New research from Germany indicates that glucosamine, which is widely taken for osteoarthritis, has potential to improve glucose metabolism and extend lifespan.
In the study, the researchers monitored elderly mice of 100 weeks old, equivalent to 65 year old humans. One group of mice were given glucosamine supplements whilst the other mice received the same diet but no glucosamine. The researchers found that the mice treated with glucosamine had improved metabolism of glucose and lived 10% longer than the untreated mice.
The research team noted in the study that the effects of glucosamine on metabolism and protection from type 2 diabetes are similar to being on a low carb diet, yet without the need to restrict dietary carbohydrate intake.
Glucosamine is readily available in pharmacies and is recognised as being safe at conventional doses. More research will be needed, however, to confirm whether glucosamine is effective at improving metabolism and prolonging life in humans.
Readers should note that there has been a number of conflicting research studies over the effects of glucosamine. For example, previous research into mice has showed that taking high levels of glucosamine killed off significant numbers of the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.

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