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Acetyl glucosamine, also know as N- Acetyl Glucosamine, comes from the outer shells of the shellfish, such shrimp, lobster or crab. It is used in cosmetics as well as medications, and in large concentrations can be effective in healing wounds.

Cosmetics

In cosmetics, acetyl glucosamine is used to exfoliate, treat wrinkles, and is an important ingredient in skin lightening products because of its inhibitory effect on melanin production. You may see it in products such as Olay or Aveeno. It is very popular in almost all forms of make up due to its consistencey and quality of staying on ones face. Covergirl and Olay are one of the top users of this chemical/product. This compound is also effective for wound healing.
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Medications

In medications and supplements, there is not sufficient evidence to know if it works. It may help protect the lining of the stomach and intestines. It may also treat osteoarthritis as well as symptoms of IBD in children who have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
Although it is used as a supplement, there isn't enough information to know if it's safe. There is some concern that it may cause an allergic reaction in people sensitive to seafood, especially shellfish. However, there have been no reports of this and those that are allergic to shellfish are allergic to their meat, not the shell which is where acetyl glucosamine is taken from. There is also concerns that glucosamine may cause an increase in the amount of insulin in the body. This could lead to high blood pressure and higher cholesterol levels. Although studies have also shown that glucosamine has no effects on blood pressure, higher cholesterol levels have been seen in animals treated with glucosamine.

Acetyl glucosamine comes from the outer shells of shellfish. Sometimes acetyl glucosamine can be confused with other forms of glucosamine such as glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine sulfate. These other forms have different effects. An ingredient in some glucosamine products includes chitosan which is a form of glucosamine which has been chemically altered. Acetyl glucosamine is taken for osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. It does so by protecting the lining of the stomach and intestines.
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N-acetyl glucosamine is a chemical that comes from the outer shells of shellfish.Don't confuse N-acetyl glucosamine with other forms of glucosamine, such as glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine sulfate. They may not have the same effects.Read glucosamine product labels carefully for their content. Most glucosamine products contain glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine hydrochloride. Although glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride are marketed together in combination products with N-acetyl glucosamine, there haven't been any human studies that have evaluated these combinations for treating osteoarthritis.You may also see chitosan as an ingredient in some glucosamine products. Chitosan is a form of N-acetyl glucosamine that has been chemically altered.N-acetyl glucosamine is taken for osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

How does it work?

N-acetyl glucosamine might help protect the lining of the stomach and intestines.

What other names is N-acetyl Glucosamine known by?

2-acetamido-2-deoxyglucose, Acetylglucosamine, Acétylglucosamine, Glucosamine, Glucosamine-6-phosphate, Glucosamine N-Acetyl, N-Acetil Glucosamina, N-Acétyl Glucosamine, N-Acétyl-Glucosamine, N-Acétylglucosamine, N-Acetyl D-Glucosamine, N-Acétyl D-Glucosamine, NAG, N-A-G, Poly-NAG.

What is N-acetyl Glucosamine?

N-acetyl glucosamine is a chemical that comes from the outer shells of shellfish.
Don't confuse N-acetyl glucosamine with other forms such as glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine sulfate. They may not have the same effects. Most glucosamine products contain glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine hydrochloride.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Osteoarthritis, and inflammatory bowel diseases including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

How does N-acetyl Glucosamine work?

N-acetyl glucosamine might help protect the lining of the stomach and intestines.

Are there safety concerns?

There isn't enough information available to know if N-acetyl glucosamine is safe. There is some concern that it might cause an allergic reaction in people sensitive to seafood.
Some preliminary research suggests that glucosamine might raise blood sugar in people with diabetes. However, more reliable research indicates that glucosamine does not seem to significantly affect blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. Glucosamine with routine blood sugar monitoring appears to be safe for most people with diabetes.
There is some concern that glucosamine products might cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to shellfish. Glucosamine is produced from the shells of shrimp, lobster, and crabs. But allergic reactions in people with shellfish allergy are caused by the meat of shellfish, not the shell. There are no reports of allergic reactions to glucosamine in people who are allergic to shellfish. There is also some information that people with shellfish allergy can safely take glucosamine products.
Do not use N-acetyl glucosamine if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You are allergic to shellfish.
  • You have asthma.
  • You are scheduled for surgery in the next two weeks.