Glucosamine reduces death rates like exercise does


Glucosamine supplements can reduce overall mortality about as well as regularly exercising does, according to a new epidemiological study from West Virginia University.

“Does this mean that if you get off work at five o’clock one day, you should just skip the gym, take a glucosamine pill and go home instead?” said Dana King, professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine, who led the study. “That’s not what we suggest. Keep exercising, but the thought that taking a pill would also be beneficial is intriguing.”

He and his research partner, Jun Xiang–a WVU health data analyst–assessed information from 16,686 adults who finished the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2010. All the participants were at least 40 years old. King and Xiang merged that data with 2015 mortality amounts.

After controlling for various factors–such as participants’ age, gender, smoking status and action level–the researchers found that taking glucosamine / chondroitin daily for a year or longer was associated with a 39% decrease in all-cause mortality.

It was also linked to a 65 percent decrease in cardiovascular-related deaths. That is a group that includes deaths from stroke, coronary artery disease and cardiovascular disease, the United States’ biggest killer.

“Once we took everything into account, the impact was pretty significant,” King said.

The results appear at the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

King himself chooses glucosamine / chondroitin, among the most usual formulations of supplements.

“I’m in a local cyclists’ club, and we go for rides on weekends,” he said. “One day I asked the other cyclists if they took glucosamine, and everyone did. And I thought, ‘Well, I wonder if this is really helpful?’ That’s how I got curious about it.”

He explains that since this is an epidemiological study–instead of a clinical trial–it doesn’t offer definitive proof that glucosamine / chondroitin makes dying less likely. But he does call the results “encouraging.”

“In my view, it’s important that people know about this, so they can discuss the findings with their doctor and make an informed choice,” he said. “Glucosamine is over the counter, so it is readily available.”

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Categories: Health Life