Does Glucosamine Alter Glycemic Control or Cholesterol Levels in Diabetics?
Glucosamine and Diabetes:
The results of a recent study suggest that supplementation with glucosamine does not adversely affect blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes.
Since glucosamine is an amino sugar, there’s a theoretical risk that supplementation could alter blood sugar levels.
From the Study:
“OBJECTIVE: Dietary and nutritional supplements are modulators of HDL cholesterol levels and production of apolipoprotein (apo).”
“CONCLUSIONS: These observations suggest that glucosamine at commonly consumed doses does not have significant effects on glycemic control, lipid profile, or levels of apoAI in diabetic subjects after 2 weeks of supplementation.”
It’s important to note that this particular study only followed patients who consumed glucosamine for 2 weeks. Longer-term supplementation with glucosamine might be expected to have different results.
[box type="note"]A previous study which looked at the effects of glucosamine supplementation in healthy adults (not diabetics) who consumed 1500 mg per day of glucosamine for a period of 12 weeks did not find that glucosamine altered blood sugar or insulin levels (Tannis et al, 2004).[/box]
Another previous study involving patients with previously well-controlled diabetes who consumed 1500 mg of glucosamine per day (in three divided doses) for 4 weeks also did not find any adverse effects on blood glucose or other lab measures indicative of an adverse effect on diabetes (Scroggie et al, 2003).
[box type="important"]Glucosamine may provide relief for the symptoms of arthritis in many patients. Compared to anti-inflammatory medication, glucosamine appears to be a safer alternative. For those with diabetes who consume glucosamine on a longer-term basis, it’s important to regularly monitor your blood sugar. Newer research also confirms that Glucosamine does not alter blood sugar levels.[/box]
- Albert SG, Oiknine RF, Parseghian S, Mooradian AD, Haas MJ, McPherson T. The effect of glucosamine on Serum HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein AI levels in people with diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2007 Nov;30(11):2800-3. Epub 2007 Aug 6
- Tannis AJ, Barban J, Conquer JA. Effect of glucosamine supplementation on fasting and non-fasting plasma glucose and serum insulin concentrations in healthy individuals. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2004;12:506–511.
- Scroggie DA, Albright A, Harris MD. The effect of glucosamine-chondroitin supplementation on glycosylated hemoglobin levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Arch Int Med 2003;163:1587–1590.