Doctor raising patient's leg

Crystalline Glucosamine Sulfate

Dona® is not your everyday Glucosamine Sulfate. It is different than what you may find in stores or online today. Dona® contains the original Crystalline Glucosamine Sulfate, a specific type of glucosamine sulfate developed and sold in more than 60 countries around the world. Crystalline Glucosamine Sulfate is a formulation invented and patented by RottaPharm. It presents a method to stabilize glucosamine sulfate, through a chemical process of co-precipitation with sodium chloride, thus obtaining Crystalline Glucosamine Sulfate.

What is Glucosamine?

Sore Leg

Glucosamine is a natural sugar made by the body and is responsible for the maintenance and synthesis of cartilage. Cartilage is present between joints and acts as a cushion between the joint bones, to maintain joint comfort and mobility. Glucosamine is found in the synovial fluid and helps keep your joints mobile. Glucosamine serves as a building block for glycosaminoglycans, which are important for cartilage formation.

Glycosaminoglycans are long sugar chains that form the main part of tissues rich in collagen, such as cartilages, bones, connective tissue, and the joint fluid (synovial fluid) - which together form the cartilage matrix. When glycosaminoglycans chains bind to protein, a space is created in the cartilage that, on compression, expands once again. This action is important for smooth joint movement. Proteoglycans, on the other hand, give the collagen tissues much-needed structure and flexibility. The cartilage matrix acts as a shock absorber between two parts of a joint. With joint issues, proteoglycan deficiency (which can occur as a part of aging) reduces the joint cavity spaces and make the joints thinner and less resilient, leading to lowered joint comfort.

Pills in Hand

Since glucosamine plays a vital role in synthesizing the cartilage matrix, research suggests that supplemental glucosamine may help in maintaining joint comfort while supporting functionality. There are two forms of glucosamine, namely glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. Glucosamine supplements are most commonly made from shellfish, like crabs, lobsters, and shrimp. These supplements are commonly available in three forms: powder, tablets, and capsules.

How Crystalline Glucosamine Sulfate Works

The crystalline glucosamine sulfate in Dona® may act by preventing the breakdown of muscles and cartilage around joints. It may also influence the body's response to joint discomfort, thereby decreasing joint tenderness and soreness. Crystalline glucosamine sulfate may also be known to prevent an inflammatory reaction in the joint that can be caused by aging or damage, thereby keeping your cartilage healthy. Healthy cartilage is necessary to keep your joints flexible and free from any discomfort.

Stretching Arm

While the exact mechanism by which crystalline glucosamine works is continuously being explored, it has been proposed to work in one of two ways.

  • Crystalline Glucosamine Sulfate provides a base for the production of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans (including chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid), which are the building blocks of cartilage.
  • Glucosamine has been thought to stimulate the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans, proteoglycans, and collagen.

The two most common forms of glucosamine are glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate. Of the two, glucosamine sulfate - specifically crystalline glucosamine sulfate, has been evaluated for its effect on cartilage health; the effect of the hydrochloride form on cartilage still needs further conclusive evidence.

Clinical Research using Dona® Crystalline Glucosamine Sulfate

Medical Practice

Dona® is the original Crystalline Glucosamine Sulfate that has been proven effective in major clinical trials. Below are some highlights:

  • Results of the first 3-year study were published in 2001 in The Lancet, a prestigious, international medical journal, and showed Crystalline Glucosamine Sulfate to be effective in improving and maintaining joint flexibility and cartilage health.
  • In 2002, a second 3-year study was published in the JAMA's Archives of Internal Medicine confirming previous findings and suggesting that Crystalline Glucosamine Sulfate could be used to help maintain and stabilize joint function and cartilage.
  • An 8-year observational study was later conducted on patients taking glucosamine sulfate for 3 years and 5 years off. It found that Glucosamine Sulfate not only was beneficial for joint health but it decreases the chance of total knee replacement by 73%.
  • In a 6-month controlled clinical trial called the GUIDE Trail, it showed that Glucosamine Sulfate's efficacy on knee symptoms was significantly better on all parameters as compared to placebo and acetaminophen.
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Beware of Imitations - Not all Glucosamines are the Same!

Reviewing Checklist

Glucosamine Sulfate has over 150 pre-clinical and clinical studies with 12,125 subjects and 91 leading institutions. Leading medical journals like The Lancet and JAMA's Archives of Internal Medicine caution that without head-to-head trials, other glucosamine products, like Glucosamine hydrochloride (HCI), may not provide the same benefits as Glucosamine Sulfate. So beware of imitations.

Customers and healthcare providers may be confused as to which product they should purchase or recommend. Many believe that all glucosamines are the same and it doesn't matter which product you choose or which glucosamine (Sulfate or Hydrochloride) you should take.

However, the GAIT study - one of the largest U.S. studies done on Glucosamine and Chondroitin - found that patients who took glucosamine (hydrochloride) and chondroitin sulfate alone or in combination, had outcomes similar to those experienced by patients who took celecoxib or placebo (sugar) pills.

This new information was incorrectly used by some people as evidence that all glucosamine and chondroitin as ingredients do not work for joint health. However, what it helped prove was that selecting specific types of Glucosamine and Chondroitin sulfate matter when looking for optimal joint help.