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Glucosamine may help prevent cardiovascular disease

The dietary supplement glucosamine may help prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce mortality, research suggests

The dietary supplement glucosamine may help prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce mortality, research suggests


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Glucosamine is a supplement widely used to relieve osteoarthritis and joint pain. Its effectiveness for joint pain continues to be debated but there is emerging evidence that it may prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce mortality.

Several mechanisms could explain the protective relationship between glucosamine and cardiovascular disease. Glucosamine is associated with a reduction in C-reactive protein concentrations, which is a marker for systemic inflammation.

These anti-inflammatory properties may prevent the development of cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have also found that glucosamine could mimic a low carbohydrate diet by decreasing glycolysis or breakdown of glucose and increasing energy release from amino acid.

Significantly lower risk

Low carbohydrate diets have been reported to protect against the development of cardiovascular disease.

This prospective cohort study used data from nearly half a million people in the UK Biobank. Participants, who were enrolled from 2006 to 2010, completed a questionnaire on supplement use including glucosamine.

They were followed up in 2016 and results showed that after adjustment for risk factors such as age, diabetes, hypertension, diet and lifestyle factors, habitual glucosamine use was associated with a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease events such as coronary heart disease and stroke.

The researchers conclude that use of glucosamine supplement to relieve osteoarthritis pain may prevent cardiovascular disease events.


Ruth Sander is an independent consultant in the care of older people

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