Skip to navigation
Vitamins & Supplements
Health Foods

Glucosamine... your questions answered

Glucosamine has become one of the most popular nutritional supplements in the UK and the number of people taking it worldwide is testimony to its effectiveness.

Glucosamine is a major building block of glycosaminoglycans, proteins that form part of cartilage (the tough bone protein that lines the surfaces of joints and bones). It plays an essential role in the production of new cartilage.

Chondroitin is also a major building block of glycosaminoglycans found naturally in the body where it helps to attract fluid into the cartilage (acting a bit like a shock absorber to cushion the joints). The two work well together and are often found in combination products.

What is glucosamine made from?

The glucosamine used in some supplements is typically derived from shellfish (from shrimp shells). However, instead of using shellfish as the raw material, we use GlucosaGreen®, derived from GMO-free corn. The result is a plant-based equivalent to regular glucosamine, which is sustainable and 100% free-free from shellfish and related allergens.  To find out more about GlucosaGreen® click here.

Which form of glucosamine is best?

Glucosamine is available in two forms, glucosamine hydrochloride (HCl) and Glucosamine Sulphate (2KCl) and although we sell both forms, we always recommend the sulphate form as it this compound that has been used in pretty much all the clinical studies. Some companies favour the hydrochloride form, but we see this as a commercial decision rather than one based on any sound clinical evidence.

Some companies point to the fact that the amount of true (or "free") glucosamine per gram of each compound varies and that the hydrochloride form provides more free glucosamine than the sulphate forms, however there is no evidence to show that it is more effective.

What about the potassium level in glucosamine 2KCl?

The 2KCl part of the compound Glucosamine Sulphate 2KCl is simply potassium chloride, a harmless non-sodium salt that is used to stabilise the glucosamine. The amount of potassium in 2 of our 1000mg tablets is just 240mg, which is a small but useful contribution to the potassium recommended daily intake of 3500mg. It is now recognised that the typical modern-day diet often falls short of this essential mineral.

How much glucosamine is recommended? And for how long?

The level generally recommended is 1500mg of glucosamine for those with specific concerns. As a general insurance level then 750mg is usually sufficient. Most studies have suggested that glucosamine needs to be taken for at least a month before any beneficial effects will be seen.

How safe is glucosamine to take?

Glucosamine is a relatively simple molecule containing glucose with an excellent safety record; not surprising given that it is produced naturally within our bodies. It is perfectly safe for long term use.

And what about Chondroitin?

Chondroitin as chondroitin sulphate is the form that's been used in most studies and the form we use for our chondroitin. Supplement labels typically provide the amount of "free" chondroitin in the product, but some products do not make this adjustment. For example, a label indicating 400mg of chondroitin may provide just 20% of this amount namely 80mg.

The reason is simply that real chondroitin is relatively expensive and so many manufacturers look to cut corners by buying lower cost material with very little chondroitin.

Chondroitin is an important part of cartilage. As we age, our cartilage begins to break down, making movement more challenging and uncomfortable. Nutritionists often recommend taking a daily chondroitin supplement, especially alongside glucosamine, to support our health as we get older.

Chondroitin sulphate supplements generally comprise shark cartilage – a process that’s both carbon-intensive and drives shark species into extinction.  We choose to use Phytodroitin™, a plant-based alternative to animal-based chondroitin, made from a blend of seaweed extracts.  Phytodroitin™ is ideal for vegans, vegetarians, and those looking to make more environmentally conscious consumer decisions, especially given widespread concerns over declining shark populations.  To find out more about Phytodroitin™ click here.

What can I take with Glucosamine?

Many customers take glucosamine in combination with other nutrients such as fish oil, ginger and turmeric as there is no duplication with glucosamine, as well as Devil’s Claw for the relief of backache, muscular and joint pains. The truth is that there is no ‘right’ combination of products that can be recommended to everyone. That’s because our bodies are different, our diets are different and our problems quite unique to ourselves. That’s why some people will say, for example, that ginger is amazing while others swear by turmeric. So really the only way to find the ‘right’ combination for you is to try and see if it works for you.  Our friendly expert Nutrition Advisors are always happy to help you select a regime specific to your needs.  Contact them on 01892 552 927 or email

Below is an overview of our glucosamine products

  • Glucosamine 2 KCl 1500mg
    This is a really convenient way to add glucosamine to your regime and especially if you already take several nutrients every day and you’re looking for a product to take on a long-term basis. Each tablet contains a whopping 1131mg of ‘active’ glucosamine, a sufficient level for many people taking this nutrient and its excellent value for money.

  • Glucosamine 2KCl 1000mg
    This is the ‘original’ glucosamine and is still very popular with many of our customers. There is a tonne of information that glucosamine works well on its own. The usual dosage is 1500mg daily, a level found in two of these tablets. This is by far the best value and simplest regime.

  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin
    A great combination providing full strength glucosamine sulphate, and pure chondroitin. Some people believe that chondroitin brings extra help.

  • Glucosamine Plus
    Formulated by Nature’s Best and copied by others. Quercetin is a fascinating nutrient, and we receive many positive reviews on this product. With a full 1000mg of Glucosamine Sulphate 2KCl per tablet, it also contains the active bioflavonoid quercetin, plus cider vinegar. We have thousands of customers regularly buying this product!

  • Glucosamine Gold
    With full strength glucosamine and chondroitin plus rosehips, ginger, quercetin and MSM this is our premium glucosamine product and a great all-in-one formula. What makes this so different from other ‘copycat’ formulas is the nutrient levels are nutritionally relevant.

  • Glucosamine Liquid
    A delicious, lemon flavour glucosamine liquid, supplying a massive 1500mg, of top-quality Glucosamine HCl per dose. A great choice for anyone that doesn’t like swallowing tablets and voted top in taste trials.

  • Vegetarian Glucosamine HCl 750mg
    A vegetarian glucosamine made from a corn-base.  A good option for those looking for this nutrient in glucosamine hydrochloride (HCl) form.


Sign up to Nature's Best Newsletter