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A naturally occurring substance. Some sources in the medical profession say it comes from shellfish, mussels, while I've seen it marketed as coming from a "100% bovine source." (See chondroitin sulfate.)

Glucosamine sulfate falls into the "herbal remedies" category, and its relevance and effectiveness have not been reviewed by the FDA. Glucosamine sulfate is often taken together with chondroitin sulfate, with the hopes of relieving or warding off osteoarthritis, or because an individual experiences general joint pain and wishes that to cease. It is found within the body, as it is one of the building blocks for proteoglycans, water retaining molecules found within the cartilage in the joints, and is needed to produce glycosaminoglycans (GAG's), proteins within the cartilage matrix which bind with water. In addition, its presence has been observed to stimulate chondrocytes, which in return use the glucosamine sulfate to create the proteoglycans and GAG's, as well as more collagen. This collagen-producing behavior has not been reported in other parts of the body, such as the skin of the face. Overall, glucosamine sulfate is said to normalize cartilage metabolism, a function which, like the rest of the body's functions, naturally deteriorates with age.

It is usually taken in a pill form, and might be called, simply, glucosamine chondroitin sulfate. I have also seen glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate listed in the ingredients of general health pills.

-Most of the information in this write-up was taken from Viable Herbal Solutions, via their website, www.herbal-solutions.com, among other sources, including personal references and the advice of practicing nurses.

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