Glucosamine is an amino sugar and a prominent precursor in the biochemical synthesis of glycosylated proteins and lipids. It is commonly used to treat osteoarthritis. More information about glucosamine can be found at
Many people have taken glucosamine for arthritis-like symptoms. Previous research has made medical experts to think that it may also have a beneficial effect on HDL (good cholesterol). Nevertheless, a recent study has proved that the HDL level would not be increased for diabetics who are prescribed glucosamine at commonly taken doses.
The researchers at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Missouri evaluated the effects of glucosamine (500 milligrams taken 3 times daily) versus matching 'placebo' capsules in 10 people with Type-2 diabetes and 2 people with Type-1 diabetes.
The study examined 3 men and 9 women, all with low HDL cholesterol, who were randomly assigned to take glucosamine or placebo for 2 weeks, and were switched over to a 2-week course of the alternative therapy. The finding revealed that there was no benefit of glucosamine on HDL cholesterol or any worsening of the diabetes control.
Their report, which was published in the journal Diabetes Care, indicated that the lack of an effect on the control on diabetes is consistent with previously published studies on the effect of glucosamine in both diabetic and non-diabetic individual. However, the study did not go further to answer whether higher dose or longer duration of glucosamine may make any difference to HDL levels.
People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. As such, appropriately managing diabetes is very important.