Glucosamine Sulfate vs Glucosamine HCl

While most published research has been done using glucosamine sulfate, the studies using glucosamine HCl have yielded similar results.  In addition, commercially available glucosamine sulfate is glucosamine HCl with 2KCl (potassium sulfate) added to the mixture.  So, in the event that the sulfate moeity has anything to do with the benefit (which it has not in studies up to this point), Procosa also contains potassium and magnesium sulfate.

A study (Setnikar, referencing the bioavailability of glucosamine, states that after oral administration, glucosamine sulfate is rapidly split into glucosamine and sulfate ions and absorbed. After absorption, the sulfate ions enter the blood stream where a steady level already exists. None of the clinical studies performed with glucosamine sulfate indicate that sulfate contributed to the benefits shown in the study. As a matter of clarification, while this study references glucosamine sulfate, it was actually glucosamine hydrochloride that was radiolabeled and used to prove the bioavailability of glucosamine. We can conclude that since sulfate and hydrochloride are not the key building blocks for the production of joint cartilage, it makes no difference whether glucosamine has a sulfate or hydrochloride carrier, in terms of bioavailability.

There is no evidence to suggest that glucosamine sulfate offers advantages over glucosamine hydrochloride. There is no need for glucosamine hydrochloride to be stabilized with salt. Hydrochloride offers a more concentrated form of glucosamine.  In fact, there is slight more elemental glucosamine in the current 3 tablet formulation than there was in the previous 4 tablet version. Other significant benefits of the current formula are the reduction in the number of tablets (the curcumin complex in the formula is as much as 30 times more bioavailable than the previous one, so the dosage is much lower), and the fact that it is now vegetarian.  That fact alone will now enable vegetarians and people with shellfish allergies the opportunity to use our formula.


Houpt JB, McMillan R, Paget-Dellio D, Russel A, Gahunia HK Effect of treatment of glucosamine hydrochloride in the treatment of pain in osteoarthritic of the knee. J Rheumatology 1998; 25 (supplemement 52): 8.

Noack W, Fischer M, Forster KK, Rovati LC, Setnikar I. Glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis Cart 1994; 2:51-9.

Muller-Fabbender H, Bach GL, Haase W, Rovati LC, Setnikar I. Glucosamine sulfate compared to ibuprofen in osteoarthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis Cart 1994; 2:61-9.

Setnikar L, Palumbo R, Canali S, Zanolo G. Pharmacokinetics of glucosmine in man. Arzneimittelforschung 1993;43:1109-13.

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