Glucosamine May Do More Than Help Your Joints
Millions of people worldwide take glucosamine supplements to reduce arthritis pain, but with varying effects; some are helped by it, some not. But researchers have been studying the effects of glucosamine on another aspect of aging... longevity.
It has long been known that glucosamine is a regulator of glucose, impeding the metabolism of sugars in our bodies and lowering blood glucose levels. With that in mind, researchers affiliated with ETH Zürich in Switzerland and in Germany, studied the effects of glucosamine on mice when they were 100 weeks old, equivalent to about 65 person years, to see how long the experimental group would live given dietary supplements of glucosamine. The control group of mice were the same age, and consumed the same diet as the experimental group, but were not given glucosamine supplements.
The group given the glucosamine supplements lived approximately 10 percent longer than the control group, or 8 human years. Furthermore, the glucosamine improved glucose metabolism in the elderly mice, inhibiting a natural tendancy to diabetes, common in elderly persons. These results were similar to those the research group found in earthworms in 2007; however a different protocol was used to study the worms.
Lead author, Michael Ristow stated that the result "reflects the metabolic state of a low-carb diet due to glucosamine supplementation alone – while these mice ingested the same amount of carbohydrates as their unsupplemented counterparts." In essence, the glucosamine negated the negative effects of dietary carbohydrates on aging.
Ristow fell short of recommending that everyone should take glucosamine (D-Glucosamine) supplements, as further study is needed, but he is taking them. Also cited were two studies (1, 2) that correlate glucosamine (taken with or without chondroitin) and longevity in humans.