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Glucosamine and Diabetes

A recent (July 13th 2010) study done by Dr. Daren Scroggie and associates from Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, studied the effects of glucosamine on glucose levels - a very important measurement for diabetics. The clinical study reported that taking glucosamine supplements in humans does not notably affect glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. This is great news, because there were a few animal studies that had shown a slight effect on glucose levels with large glucosamine dosages that have lead researchers – until now – to be skeptical about glucosamine’s effects on diabetics due to potential concerns about changing glucose levels.

As a result of this study, that has mostly changed. Whether or not the 34 patients were taking glucosamine, their glucose levels fluctuated very little - great news for diabetes.

Dr. Daren Scroggie explained that while the typical animal dose was 3,000 to 435,000 milligrams per day, the equivalent human dose is only 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per person per day. This gigantic contrast not only underscores glucosamine's safety profile but shows that the effect of glucosamine at therapeutic human dosages on glucose levels in humans is negligible. This is great news for diabetics with arthritis, as the NSAIDs commonly used to control arthritis have common toxic side effects and do little but mask the pain. Glucosamine, on the other hand, has a lasting effect on joint pain – and works to do more than just cover up the pain. Its effects last (although at an increasingly lower rate) even after you stop taking it – something traditional NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors cannot do.

The authors of the study stated, that "since patients with diabetes are at risk for toxic effects from some of the current treatments for osteoarthritis (NSAIDs in particular) glucosamine may provide a safe alternative treatment for these patients."

Well put, Doctor Scroggie. Keep up the good work.

SOURCE: Archives of Internal Medicine, July 13, 2010.

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