Morgantown, WV—Glucosamine may reduce overall mortality about as well as regular exercise does, according to a new study from West Virginia University.
Researchers at the university assessed data from 16,686 adults who completed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999 to 2010, and merged it with 2015 mortality figures. After controlling for factors including age, sex, smoking status, and activity level, the researchers found that taking glucosamine/chondroitin every day for a year or longer was associated with a 39% reduction in all-cause mortality, as well as a 65% reduction in cardiovascular-related deaths.
“Once we took everything into account, the impact was pretty significant. Does this mean that if you get off work at five o’clock one day, you should just skip the gym, take a glucosamine pill and go home instead?” said study leader Dana King, Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, in a press release. “That’s not what we suggest. Keep exercising, but the thought that taking a pill would also be beneficial is intriguing.”
The press release notes that as this is an observational study, it can’t prove causation. However, King thinks the results are still useful. “In my view, it’s important that people know about this, so they can discuss the findings with their doctor and make an informed choice,” he said. “Glucosamine is over the counter, so it is readily available.”