The nutritional supplement can both delay the breakdown of cartilage, as well as repair any damage, it’s claimed.
Wearing and breaking down of cartilage is one of the main causes of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis symptoms include joint pain, stiffness and a grating sound in joints.
But, studies have proven glucosamine helps to make the building blocks needed for building cartilage.
An international study analysed the healing effect of glucosamine supplements on more than 200 osteoarthritis patients.
They were either given 1,500mg of glucosamine, or a placebo – a supplement with no nutrients in at all.
While the placebo patients suffered cartilage deteriation and added joint pain, the glucosamine group’s joints remained intact, the researchers claimed.
Joint mobility was significantly better in the glucosamine patients, with no significant side-effects.
Glucosamine is an amino sugar that’s found naturally in the body, and also comes from shellfish.
It’s available as both glucosamine sulphate and glucosamine hydrochloride, and both are available in high-street shops from as little as £1.
But, the beneficial effects of glucosamine tablets for osteoarthritis are modest and mixed, according to Arthritis Research UK.
Side effects of taking the supplements include nausea, rashes, diarrhoea and headaches, it added.
Osteoarthritis affects about eight million people in the UK, the NHS said.
The condition’s symptoms can be minimised by regular exercise, losing weight, and wearing sensible footwear.
Maintaining a good posture at all times reduces the risk of developing the condition.
Risk of osteoarthritis is highest in those over-50, have a family history of the condition, or are obese.