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The compound glucosamine is created naturally in the body by glucose and the amino acid glutamine. In turn, glucosamine is used by the body to create the molecule glycosaminoglycan, which aids in the formation and repair of cartilage and body tissues. Unfortunately, glucosamine production slows with age resulting in less elasticity in joints and cartilage, though it is available in supplemental form. Glucosamine supplements are most commonly used for osteoarthritis.

Most glucosamine supplements are made from chitin, a substance found in the shells of crustaceans such as crab, lobster and shrimp. If you are allergic to shellfish and are contemplating taking a glucosamine supplement, check with the manufacture to make sure it is not derived from a shellfish source.

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