A new study found that glucosamine supplementation can reduce mortality. In this study 495,077 women and men were observed for 8.9 years. This was part of the UK Biobank study. 19,882 deaths occurred during the course of the study. 3,802 deaths were due to cardiovascular disease (strokes and heart attacks). 8,090 deaths were due to cancers. 3,380 of the deaths came from respiratory diseases. Finally, 1,061 of the deaths were due to digestive diseases.
The percentage of death reduction due to glucosamine supplementation was computed according to the type of organ systems involved. Physicians obtained these results by comparing mortality of those who took glucosamine versus those who did not take it.
How glucosamine supplementation can reduce mortality
- 27% lower risk of respiratory disease mortality
- 26% lower digestive disease mortality risk
- 18% lower cardiovascular disease mortality risk
- 15% lower risk to die from any cause
- 6% lower mortality risk due to cancer
Normal dose of glucosamine and side effects
Glucosamine sulfate is the natural substance that the body uses to build up tendons, cartilage and make synovial fluid to lubricate joints. There are other glucosamine compounds, like glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetyl glucosamine. But these substances are not natural like glucosamine sulfate.
The normal dosage for osteoarthritis is 500 mg three times daily, 750 mg twice daily or 1,500 mg once daily. Side effects are listed in the WebMD link above, but it is usually well tolerated. Occasionally someone complains about nausea, gastrointestinal upsets and diarrhea. People on blood thinners should consult with their physician before taking glucosamine sulfate.
Physicians use glucosamine commonly as a supplement for arthritis and joint pain. The general dosage is about 1500 mg per day. The above noted benefit of reducing the mortality of all the major diseases is a new finding. A previous study found a similar reduction of overall mortality in patients who took regular supplementation of glucosamine sulfate. These authors felt that it was the anti-inflammatory effect of glucosamine that was responsible for the mortality reduction with glucosamine. Other studies have also determined that glucosamine sulfate is anti-inflammatory.
One of the interesting side effects of treating osteoarthritis with glucosamine sulfate is that mortality of various diseases fell significantly. For instance, there was 27% lower respiratory disease mortality risk and 26% lower digestive disease mortality risk. In addition, there was 18% lower cardiovascular disease mortality risk and 6% lower mortality risk due to cancer. All of these diseases associated with chronic inflammation. It is likely that the anti-inflammatory effect of glucosamine sulfate causes the remarkable improvement of the various mortality risks. It is too early to say what the meaning is of this new finding. In time we may learn more about other anti-inflammatory medications or diets that help reduce the mortality of various diseases.