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Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

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  • Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

    Hi, I'm not sure if I'm posting this question in the right place or not...

    Just curious if anyone is aware of the effects of glucosamine with the PPLP. I've read that glucosamine is a actually a glucose molecule and an amino acid linked together, and so am concerned about taking it and screwing up my blood sugar level--??

    TIA,
    Tracy

  • #2
    Re: Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

    The site I just looked at was recommending 1000mg (or 1g per day). If that's the sort of dose you're taking, then even if the whole thing was glucose, it would only be 1g, so I wouldn't expect the glucose in it to be a major source of blood sugar problems. I know almost nothing about glucosamine, so I can't say anything about its general effects.

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    • #3
      Re: Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

      Let's just make clear that just because something has a glucose molecule as part of the structure, doesn't necessarily mean that it will be treated just like glucose or will have the same effects. That has been one of the criticisms for Splenda and the manufacturers don't help much by saying 'it tastes like sugar because is made from sugar...'. While that is true, the similarities stop in the taste as their metabolism is quite different.

      Having said that, there are reports of glucosamine causing insulin resistance, rather than hyperglycemia. Needless to say that studies in humans are scarce and much of the work has been made with animals or isolated human cells. There is one study in healthy humans, in which the subjects received glucosamine directly into their forearm, that did not find any adverse effects (i.e. insulin resistance) in the short term but I have not read anything addressing long-term effects of glucosamine. It's also important to note that in that study, glucosamine was infussed, which may or not be equivalent to a daily dose of glucosamine. So, with those limitations in mind, the conclusio of that study is that in the short-term, glucosamine did not impair insulin sensitivity in healthy humans.

      There have been other reports in which glucosamine has been linked to hyperglycemia but the mechanism is quite different from just increasing the amount of 'glucose-like' molecules, as I gathered from the way the question was written. The way in which glucosamine affected glucose levels was by decreasing glucose uptake by muscle and fat cells. The normal response to glucose is the secretion of insulin, which among other functions, induces glucose to go into the cells. That is called 'glucose uptake'. This uptake is not a spontaneous event; it required specialized 'transporters' present in the cells to capture glucose and bring it into the cell's interior. Most cells need insulin to have this transporters active, although in some cells, there is a type of transporter that doesn't need insulin to be active. What glucosamine apparently does, is interfere with the way these transporters work, thus decreasing glucose uptake, which in turn results in glucose accumulation in the bood (hyperglycemia). Hyperglycemia, as we know, tends to precede insulin resistance, and several studies have indeed shown that chronic treatment of cells with glucosamine causes insulin resistance.

      What seems to be clear, however, is that both glucosamine and glucose can both induce insulin resistance but by mechanisms that are completely different. My only problem is that in the studies that have shown glucosamine-induced insulin resistance, the exposure of tissues to glucosamine has been 'unphysiological' (i.e. the concentrations may not reflect the actual exposure of cells when somebody takes glucosamine daily), so the actual biological relevance is still debatable.

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      • #4
        Re: Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

        Thanks so much for the insight and information, I really appreciate it... I'm sure that the effects it has are different on an individual, case-by-case basis as well...

        I'd like to take it to see if it will alleviate some joint pain I've been experiencing, but have enjoyed 7 1/2 months of weight loss success, and am not willing to take the risk at this point.

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        • #5
          Re: Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

          Originally posted by LifePlanFan
          Thanks so much for the insight and information, I really appreciate it... I'm sure that the effects it has are different on an individual, case-by-case basis as well...

          I'd like to take it to see if it will alleviate some joint pain I've been experiencing, but have enjoyed 7 1/2 months of weight loss success, and am not willing to take the risk at this point.
          Congratulations on your ongoing success!!!

          How is your intake of omega-3 fats? I ask because inflammation is an underlying cause for the joint pain seen in arthritic episodes, and inflammation is also a reflection of the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory precursors. Shifting that balance more towards the anti-inflammatory side helps aleviate or at least ameliorate problems related with joint pain, allergies and even migranes.

          Besides omega-3 fats (mainly EPA and DHA in fish oil), also linoleic acid (GLA) in the form of Evening Primrose Oil combined with fish oil helps to bring the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory precursors. There are also other supplements that have been shown to have some effect against joint pain (mainly caused by osteoarthritis); Niacin, for example, appears to reduce the pain and increase mobility of painful joins, particularly knee pain, in as little of 2-6 weeks of supplementation. Mary Dan Eades, in her book about vitamins and minerals, recommends 500 mg niacinamide + 100 mg of-complex twice a day for a week, and then 500 mg niacinamide three times daily for a week. Then increase your first morning dose of niacinamide to 1000 mg, then both the morning and noon doses to 1000 mg, and then increase all three doses to 1000 mg. Continue the 100 mg of B-complex throughout. Once you assess the effect (i.e. if you see a good response in relief of pain or increase in joint mobility), then is time to taper the dose back down to a single 500 mg niacinamide + 100 mg B-complex and remain there.

          I know, it sounds like a lot of work but there is a reason for that type of scheme. Some people can't tolerate increased amounts of niacin without symptoms of severe flushing and racing pulse, in which case, is best to use 'Niacin No-Flush' (I've used that one in the past without problem). Thus, increased supplementation like this needs to be done slowly, assessing for side effects and increase only if there are no side effects. Of course, if flushing develops, then supplementation should be stopped.

