Wellness Database: Glucosamine
Glucosamine is an important nutrient that benefits osteoarthritis patients. It is widely taken with Chondroitin.
Glucosamine May Reduce Lung Cancer Risk
In a study involving data collected from 76,904 adults between the ages of 50 and 76 years, residents of Washington state in the United States, high use of glucosamine for 10 years prior to data collection, was found to be associated with a reduction in risk of lung cancer (hazard ratio=0.77), specifically adenocarcinoma (HR=0.49), not modified by NSAID use or smoking status. No association was found between chondroitin use and lung cancer risk. The authors state, "Our results for glucosamine use are similar to the prior human studies of NSAID use and lung cancer, both in magnitude and the limitation of the association to adenocarcinoma. Unlike NSAIDs, glucosamine has no known adverse effects. Although confirmatory studies are needed, glucosamine is an attractive candidate for lung cancer chemoprevention."
Dr. Louis Ignarro: Glucosamine
Glucosamine is a power nutrient that is produced naturally in the body. This substance is necessary for building and maintaining healthy levels of cartilage. Cartilage is a primary tissue providing cushion and lubrication to joints such as the spine, knees, and hips. Without sufficient production of glucosamine, cartilage is less effective at cushioning critical weight bearing joints.
Glucosamine is not found in any food source. Luckily, healthy individuals naturally produce sufficient glucosamine to avoid the symptoms of osteoarthritis. As people age, though, their natural ability to produce glucosamine declines. This leads to cartilage destruction, resulting in pain and limited functioning. Supplementing with glucosamine can help to prevent or reverse many of the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Asprin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents are commonly used in the treatment of osteoarthritis symptoms. Supplementing with glucosamine enables many individuals to reduce or even eliminate the use of these drugs. This is important because some research suggests NSAIDs actually accelerate damage to the joints.
Benefits of Glucosamine
- Glucosamine reduces osteoarthritis pain
- Glucosamine improves mobility and joint functioning
- Glucosamine reduces swelling and stiffness
Chondroitin: Often taken with glucosamine, chondroitin is also a necessary molecule for healthy cartilage. Chondroitin may be able to assist glucosamine in the prevention of osteoarthritis symptoms.
Vitamin C: This nutrient is critical for the formation of collagen which keeps cartilage strong.
Vitamin E and Fish Oil: May reduce inflammation that aggravates symptoms.
The typical dosage for glucosamine is 1500 mg/day. Generally, 20mg per KG of body weight per day is recommended, so obese individuals may need a higher dose. Individuals taking diuretic medications may also need to increase their glucosamine intake for better effectiveness.
Glucosamine and Walking Regimen May Reduce Osteoarthritis Symptoms
In a study involving 36 low active subjects with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee or hip, supplementation with 1500 mg/d glucosamine sulphate along with participation in a 12-week progressive walking program (walking 3-5 days/week, gradually walking up to 3000 steps/d during the first 6 weeks (approximately 30 minutes of walking), and increasing up to 6000 steps/d during the following 6 weeks), was found to improve physical activity levels, physical function, and total WOMAC Osteoarthritis Index scores. Additional improvements in these outcomes were seen at 24 weeks follow-up. The authors conclude, "In people with hip or knee OA, walking a minimum of 3000 steps (~30 minutes), at least 3 days/week, in combination with glucosamine sulphate, may reduce OA symptoms. A more robust study with a larger sample is needed to support these preliminary findings."
"Efficacy of a progressive walking program and glucosamine sulphate supplementation on osteoarthritic symptoms of the hip and knee: a feasibility trial," Ng NT, Heesch KC, et al, Arthritis Res Ther, 2010 Feb 12; 12(1): R25.
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