Most people take the supplement glucosamine to ease the discomfort of aching joints. While contention remains over the substance’s alleged benefits for your joints, a new study has found glucosamine could have a positive effect of a different sort.
A massive study of nearly half a million medical records suggests those who take this popular supplement appear to have a significantly lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions.
Researchers from Tulane University in New Orleans used data from the UK Biobank to investigate suspicions that glucosamine might have health benefits aside from alleviating the pain of bad knees.
In many countries around the world, including the UK, the US, and Australia, glucosamine is sold over the counter as a food item. That means authorities are confident it won’t harm you in small enough doses but stop short of recommending it as a form of therapy.
Not that this stops retailers from promoting it to consumers as a scientifically-backed treatment for inflammatory conditions, including osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine is an amino sugar that occurs naturally in animals and fungi, forming a part of biochemical ‘building’ structures such as chitin.
This makes glucosamine a stepping stone to other polysaccharide compounds used in the construction of tissues such as cartilage. Taking this compound is supposed to help promote the repair of the worn articular cartilage in our spines – at least according to marketing claims.