Article

A comprehensive review of oral glucosamine use and effects on glucose metabolism in normal and diabetic individuals.

Cantox Health Sciences International, Mississauga, ON, Canada.
Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews (Impact Factor: 3.59). 01/2011; 27(1):14-27. DOI: 10.1002/dmrr.1150
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Glucosamine (GlcN) is a widely utilized dietary supplement that is used to promote joint health. Reports that oral GlcN supplementation at usual doses adversely affects glucose metabolism in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance have raised concerns that GlcN should be contraindicated in individuals with diabetes and those at risk for developing it. This review addresses its potential, when used at typical doses, to affect glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in healthy individuals and those with diabetes or 'pre-diabetes'. Publicly available scientific information and data on GlcN were systematically compiled using the electronic search tool, Dialog , and reviewed with special emphasis on human studies. In long-term clinical trials, including those containing subjects with type 2 diabetes or 'pre-diabetes', GlcN produced a non-significant lowering of fasting blood glucose concentrations in all groups of subjects treated for periods of up to 3 years. Owing to limitations in study design, conclusions based on studies that report adverse affects of GlcN on insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in pre-diabetic subjects are suspect. However, no definitive long-term studies of GlcN use for individuals with pre-diabetes are available. Nevertheless, based on available evidence, we conclude that GlcN has no effect on fasting blood glucose levels, glucose metabolism, or insulin sensitivity at any oral dose level in healthy subjects, individuals with diabetes, or those with impaired glucose tolerance.

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