Habitual glucosamine use may lower risk of cardiovascular diseases
A recent study has shown an association between regular use of glucosamine supplement to relieve osteoarthritis pain and lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events.
A total of 10,204 incident CVD events, 3,060 CVD deaths, 7,745 coronary heart disease (CHD) events and 3,263 stroke events occurred during a median follow-up of 7 years. After adjustment for age, sex, race, body mass index, lifestyle factors, drug use, dietary intakes and other supplement use, glucosamine use correlated with a significantly lower risk of total CVD events (hazard ratio [HR], 0.85; 95 percent CI, 0.80–0.90), CVD death (HR, 0.78; 0.70–0.87), CHD (HR, 0.82; 0.76–0.88) and stroke (HR, 0.91; 0.83–1.00). [BMJ 2019;365:l1628]
“In this large prospective study, habitual glucosamine use was associated with a 15-percent lower risk of total CVD events and a 9–22-percent lower risk of individual cardiovascular events (CVD death, CHD and stroke),” researchers said. “In addition, we found that the associations between glucosamine use and CVD outcomes were statistically significantly modified by smoking status.”
These findings are consistent with those of previous studies. A cross-sectional study of Australian participants found that glucosamine use was inversely associated with the risk of heart attack or angina and other heart diseases, while another cohort study reported a significant association between glucosamine use and a lower risk of total mortality. [PLoS One 2012;7:e41540; Eur J Epidemiol 2012;27:593-603; Am J Clin Nutr 2010;91:1791-1800]
“Similarly in our study, we found that glucosamine use was consistently associated with lower risks of subtypes of CHD, including fatal and nonfatal CHD,” researchers said. “Our lack of statistically significant associations between glucosamine use and subtypes of stroke is probably because of small numbers of participants in the subtype groups.”
The protective effect of glucosamine use against CVD could be explained by several potential mechanisms. In the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) study, an association was found between regular use of glucosamine and a reduction in C-reactive protein concentrations, which is a marker for systemic inflammation. [Am J Epidemiol 2012;176:1002-1013]
A previous study also found that glucosamine could mimic a low carbohydrate diet by decreasing glycolysis and increasing amino acid catabolism in mice, making glucosamine an energy restriction mimetic agent. [Nutr Res Rev 2015;28:100-120; Nat Commun 2014;5:3563]
Epidemiological studies have shown that low-carbohydrate diets can lower the risk of CVD, and several diet intervention trials report that a low-carbohydrate diet is protective against CVD development. [Ann Intern Med 2014;161:309-318; N Engl J Med 2003;348:2082-2090; N Engl J Med 2008;359:229-241; JAMA 2005;293:43-53; Ann Intern Med 2010;153:147-157; Ann Intern Med 2004;140:769-777]
“Other mechanisms might also be involved, and future investigations are needed to explore the functional roles of glucosamine in cardiovascular health,” researchers said.
The present prospective cohort study included 466,039 participants without CVD at baseline who completed a questionnaire on supplement use, which included glucosamine. They were enrolled from 2006 to 2010 and followed until 2016. Outcome measures included incident CVD events, such as CVD death, CHD and stroke.