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There are no known or reported contraindications to glucosamine supplementation. Concerns have been expressed for the potential to increase insulin resistance if glucosamine is given intravenously, as it has been shown to do so in both normal and experimentally diabetic animals. However, this effect is not seen in oral preparations. Some researchers, however, do suggest that it is contraindicated in diabetes with concerns about its effect on insulin secretion.4347 Individuals who are diabetic or overweight should err on the side of caution and carefully monitor blood sugar levels if supplements are taken. Because there are no data, children and pregnant or nursing women should avoid consumption.6

Side effects are few and are usually mild digestive problems such as upset stomach, nausea, heartburn, and diarrhea. These suggest that glucosamine is better taken with food. Short-term adverse effects for glucosamine use also include headache, drowsiness, and skin reactions. No allergic reactions have been reported.6 There are no known interactions with any other nutritional supplement, drug, herb, or food. There are no reports of overdosage. Biochemical, hemostatic, and hemato-logical measurements indicate that it is safe.48 The usual dose recommended for benefit is 1500 mg.

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