Daily Glucosamine Supplement Shown to Reduce Mortality from Many Causes, even in Smokers
Source: Annals of Rheumatic Disease (June 2020)
Lifestyle Medicine Update (July 12, 2022)
Many people take glucosamine supplements to help prevent or treat arthritis problems and several clinical studies have shown that glucosamine can help to slow or prevent joint cartilage erosion and reduce joint inflammation in this regard. But the benefits of glucosamine supplementation may go beyond just supporting joint health. Several previous studies have suggested that glucosamine may also help to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and some other common health problems.
In 2020, a very large study examining glucosamine use was published in the journal, Annals of Rheumatic Diseases. As part of the large UK Biobank study, researchers followed 495,077 men and women, an average age of 56.6 years, from 2006 (2010) to 2018. The results showed that compared to individuals who were not taking glucosamine supplements each day, those who used daily glucosamine supplements experienced:
- A decreased risk of dying from all causes by 15%
- A decreased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 18%
- A decreased risk of dying from cancer by 6%
- A decreased risk of dying from respiratory diseases by 27% and,
- A decreased risk of dying from digestive or intestinal tract disease by 26%
As the researchers stated, “Our results are consistent with findings from several previous studies, which indicated an inverse association between glucosamine use and mortality.” This means that individuals using glucosamine supplements had a lower risk of death from all causes compared to individuals not using glucosamine supplements. In the UK Biobank Study, I am reporting on today, about 19% of the population were using glucosamine supplements. This study showed that even smokers who used glucosamine had a lower risk of death from all causes than did smokers who were not using glucosamine supplements. The researchers explain their overall findings by evidence showing that glucosamine supplements reduce the release of various inflammatory chemicals and signaling agents, such as nuclear factor kappa-beta (NF-kb), and C-reactive protein (CRP) that are instrumental not only in arthritis development, but also in the development and/or promotion of cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory diseases, and diseases of the intestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large bowel. Glucosamine supplementation has also been shown to decrease the use of glucose (blood sugar) as a fuel, mimicking the effects of a low carbohydrate diet that has been shown to be helpful in preventing mortality in many studies. At the end of this published study, the researchers stated, “We observed that regular use of glucosamine supplements is associated with lower mortality due to all causes, CVD, cancer, respiratory disease, and digestive disease.”
Of course, more studies are required before definitive recommendations can be made by government bodies about using glucosamine supplements to extend life span and reduce death from these causes, but this paper reviewed all the previous studies that have shown promise in this regard and provide further supporting evidence from following nearly half a million people for a minimum of 8 years. My personal feeling is that most people would benefit from taking a glucosamine supplement after the age of 40 to help prevent joint arthritic problems (osteoarthritis). And studies like this one suggest that glucosamine supplements may also help to prevent death from a number of common causes. I think it is best to take a glucosamine supplement that also contains other natural anti-inflammatory agents such as MSM, Quercetin, and Bromelain Enzymes that work synergistically to enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of glucosamine. That is what I do, personally.
I have provided the research reference for this study in the text below
Li Z-H et al. Associations of regular glucosamine use with all-cause and specific mortality: a large prospective cohort study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2020; 79(6): 829-863. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7286049/
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,
Dr. James Meschino
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.