The Difference Between Glucosamine Sulfate & Glucosamine HCL

Updated June 13, 2017

Glucosamine sulphate and glucosamine hydrochloride (HCl) are different salts of glucosamine, a product derived from shellfish and used to treat pain caused by osteoarthritis.


According to The Arthritis & Glucosamine Information Center, glucosamine sulphate (sometimes spelt glucosamine sulphate) is the product that's been tested in dozens of clinical trials involving people with osteoarthritis.


Since the sulphate and hydrochloride ions serve only as carrier molecules for the glucosamine, The Arthritis & Glucosamine Information Center states that both forms of the product are equal in effectiveness.

Expert Insight

Research findings comparing the two forms of glucosamine are confusing. Some studies have shown glucosamine sulphate to be the most effective in relieving arthritis pain, whereas others have demonstrated that glucosamine hydrochloride is more effective.


According to, glucosamine sulphate is 1.5 times more expensive than glucosamine hydrochloride, so it makes sense to consider economic factors when choosing your supplement.


The Arthritis & Glucosamine Information Center publishes a product guide that allows you to compare glucosamine products using nine different criteria, including price and quality.


Avoid products that add unnecessary potassium chloride (KCl) or sodium chloride (NACl) to either glucosamine sulphate or glucosamine hydrochloride. These components can make up 30 per cent of the supplement and can decrease its pain-relieving effects.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article


About the Author

Sandy Keefe, M.S.N., R.N., has been a freelance writer for over five years. Her articles have appeared in numerous health-related magazines, including "Advance for Nurses" and "Advance for Long-Term Care Management." She has written short stories in anthologies such as "A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Special Needs."