According to 2014 stats, 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass. What’s more, the number of hip fractures is expected to swell by 240% in women and 310% in men by 2050 in comparison to 1990 rates. Osteoporosis, an ailment which is characterized by quick bone loss and slow bone formation, typically affects women but men may come in its hold too.
Osteoporosis is associated with cardiovascular disease. Both of the health concerns are linked to death and disease in the elderly. Some past research suggests that people who have osteoporosis are at the risk of developing heart disease as well compared to those who have a healthy bone mass. Moreover, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis also have shared risk factors.
Now a new study shows that a commonly used supplement called glucosamine, which strengthens the cartilage and treats joint pain may be of use in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease too. Glucosamine is taken by 2.6% of the American adult population, which shows how popular it is.
What Does This Study Reveal?
This new research, which appears in the BMJ, opines that taking glucosamine might help prevent cardiovascular problems. Conducted by researchers from the New Orleans Tulane University, LA, this study showed that the dietary supplement could also prevent heart-related ailments such as a stroke.
Data of 466,039 participants from the UK Biobank study was used. About 1 in 5 of these or 19.3% said that they used glucosamine. The participants’ records were looked at for seven years. It was found that the people who had reported using glucosamine lowered their risk of cardiovascular ailments or related ones by 15% in comparison to those who didn’t.
Their risk of dying because of cardiovascular problems, getting a stroke, or developing coronary heart disease was also lowered by 9 to 22%. These links found were independent of factors such as age, diet, body mass index, gender, lifestyle, and medication. Researchers also noted that smokers benefited even more by taking this supplement, which is primarily for osteoporosis.
Their risk of heart disease was lowered by 37%. The investigators involved also said that a casual explanation for these associations may lie with mechanisms of the body which are related to inflammation. By reducing inflammation, glucosamine is able to reduce the risk of heart problems along with osteoporosis perhaps.
Another explanation can be that taking this supplement has effects similar to those of following a diet that is low in carbohydrates. Since this study is observational by nature, several more studies are needed to confirm this claim.
Glucosamine is used by a massive chunk of the US population. The popular supplement is used for the treatment of osteoporosis as it strengthens the cartilage tissue as well as relieves pain in the joints.
Now a new study presents the hypothesis that the use of glucosamine can be helpful in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease too. This may be explained by the ability of the supplement to reduce inflammation.