Glucosamine Extends Lives of Mice, Could It Work For Humans?

Glucosamine, a known dietary supplement and vitamin could have potentially dangerous side effects to those who ingest it. Surprise, right? Everything has side effects somewhere.

Every day it seems like there is a new diet fad on the market. From acai berry, green tea extract, coffee beans and raspberry ketones to simply drinking a lemon and cayenne infused glass of water, they are far reaching.

Glucosamine has gotten a lot of attention lately because rumor has it that it may extend the lifespan of those who take it. It can be found in any grocery store around the nation. Could a typical retail item actually be bad for you?

The claims that glucosamine can extend lifespan may be true, if you believe that people are closely linked to mice and that if something works on mice that it will also have the same effect on humans.

The mice who were given glucosamine in the study were 100 weeks of age which is equated to 65 human years. The study found that the group of mice who received the glucosamine lived 10 percent longer than the mice who did not take the supplement.

A little note about mice research: it’s not always accurate for humans. According to an article by CNN:

Uncertainty about the applicability to humans is usually a big disclaimer in rodent studies, even in respected journals.”

Author of “Identically Different,” Tim Spector, advises caution and explains that there are many things we don’t know about when taking supplements such as glucosamine. He has said:

“Glucosamine is an interesting molecule that could affect us subtly in many ways. Humans are not the same as worms or rodents and studies will need careful replication before we get over-excited.”

Glucosamine composes the skeletons of crustaceans, so people who are allergic to crabs, lobster and other sea fish should use caution when consuming it, as severe allergic reactions could occur.

It has also been linked to worsened symptoms in people with asthma, so those with it should not take it either.

Glucosamine’s primary use is for arthritis and joint health, although some sources have said that it may be a helpful tool in maintaing a low carb diet. It’s also been shown to delay cancer growth in some cases.

Michael Ristow, one of the scientists that performed the mice study has said this:

“Unlike with our longer living mice, such an association is no definite proof of the effectiveness of glucosamine in humans. But the chances are good, and since unlike with most other potentially lifespan-extending drugs there are no known relevant side effects of glucosamine supplementation, I would tend to recommend this supplement.”