February 03, 2020
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Glucosamine supplementation may hinder type 2 diabetes development

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Lu Qi

Adults who take glucosamine supplements may be less likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared with those who do not take extra glucosamine, especially if they also have elevated levels of C-reactive protein, according to findings published in Diabetes Care.

“This is the first prospective study reporting the potential beneficial effects of glucosamine use on diabetes,” Lu Qi, MD, PhD, HCA Regents distinguished chair and professor in the department of epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and director of the Tulane University Obesity Research Center in New Orleans, told Healio. “The results are exciting, but not very surprising, because there [is] prior evidence supporting our findings.”

Qi and colleagues evaluated type 2 diabetes development across 8.1 years of median follow-up among 404,508 adults from the UK Biobank who did not have diabetes at baseline. Researchers categorized glucosamine users (n = 78,588; mean age, 58.6 years; 63.1% women) and nonusers (n = 325,920; mean age, 55.1 years; 53.6% women) based on information from a questionnaire completed between 2006 and 2010. Follow-up surveys were completed between 2012 and 2013 and in 2014. The researchers evaluated C-reactive protein levels in blood samples taken between 2006 and 2010 and identified diagnoses of type 2 diabetes in medical records.

In fully adjusted models, those who took glucosamine had a 20% reduction in type 2 diabetes risk vs. those who did not (OR = 0.81; 95% CI, 0.76-0.86). The researchers carried out additional analyses using different exclusion criteria, such as an HbA1c of 6.5% or more, and still observed a reduction in risk with glucosamine. In addition, the reduction was “more pronounced in participants with high C-reactive protein levels.”

“The study reported novel findings, which may motivate further investigations on the potential mechanisms,” Qi said. “The results suggest potential beneficial effects of glucosamine use on diabetes.” – by Phil Neuffer

For more information:

Lu Qi, MD, PhD, can be reached at lqi1@tulane.edu.

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.