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          • #6
            Re: Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

            How is your intake of omega-3 fats?
            I take 4 teaspoons of Carlson cod liver oil a day... the dosage per teaspoon:
            Supplement Facts Serving Size 1 Teaspoon Amount Per 1 Teaspoon % DV Vitamin E (as d-Alpha tocopherol) 10 IU 33 Other Omega-3 Fatty Acids 300 mg * Omega-3 Fatty Acids (from fish oil) 1600 mg * Antioxidant Blend 14 mg * DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) 500 mg * EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) 800 mg * * Daily Value (DV) not established

            Although, it's been recommended to take 2 TBS a day (per Dr. Rosedale---Can't remember what Dr. Eades recommends) I've been taking a smaller dosage (consistently for the last 7 1/2 months) because of the exorbitant cost of the stuff, but would be willing to increase the dosage to see if it makes a difference.

            Besides omega-3 fats (mainly EPA and DHA in fish oil), also linoleic acid (GLA) in the form of Evening Primrose Oil combined with fish oil helps to bring the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory precursors. There are also other supplements that have been shown to have some effect against joint pain (mainly caused by osteoarthritis); Niacin, for example, appears to reduce the pain and increase mobility of painful joins, particularly knee pain, in as little of 2-6 weeks of supplementation. Mary Dan Eades, in her book about vitamins and minerals, recommends 500 mg niacinamide + 100 mg of-complex twice a day for a week, and then 500 mg niacinamide three times daily for a week. Then increase your first morning dose of niacinamide to 1000 mg, then both the morning and noon doses to 1000 mg, and then increase all three doses to 1000 mg. Continue the 100 mg of B-complex throughout. Once you assess the effect (i.e. if you see a good response in relief of pain or increase in joint mobility), then is time to taper the dose back down to a single 500 mg niacinamide + 100 mg B-complex and remain there.
            Hmmm... I don't take the GLA, and my multi has a limited niacinimide amount. I'll check that out.

            Thanks again!! Good to know that there are some alternatives to glucosamine.

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            • #7
              Re: Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

              www.vitacost.com is the cheapest Carlson's I've found - the larger bottle is about US$25 + shipping. http://www.vitacost.com/CarlsonTheVe...ishOil-169floz

              Until I saw the large bottle at Vitacost I was going to go for this one:
              Pharmax - haven't tried it - don't know the cost with shipping - but it is at this site - maybe others
              http://www.healingedge.net/store/pharmax.html
              what interested me here was 200ml for 16.00 but each tsp has 750 DHA 1050 EPA (for total omega-3 2250) - so you can get about the same DHA and EPA in 3 tsp compared to 4 - which might make it a more cost effective choice than Carlson's small (200ml) bottle, depending on what you pay for the Carlson's whereever you get it.

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              • #8
                Re: Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

                Gabe -
                Isn't most "no-flush niacin" in the form of inositol hexanicotinate (and therefore more like nicotinic acid in action) rather than niacinamide ?

                as I understand it, nicotinic acid has the anti-cholesterol effect and niacinamide/nicotinamide has the anti-inflammatory effect

                nicotinamid/niacinamide: - mentions anti-inflammatory properties, possible anti-diabetic properties and says it does not cause a "flush" nor effect lipids
                http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/n...nic_0183.shtml

                nicotinic acid: does effect lipids, can cause vasodilation/flushing
                http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/n...nia_0184.shtml

                so I'm thinking that you won't get niacinamide and it's anti-inflammatory effects in "No Flush Niacin" - am I wrong on that? But also, niacinamide shouldn't cause flushing anyway, right?
                Last edited by LisaS; 05-17-2006, 06:54 PM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

                  Lisa, some people find it difficult to take higher doses of niacinamide without side effects. It's hard to tell before hand if someone will or not suffer a severe flush.

                  I stand corrected regarding the No-Flush Niacin. It's mainly recommended to help reduce cholesterol levels.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

                    I've had Type 2 diabetes for about 10 years and have taken glucosamine/chondroitin for the last 4 years due to knee pain. I do not have knee pain now. I am able to manage my blood sugar without medication even though I used to take oral medication. I was able to get off meds by eating low carb and getting a more active lifestyle (hiking, biking, weight training, tennis).

                    Glucosamine is much better than taking too many nsaids for pain. It helps to rebuild the cartilage.

                    Exercise improves insulin resistance. Glucosamine can get rid of the pain to keep you exercising. If you are already checking your blood sugar, then it is a simple matter of continuing to check it.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

                      Thanks, Reverie, I appreciate your relating your personal experience with it...



                      BTW, Lisa, thanks for the referral to this site! I thought I had a great vitamin source but this one beats it!

                      Tracy

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                      • #12
                        Re: Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

                        Wow that is expensive CLO - its half that price here (and with currency correction less than half).

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                        • #13
                          Re: Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

                          it isn't CLO - it is Fish (body) Oil specifically for the omega-3 content
                          straight CLO for Vit A & D is cheaper.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

                            So it is. Our fish oil is also much cheaper - which is weird as it all comes from Norway, and 'our' brand (Melrose) gets the thumbs up from Enig and Fallon on the Weston Price site.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Glucosamine - will it affect blood sugar and stall weight loss?

                              that would be nice - that looks like a great product -
                              Last edited by LisaS; 05-23-2006, 07:22 PM.

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