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Glucosamine associated with reduced lung cancer risk

  [ 5 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • July 11, 2011

Long used for support of healthy cartilage and joint structure, research indicates glucosamine supports free-radical scavenging and immunostimulating activities as well.

Use of glucosamine and chondroitin and lung cancer risk in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort
- Source: Cancer Causes & Control, Jun 25, 2011

By Theodore M Brasky, et al.

Objective: Inflammation plays an important role in lung carcinogenesis. Epidemiologic studies have reported inverse associations of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use and lung cancer risk [more NSAID use, less lung cancer incidence].

Previously, we found that use of glucosamine and chondroitin, which have anti-inflammatory properties, were inversely associated with lung cancer risk.

After an additional year of follow-up, we further examined the association including frequency/duration of use, interaction with factors associated with inflammation, and lung cancer histology.

Methods: Participants were members of the VITamins And Lifestyle cohort. A study of dietary supplements and cancer risk, run by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.] Adults, aged 50-76 years, who were residents of western Washington State, completed a baseline questionnaire in 2000-2002 (number = 76,904).

Participants were queried on their use of glucosamine and chondroitin, over the 10 years prior to baseline, and categorized as:

• Non-user,

• Low use (less than 4 days/week or less than 3 years),

• Or high use (4 days/week or more and 3 years or more).

Lung cancer cases (n = 808) were ascertained through linkage to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registry.

Results: High 10-year use of glucosamine [hazard ratio (HR), 0.77; 95% CI: 0.56-1.07; p trend = 0.04] but not chondroitin was associated with a reduction in lung cancer risk.

The association with glucosamine was limited to adenocarcinoma (HR, 0.49; 95% CI: 0.27-0.90; p trend <0.01) and was not modified by NSAID use or smoking status. [A hazard ratio of 1.00 would indicate no difference in risk between high glucosamine use group and others. An HR of 0.49 indicates risk is reduced by half, or 51% lower.]

Conclusion: Our results for glucosamine use are similar to the prior human studies of NSAID use and lung cancer, both in magnitude and the limitation of the association to adenocarcinoma.

Unlike NSAIDs, glucosamine has no known adverse effects.

Although confirmatory studies are needed, glucosamine is an attractive candidate for lung cancer chemoprevention.

Source: Cancer Causes & Control, Jun 25, 2011. PMID: 21706174, by Brasky TM, Lampe JW, Slatore CG, White E. Cancer prevention Unit, The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Washington, USA. [Email:]

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