What’s The Difference Between Glucosamine and MSM?

The Difference Between Glucosamine & MSM

When you’re young, you don’t have a care in the world, other than worrying about how many likes your latest gym-related Instagram post is going to get. When we’re younger, we’re a fair deal more relaxed with our diets and with our training, and providing we’re sensible, we can actually get away with that. As the years begin to pass us by, however, we find it harder and harder to shift stubborn body fat, our stamina and endurance begins to fade, and we often discover aches, pains, and slight niggles affecting our joints.


Joint pain is no laughing matter, and with conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis, caring for your joints should become a top priority. When talking about joint health, there are two supplements that instantly spring to mind: Glucosamine, and MSM. But which, if any, is better for you? Well, let’s learn a little more about these supplements, shall we?

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What Is MSM?


MSM is also known as Methylsulfonylmethane, so, yeah, we’ll stick with MSM for now if you don’t mind. MSM is actually found naturally in the human body. This compound is sulphurous and is commonly found in a number of healthy foods, including fruit, tea, seafood, and vegetables. It is also sold in supplement form, due to the fact that it is extremely beneficial for the human body, especially as far as joint health is concerned.

What are the main benefits of MSM? – Some of the primary health benefits associated with MSM include the following:

Promotes Joint Health


Starting with perhaps the most prominent benefit associated with MSM, this compound is very useful in regards to joint health. MSM helps the body to naturally synthesise collagen, via the sulphur it contains, which helps strengthen connective tissue. It also possesses natural anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce swelling and inflammation around the joints, assisting with conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, osteoporosis, and much more besides.

Great For Allergies


For people that suffer from allergies, MSM again, is very useful, especially during Hay fever season. MSM naturally reduces histamine production in the body, which in turn helps to control allergies. Histamines are produced via the immune system, in an attempt to protect the body from things that they perceive as being threats. Histamine is highly inflammatory and is responsible for allergy symptoms, like those present when pollen counts are high. Taking an MSM supplement could, therefore, help reduce allergy symptoms and control allergies altogether.


Promotes Healthy Liver Function


As MSM is enriched with sulphur, this mineral actually helps to detoxify metals in the body, whilst simultaneously promoting healthy liver function, due to the fact that less potentially toxic metals will be processed by the liver in the first place.


Great For The Skin And Hair


As MSM helps the body to synthesise collagen, this, in turn, helps to promote healthy skin, nails, and hair, as collagen proteins are naturally found in these parts of the body.

What Is Glucosamine?


Glucosamine is an amino sugar, which naturally forms in the human body via glucose molecules. Within the body, glucosamine is naturally located within the synovial fluid surrounding your joints, as well as muscle cartilage, which helps to keep the joints lubricated and cushioned. Glucosamine is one of the most popular general health supplements in the world, and it is renowned for its ability to improve joint health and function.


What are the benefits of Glucosamine? – Some key health benefits of glucosamine include:

Promotes Healthy Joints


Glucosamine functions as a building block for connective tissue within the body. The more connective tissue that is available, the stronger and healthier the joints become. Glucosamine is also naturally present in synovial fluid surrounding the joints, and the more fluid there is, the better lubricated the joints become. This helps to reduce joint pain and discomfort, plus it can prevent joint issues such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and tendinitis, later on in life.

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Assists With Collagen Production


Glucosamine, like MSM, also plays a key role in collagen production. Glucosamine has been found to act as a catalyst for the synthesis of GAGS, or Glycosaminoglycans. These function as the core of the bone matrix and collagen within the body, so again, the more collagen that is present, the better.

So, Which Is Better?


In actual fact, neither is better than the other because both supplements provide unique health benefits for the human body and both function differently. In actual fact, numerous studies have found that stacking MSM with Glucosamine, can be more effective in regards to joint health, than taking one or the other, by itself.



Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

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Liam Swithenbank

Liam Swithenbank

Expert Sports Nutrition Technologist

Liam Swithenbank is our expert supplier quality assurance technologist. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport and Exercise Science and a Master of Science degree in Nutrition, and his expertise now lie in specialist ingredients for sports nutrition products.

Liam’s academic research has involved investigating the effects of sodium bicarbonate on power output in elite rugby players, and also the effects of beetroot juice on VO2 max on a cohort of well-trained runners. For his postgraduate thesis, Liam investigated the effects of protein intake on lean tissue mass.

Liam’s experience spans from working in compliance and labelling to developing new products, for a number of large companies in the UK. Liam is a big believer in balance, and believes moderation is key to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Find out more about Liam’s experience here.

During his spare time Liam enjoys rock climbing, cycling and good food. Liam is a massive foodie and enjoys creating and developing new and exciting recipes in his home kitchen.

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