Glucosamine protects joints during resistance training (Osteoarthritis Cartilage. January 2010, 18 (1) :34-40.)
Sports Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have demonstrated what tens of thousands of athletes have experienced in real life. Glucosamine protects joints during resistance training - and makes them even stronger.
Glucosamine is a sugar compound in joints. Hence the idea that you can make joints stronger when you take glucosamine supplements. Whether that is true remains unclear. In recent studies effects of glucosamine seemed to be a bit disappointing.
In most of these studies, however, the subjects used had already advanced arthritis in the joints and where already severely affected. These subjects do not move much more. Athletes on the other hand, who have problems with their joints, respond well in practice contrary to glucosamine.
Strength training has a positive effect in studies on people with arthritis. The Danes wondered what would happen if they combined strength-training for people with osteoarthritis in their knee with the use of glucosamine. They also looked at the effect of ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory that doctors often prescribe to people with arthritis.
The trial lasted 12 weeks. The subjects trained three times a week. They cycled 10 minutes, and then trained their muscles on the leg extension and leg press.Sports
The first group took ibuprofen 600 mg 2 times a day, the second group took glucosamine three times daily 500 mg of glucosamine sulfate. The glucosamine used was a product of Ferrosan. And a third group used a placebo.
The placebo group, the glucosamine group and the ibuprofen group al became equally stronger.
Before the trial began, and two days after the last strength training, the researchers determined in the subjects blood the amount of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein concentration [COMP]. The more of them in the blood, the stronger the catabolic processes in the joints. The researchers found that in the glucosamine supplementation group COMP concentration significantly reduced.
Glucosamine suppresses joint destruction during resistance training, the obvious conclusion. What exactly happened in the joints was not examined by the researchers.
Another marker for joint destruction in arthritis, the concentration of C-telopeptide of type-2 collagen in urine. This did not respond to treatment.
The research is mainly funded by the Danish Rheumatism Association and the Danish Ministry of Health. Additional funding came from private funds.