Why I’m Taking Glucosamine For Anti-Aging

  • by Nils Osmar. Updated September 9, 2023,
  • This post is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice.
  • See full Medical Disclaimer

In this article I’ll be taking a quick look at glucosamine and its possible benefits  as a life extension supplement. My references are at the bottom of the page.

Glucosamine is a natural compound found in cartilage. Some of it is harvested from shells of shellfish such as shrimp, crab and oysters (we can obtain some just by eating those foods). It comes in several different forms, including glucosamine hydrochloride, glucosamine sulfate, and N-acetyl glucosamine. It has a natural cushioning effect in our joints, so is often taken for joint health. For those avoiding seafood, it’s also possible to find supplements that are made in a lab.

Some recent studies (which I’ve listed below) have shown that glucosamine may actually be far more effective at reducing all-cause mortality, extending health span, and extending lifespan. Specifically, glucosamine has been found to:

  • Lower blood glucose and helps with glucose metabolism.
  • Increase lifespan in both mice and roundworms.
  • Preserve mitochondrial integrity.
  • Mimic the benefits of fasting by activating autophagy
  • Support mitochondrial biogenesis. 
  • Extend lifespan in aging mice.
  • Increase hyaluronic acid levels in the body, which may have a benefit in terms of reducing skin wrinkling.
  • And activate AMPK, a key metabolic pathway associated with greater longevity
  • In human studies, one recent study found that taking glucosamine/chondroitin for a year or longer was associated with a 39 percent reduction in early death from any cause.
  • One study found that high 10-year use of glucosamine was associated with a linear 23% reduction in risk in lung cancer. 
  • Other studies have found a 65-percent reduction in cardiovascular-related deaths, and a 27% reduction in respiratory mortality

Re: heart disease, according to a 2021 study, respondents taking glucosamine/chondroitin were 49% less likely to experience cardiovascular mortality when compared with non-users, 

Glucosamine is also one of the most vetted and most affordable supplements, costing just a few cents per capsule. So to me – speaking for myself – I consider it an essential supplement.  

This does not mean it’s necessarily good for everyone. For example, patients with severe glaucoma are often advised to avoid taking it because it can raise intra-ocular pressure, and could aggravate their condition.

As with any supplement, I’d recommend taking a thorough look at both potential benefits and side effects, and if you have any medical concerns, consult with a health care professional before taking it.

Reference studies:

Not medical advice

This article is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. I’m not advising that people eat any particular diet or take any particular supplement(s), just reporting on what I’m doing. Supplements, like medications and other interventions, can have side effects; I would encourage people to research both possible benefits and side effects before starting on any supplementation regimen, and consult with a medical professional about any issues which might have a medical component.  See full Medical Disclaimer

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