There are lots of websites out there that describes thoroughly what glucosamine is. But for those who are interested in knowing Wikipedia’s definition of glucosamine, then here is their exact take on it:
Glucosamine (C6H13NO5) is an amino sugar and a prominent precursor in the biochemical synthesis of glycosylated proteins and lipids. Glucosamine is part of the structure of the polysaccharides chitosan and chitin, which compose the exoskeletons of crustaceans and other arthropods, cell walls in fungi and many higher organisms. Glucosamine is one of the most abundant monosaccharides. It is produced commercially by the hydrolysis of crustacean exoskeletons or, less commonly by fermentation of a grain such as corn or wheat. In the US it is one of the most common non-vitamin, non-mineral, dietary supplements used by adults.
Origin of Glucosamine
Glucosamine is naturally present in the shells of shellfish, animal bones and bone marrow. It is also present in some fungi, such as Aspergillus niger.
Glucosamine as Dietary Supplement
Oral glucosamine is a dietary supplement and is not a pharmaceutical drug. It is illegal in the US to market any dietary supplement as a treatment for any disease or condition.
Glucosamine Adverse Effects
Taking glucosamine is safe but if taken at doses higher than what is recommended it may have adverse effects:
Clinical studies have consistently reported that glucosamine appears safe. However, a recent Université Laval study shows that people taking glucosamine tend to go beyond recommended guidelines, as they do not feel any positive effects from the drug. Beyond recommended dosages, researchers found in preliminary studies that glucosamine may damage pancreatic cells, possibly increasing the risk of developing diabetes.
Glucosamine is Not a Treatment
It can be taken as a dietary supplement, but not as a treatment for any kind of medical condition:
In the United States, glucosamine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for medical use in humans. Since glucosamine is classified as a dietary supplement in the US, safety and formulation are solely the responsibility of the manufacturer; evidence of safety and efficacy is not required as long as it is not advertised as a treatment for a medical condition.