April 19, 2013
New study says this joint supplement isn't safe — here's why you should continue taking it
The anti-supplement establishment is at it again. This time, they're attacking glucosamine — a powerful joint supplement that people have safely used for years.

A new lab experiment has shown that very high doses of glucosamine can be toxic to your insulin-producing pancreas cells. As you can imagine, most of the headlines read: "Popular joint supplement harms your pancreas." But that's not the entire story.

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In the experiment, the researchers found that large doses of glucosamine reduce the abundance of a crucial protein called SIRT1. When the protein falls too far, it can trigger the death of cells needing it, like pancreatic cells. However, the amount of glucosamine these researchers had to use in order to produce this damage was astronomical. They used levels five to ten times higher than what supplement makers usually recommended (1,500 mg daily).

The lead author expressed concern that a significant number of glucosamine users are using more than the recommended dose. This is possible. And it's a good reminder that if you take more than what a label recommends, you might be taking too much. If you want to go past a supplement's recommendations, I think it might be wise to get some counsel from your integrative physician.

But don't let the headlines scare you away from using this fabulous supplement that's helped millions of people treat their joint pain. This was a lab-dish study, which is far different than in the living organism. So I'm not concerned about problems arising from the recommended dose.

If you're already taking Advanced Joint Formula, which contains 1,500 mg per daily dose, you don't have to worry about any damage to your pancreas. It's very safe — and it's very effective.

One final note: If your integrative physician feels like you need to take more glucosamine, there's a simple way to protect your pancreas. All you have to do is take resveratrol along with it. Resveratrol keeps your SIRT1 protein levels up. But make sure you work with your doctor to make sure it's working.

Ref: J Pharmacology, November 2013.

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