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July 2019

Can glucosamine slash CVD risk?

That’s what a lot of recent headlines are claiming. But unfortunately, the new study they are referencing doesn’t exactly back them up.

A recent study using data out of the UK evaluated a possible link between glucosamine use and reduced heart disease and stroke risk. Headlines in both the UK and the US are now claiming that taking glucosamine can slash CVD risk by 15%. Make sure patients understand that the study wasn’t designed to prove that glucosamine can cause a reduced risk of CVD, only that taking it might be linked to the reduced risk. And details about which dose or form of glucosamine (i.e., glucosamine sulfateglucosamine hydrochloride, or n-acetyl glucosamine) works best is unclear. It’s also important to note that people in this study who took glucosamine were more likely to be non-smoking, physically active women who maintained healthy diets and took additional supplements, which already places them at reduced risk for CVD. For now, it's too soon to recommend any form of glucosamine for reducing the risk of CVD.

To see which, if any, supplements have better evidence of benefit for preventing CVD, check out our comparative effectiveness chart.

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