The basic argument for glucosamine is that it is naturally found in high concentrations in the connective tissues and cartilage of the human body. So by supplying the body with a ready supply of glucosamine, an amino monosaccharide, and an intermediate substrate needed for the synthesis of glycosaminoglycan and proteoglycans makes logical fish wife sense. After all it’s the glycosaminoglycan and proteoglycan components of cartilage which give cartilage its functional shock absorber properties. Supporters believe that glucosamine’s positive benefits are due to its role in supporting the production of proteoglycan, and it is in this role as a cartilage building block that it believed relevant to the treatment of osteoarthritis (the gradual deterioration of the articular cartilage lining) and general knee pain.

If this sounds like a bunch of complicated jargon, then rest assured that this article is not scientific and simply a testimonial about my personal journey with glucosamine. This path was first traveled years ago after repeatedly complaining to a friend of pain in my knees. He suggested glucosamine, and as a man in need, I immediately set out to investigate. My knees were feeling creaky and painful and I was willing to try anything! At the time their were two major types, glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. Either was available, and both were promoted as the better version. Luckily I choose the right one, glucosamine sulfate, as this is today’s preferred form.

After about a month I felt that the glucossamine was working. That’s a pretty quick conclusion and it’s obviously not scientific in any way and but I think it’s fair to say that I felt a noticeable improvement. Perhaps I just wanted it to work. I believed in the magic pills and was remarkably cured. Only I’m a tentative rabbit. So over the last five years I have taken glucosamine pills and cycled on and off them in three month intervals. I wanted to test how I felt when I didn’t take the pills. Over the years I’ve tested various brands such as Treedo, Lakota Joint Care, Anthro-5, Flexicose and even the local supermarket brands, and I have generally found that at the end of each three month off cycle my knees are begging for a boost of glucosamine.

But this site is about taking the standard investigation further. You and I won’t be satisfied with just researching the subject on the internet or simply reading the labels. This is about taking the extra step to see what’s behind the marketing story. I reached out to experts and suppliers and asked the tough questions. In most cases my questions and requests for meetings were rejected. Better said, they were not even answered. I was ignored. I called the 24 hour service line and mailed the customer service contact…. no answer, no response. This reinforced my perception of doggy dealings and strengthened my resolve to meet an actual person behind a product. It was certainly a bit of fresh air that Kris Kuiper of Glucosamine.com stepped forward with detailed responses and invited me to visit his facility.

Glucosamine.com is based in the small city of Arnhem located in in the east of the Netherlands. The company started when a then young Kris Kuiper was doing his Bachelors degree for Exercise Physiology at the University of Amsterdam. He took a gamble with the potential of glucosamine and in 2000 registered the dot com url; brilliant! His goal then was as it is now; to disseminate information about glucosamine and to distribute the food supplement in the correct dose and quality. He’s been doing this for over 10 years and along the way he’s picked up a Masters degree and grown his food supplement company into a leading supplier in the European market.

I visited Mr. Kuiper at his facility and asked my questions (see below), questions that other suppliers wouldn’t even answer so big ups must be given to this fella for honesty and straightforwardness under fire.

I’m concerned about what is actually in food supplement products. Where is the quality control and manufacturing?

“Things like lab controls and production are outsourced. Please be aware that very few companies supplement brands make products themselves. At least this is the case in The Netherlands and probably in most of Europe. Only a few very large companies have their own production facilities. Production in these cases is really only applies the encapsulation or the actual making of tablets. Almost all supplements, even from the largest major brands, contain Chinese raw materials and are packaged in China. With Arthro-5 we use raw materials from Bioiberica (Spain), Bergstrom Nutrition (US) and Cyvex (US) and package the product in Europe.”

What do you see as the primary activities of your company?

“Our company has three main activities: One, formulating products or rather selecting ingredients, two, marketing our products and three, shipping the products. We also believe that a modern supplement company needs to choose raw materials from reputable companies and be transparent in what we do.”

How do you select the right ingredients and quantities that go into your products?

“We investigate the latest scientific papers and information and then source the best raw materials available. What you should know is that quality is almost fully dependent on having the right raw materials/ingredients. There are plenty of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) facilities that fill capsules with crappy ingredients. GMP has nothing to do with the quality of the material only that the material used is present in the documented amount and that tablets dissolve in the appropriate time etc.. This way, by making the right choices when selecting ingredients, small companies can have way better product than many of the biggest high profile companies out there.

How many people benefit from using glucosamine? What’s percentage of people report positively?

“It’s difficult to say, but based on the number of people that reorder from us I would say it’s a little over 50%. It’s especially relevant for people with knee problems and to a lesser degree hip problems.”

With leaders like Mr. Kris Kuiper embracing openness and honesty one of the dark corners of the food supplement industry hasc been brightened. With better communication, consumers can make better choices for themselves and choose like thinking quality suppliers. Check out the latest information regarding glucosamine and it’s various formulations at www.glucosamine.com

In closing I would recommend to those of you experiencing knee pain attributed to the wear and tear of knee cartilage to give it a try. Glucosamine can be found in most drugstores and supermarkets at a very reasonable price. When it works, it works and the reported benefits are significant. Just ensure that you’re getting a dosage of 1500mg of glucosamine sulfate each day and stick with it for at least three months. Let me know how if it works out for you and I’ll try to report the success and failure percentage on the site.