Glucosamine Sulfate vs. Hydrochloride?

Glucosamine is a ubiquitous and widely studied ingredient in many joint health products. I’ve written previous articles on the different types of glucosamine used in joint health products (sulfate, hydrochloride, and n-acetyl glucosamine).

A recent article (Vlad et al, 2007) supports my previous conclusions on the ingredient glucosamine hydrochloride. In this recent article, published in the medical journal, Arthritis and Rheumatism, the study others sought to explain the heterogeneity of clinical trial results on glucosamine.

Essentially, they endeavored to explain why many randomized clinical trials on glucosamine have found that it works, yet some clinical trials have conflicting results. Essentially, part of the reason for this discrepancy is that the clinical trials on glucosamine products include trials on glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. Among their explanations was the simple conclusions that “glucosamine hydrochloride is not effective.”

]If you’re going to take a glucosamine supplement to promote your joint health, ensure that the product contains glucosamine sulfate not glucosamine hydrochloride or n-acetyl glucosamine.


  1. Vlad SC, LaValley MP, McAlindon TE, Felson DT. Glucosamine for pain in osteoarthritis: why do trial results differ? Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Jul;56(7):2267-77.

Written by 

Dr. Jarret Morrow, MD CCFP, is a licensed family physician currently practising in Edmonton, AB. He has a declared special interest in cosmetic dermatology.

Related Posts