building blocks for the production of joint cartilage, it makes no
difference whether glucosamine has a sulfate or hydrochloride carrier,
in terms of bioavailability.
There is no evidence to suggest that
glucosamine sulfate offers advantages over glucosamine hydrochloride.
There is no need for glucosamine hydrochloride to be stabilized with
salt. Hydrochloride offers a more concentrated form of glucosamine.
Given these facts, the glucosamine product of choice for consumers
should be Glucosamine hydrochloride
1. Houpt JB, McMillan R, Paget-Dellio
D, Russel A, Gahunia HK Effect of treatment of glucosamine hydrochloride
in the treatment of pain in osteoarthritic of the knee. J Rheumatology
1998; 25 (supplemement 52): 8.
2. Noack W, Fischer M, Forster KK,
Rovati LC, Setnikar I. Glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthritis of the
knee. Osteoarthritis Cart 1994; 2:51-9.
3. Muller-Fabbender H, Bach GL, Haase
W, Rovati LC, Setnikar I. Glucosamine sulfate compared to ibuprofen in
osteoarthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis Cart 1994; 2:61-9.
4. Setnikar L, Palumbo R, Canali S,
Zanolo G. Pharmacokinetics of glucosmine in man. Arzneimittelforschung
5. Vaz AL. Double-blind clinical
evaluation of the relative efficacy of ibuprofen and glucosamine
sulphate in the management of osteoarthrosis of the knee in out
patients. Curr Med Res Opin 1982;8:145-9.
6. Drovanti A, Bignamini AA, Rovati
AL. Therapeutic activity of oral glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthritis:
A placebo-controlled, double-blind investigation. Clin Ther
7. Pujalte JM, Llavore EP, Ylescupidez
FR. Double-blind clinical evaluation of oral glucosamine sulphate in the
basic treatment of osteoarthritis. Curr Med Res Opin 1980;7:110-14.