"Glucosamine sulfate is a naturally occurring chemical found in the human body. It is in the fluid around joints. Glucosamine also exists in other places in nature. For example, glucosamine sulfate used in dietary supplements is often obtained from the shells of shellfish. Glucosamine sulfate used in dietary supplements does not always come from natural sources. It can also be made in a laboratory.
There are different forms of glucosamine including glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetyl glucosamine. These different chemicals have some similarities, but they may not have the same effects when taken as a dietary supplement. Most of the scientific research on glucosamine has involved glucosamine sulfate. See separate listings for glucosamine hydrochloride or N-acetyl glucosamine.Dietary supplements that contain glucosamine often contain additional ingredients. These additional ingredients are frequently chondroitin sulfate, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), or shark cartilage. Some people think these combinations work better than taking just glucosamine sulfate alone. So far, researchers have found no proof that combining the additional ingredients with glucosamine adds any benefit.
Glucosamine sulfate is most commonly used for osteoarthritis. It is also used for many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.