N-acetylglucosamine is a chemical that comes from the outer shells of shellfish. Don't confuse N-acetyl glucosamine with other forms of glucosamine, such as glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine sulfate. They may not have the same effects.
Most glucosamine products contain glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine hydrochloride. Although glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride are marketed together in combination products with N-acetyl glucosamine, there haven't been any human studies that have evaluated these combinations for treating osteoarthritis.
You may also see chitosan as an ingredient in some glucosamine products. Chitosan is a form of N-acetyl glucosamine that has been chemically altered.
How does it work?
N-acetyl glucosamine might help protect the lining of the stomach and intestines. There isn't enough information available to know if N-acetylglucosamine is safe.
There has been some concern that glucosamine products might cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to shellfish.
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