May 15, 2019
An over-the-counter supplement commonly used to alleviate joint pain may actually hold benefits for the heart.
People who use glucosamine appear to have a significantly lower risk of developing various cardiovascular conditions, including coronary heart disease and strokes, according to a study conducted by researchers at Tulane University in New Orleans.
Glucosamine is a natural compound found in cartilage. There are several forms that have been marketed as joint pain relievers, but research on their effectiveness has been mixed.
But people taking glucosamine may gained unanticipated heart health benefits.
The Tulane researchers examined about 466,000 medical records from the United Kingdom's Biobank. They tracked the patients for seven years, looking for signs of heart disease and stroke.
Patients who used glucosamine were 18 percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease and nine percent less likely to have a stroke, researchers found. They also were 22 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease.
Those numbers came after researchers adjusted for various contributing factors, including smoking, body mass index, diet and age. Their findings were published in the BMJ.