When researchers from the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle looked at supplement usage in over 77,700 people over the age of 50, they were astonished to find that those who took glucosamine on at least four days a week, for at least three years, were 18% more likely to survive the eight-year study period than non-users. They performed a more sensitive analysis, to help exclude any pre-existing disease, and instead of going down, the protective effect of glucosamine increased to a 20% reduced risk of death from any cause, including heart attack. This protection remained even after accounting for other confounding factors such as smoking, weight, age, education, marital status, alcohol intake, physical activity, vegetable intake, cholesterol-lowering medication and HRT. Glucosamine is known to reduce inflammation, which is why so many people find it helpful for their joints. Heart disease is also associated with a low-grade inflammation of the arteries, which may explain why glucosamine appears to be protective.

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