Glucosamine: skin benefits

Written by angie beckert
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Glucosamine: skin benefits
Many skincare regimens now include this amino acid. (skin care image by anna karwowska from Fotolia.com)

Glucosamine is an amino acid that the body normally produces on its own. It helps to construct cartilage and other connective tissues that are essential to keep joints healthy. As we age, we do not produce enough of this amino acid naturally so some doctors recommend those with osteoarthritis, in particular, take this as an additional supplement along with Chondritin and Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Taken together, chondritin, MSM and glucosamine improve joint mobility for those who suffer from arthritis. Used separately from these supplements, glucosamine has become an important ingredient in anti-ageing skin regimens. Glucosamine found in supplements typically is derived from the cartilage of crabs and other sea living animals.

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Glucosamine and the Skin

In 2006, the American Academy of Dermatology sponsored three studies at top universities to investigate other uses for glucosamine. Alexa Kimball of Harvard led one of these studies and reported that her findings indicated that glucosamine could possibly treat skin damage caused from ultraviolet radiation. Findings from these studies also demonstrated that glucosamine can accelerate the speed in which a skin wound or cut heals, increases the hydration of skin and decreases wrinkles. Glucosamine is able to do this because of it is a building block of connective tissue, and it stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid, which leads to its remarkable power to help rebuild skin tissue as well as cartilage found in joints.

Skincare Products That Contain Glucosamine

Glucosamine is currently being added to certain products aimed at using the amino acid for skincare benefits. There are complete skin care lines with glucosamine added into it carried by brands like Serious Skin Care, Olay Definity Collection, Neutrogena, Dermitage and several others. It is occasionally referred to as the glucosamine complex and is touted for its ability to boost collagen production and gently exfoliate dead skin cells away from the surface.

Other Uses of Glucosamine

Glucosamine is still primarily used as a supplement for those who suffer from osteoarthritis or joint problems. According to the findings from clinical trials conducted at Proctor and Gamble Laboratories, testing is underway to see if glucosamine can also be used to relieve symptoms related to migraines, inflammatory bowel disease and viral infections. With such a wide range of treatment options, it is almost indisputable that glucosamine has a larger role in keeping our body healthy than previously thought.

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