Glucosamine is a natural amino sugar chemical compound found in the body. As a supplement, glucosamine is most often used to try to ease the joint pain caused by arthritis. It plays a role in forming and maintaining the body's tissues—for example, constructing nails, skin, eyes, bones, ligaments, tendons, heart valves, digestive system, and urinary tract.

Glucosamine works to stimulate joint function and repair. It is most effective in treating osteoarthritis (OA), the most prevalent type of arthritis. A number of studies over the last 20 years have shown that glucosamine is helpful in relieving arthritis symptoms.