Cardiovascular disease is a broad term that includes coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke, among others. It is the primary cause of death among people living the United States. Findings from a recent study suggest that glucosamine reduces risk of premature death from all causes as well as cardiovascular diseases.
Glucosamine is a structural component of cartilage. It is often taken as a supplement (in conjunction with chondroitin) to alleviate joint pain associated with arthritis or activity-related joint pain, but little evidence supports this practice.
The authors of the epidemiological study drew on National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. NHANES is an ongoing program of studies conducted among people living in the United States. The present study included nearly 17,000 participants, nearly 700 of whom had been taking glucosamine with chondroitin for a year or more. The authors of the study conducted a statistical analysis to identify associations between glucosamine/chondroitin supplement intake and death.
Over an eight-year period, approximately 3,400 participants died. More than 20 percent of these deaths were due to cardiovascular disease. After taking the participants' ages into consideration, the authors found that those who took glucosamine/chondroitin supplements were 65 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 39 percent less likely to die from all causes, compared to those who did not take the supplements.
These findings suggest that glucosamine/chondroitin supplements reduce the risk of premature death from all causes as well as cardiovascular diseases. More studies are needed to confirm these findings and elucidate the mechanisms associated with these effects.