Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

7/7/03

Q:

I am concerned about whether there are any studies showing that glucosamine/chondroitin supplements are harmful to people with a predisposition towards diabetes. I am not currently diagnosed, but my mother and one aunt did have adult onset diabetes and I am trying through diet and exercise to keep the disease at bay. However, I remember reading somewhere that there was some connection between the glucosamine/chondroitin and diabetes, and cannot find the original reference anywhere. I am currently sixty two years old.

A:

There have been some animal studies, a small sampled human study and anecdotal evidence for glucosamine possibly contributing to insulin resistance. Some of the symptoms reported were flatulence and bloating, but not directly traceable to this supplement. It is mostly agreed that more research is needed before a conclusion can be made. Meanwhile, if taking this supplement, monitor your own blood sugars with a good baseline and pattern before taking, and once started. Glucosamine and chondroitan have brought relief for many individuals with arthritis. Inform your healthcare practitioner if you are taking it.

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