Glucosamine is used by many to rebuild cartilage in worn-out or damaged joints. Two years ago, a BioMed Pharmacother (March 2018) study reported that glucosamine lowered the risk of cardiovascular death by over 20%.
Glucosamine is an anti-inflammatory and has autophagy-boosting features. Autophagy is a natural metabolic process in our bodies that flushes damaged or old cellular material and stimulates new cell replacement. However, too much or not enough of this metabolic process can lead to disease.
New studies indicate that glucosamine may also extend our lifespan.
Autophagy (Aw tof’ pha gee)
https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2021/3/glucosamine-intake-linked-to-lower-risk-of-premature-mortality. Our cells must be cleaned up of old or damaged cellular debris to keep them fully functional. Autophagy is the janitor who comes in and vacuums away the fragments and rubble. A clean cell functions better without all the waste accumulating in it.
Autophagy and Longevity
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5792715/. Several pathways in the human body activate the autophagy function – reduced insulin levels and IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) signaling, decreased TOR (target of rapamycin) signaling, restricted calories, and several more. Studies show that autophagy increases the lifespan of laboratory animals.
Aging tends to tamp down the effectiveness of autophagy when not stimulated by a specific pathway – for example, extended fasting, significantly reduced calories, avoidance of sugar-related foods, etc. Thus, normal aging tends to see a decrease in the function of autophagy and an increase in the risk of age-related diseases. Glucosamine activates the autophagy process thereby reducing the risk of age-related disease and extends our lifespan.
Glucosamine and Longevity
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140408122135.htm. Laboratory studies of glucosamine show a five to ten percent increase in the lifespan of certain lab animals. Two things were noted in the studies. One was that glucosamine improved glucose metabolism in older animals. The second was that glucosamine acted like a low-calorie mimic.
Animals without glucosamine were fed the same number of calories, yet the glucosamine-fed animals preferentially metabolized proteins over carbohydrates – a low-carb mimicking state. Scientists believe this would be true in humans also. Those with diabetic conditions must confer with their physician before undertaking any glucosamine supplementation.
Glucosamine and Aging
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3988823/. Scientists have known for decades that restricted (low-calorie) diets extend the lifespans of many animals. Human testing is challenging to prove the same thing, but the internal functions are related, and there is no reason to believe otherwise.
https://www.valterlongo.com/fasting-mimicking-program-and-longevity/ Dr. Valter Longo has been investigating extended fasting, the immune system, and diabetes for years. Extended fasting, over 72 hours, will rebuild the immune system. Fasting longer than 210 hours can rebuild the pancreas to produce functional beta cells to combat diabetes.
Fasting-mimicking diets are those which simulate fasting (not eating) while at the same time eating food. Glucosamine can modulate the low-calorie process, which activates autophagy. This activation is one way to extend the lifespan of animals (and humans).
Additionally, glucosamine activates AMPK (5’ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase), increasing glucose and fatty acid metabolism (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190115111944.htm).
Sirtuins promote longevity and are triggered by glucosamine (https://www.nature.com/articles/nature.2012.10074#:~:text=Sirtuin%20genes%20and%20the%20proteins,as%20much%20as%2015.8%251.)
Glucosamine is used primarily to assist in the cartilage-rebuilding process. However, new studies indicate that it is a powerful supplement that improves cardiovascular health and can extend our lifespan.
Some of us will make changes to our lifestyle without consulting a physician. For example, glucosamine has many powerful health benefits and may be advantageous to take to improve health. However, many people have glucose issues, and it is not something to be taken without first consulting a doctor.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com