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NMU 131 – Glucosamine Reduces Heart Attack and Stroke

Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update No 131 (June 3, 2019)

with Dr. James Meschino

 

Topic: Glucosamine Supplementation Linked to Reduced Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke in Large Study

Source: British Medical Journal (May 2019)

 

Studies show that about 20% of adults between 40-69 years old take a glucosamine supplement to help manage or prevent joint arthritic conditions. But a fascinating study was published in the British Medical Journal in May 2019 suggesting that daily glucosamine supplementation may also reduce the risk of death from a heart attack and stroke by 22%. Researchers analyzed the diet and lifestyle of almost half a million adults 40-69 years of age in the UK and followed them for an average of 7 years. They found that people who regularly took glucosamine supplements to reduce symptoms of pain and stiffness were less likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke. After taking into account a wide range of variables including: age, gender race, income, smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass index and body weight, physical activity levels, dietary factors, presence or absence of diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure,  as well as supplement use, the data showed that those who took a glucosamine supplement each day had a 22% reduced risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke.

The researchers said; “Habitual use of a glucosamine supplement to relieve osteoarthritis pain might also be related to lower risks of CVD (cardiovascular disease) events. Further clinical trials are needed to test this hypothesis”. Adding support for these findings is the fact that animal studies have shown that glucosamine extends lifespan and has protective effects against the development of the cardiovascular disease. Glucosamine is known to have anti-inflammatory effects, which may partially explain these findings, but it also has shown other properties that are linked to a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. As the researchers point out, more evidence is required before we can conclude that glucosamine helps prevent heart attacks and stroke, but this is an encouraging finding for those of us who presently use a glucosamine supplement for joint health. Of course, it’s most important to reduce the risk of heart disease by managing all the known risk factors, from cholesterol to blood pressure, to exercise, to smoking, etc. Certainly, glucosamine supplementation alone, even if it can help, is not going to be a magic bullet to maximize the prevention of these important and prevalent health problems. But it is one more proactive thing one can do to help lower CVD risk.

I have included the research reference for this publication in the text below.

Reference:

Ma, H Li X, Zhou T, et al. The BMJ: Association of habitual glucosamine use with risk of cardiovascular disease: Prospective study in UK Biobank. BMJ 2019: 365: 1168 https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l1628

 

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

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