Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Effects of oral glucosamine sulphate on serum glucose and insulin during an oral glucose tolerance test of subjects with osteoarthritis
  1. B A Biggee1,
  2. C M Blinn2,
  3. M Nuite1,
  4. J E Silbert3,
  5. T E McAlindon1
  1. 1Division of Rheumatology, Tufts New England Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Connective Tissue Research Laboratory, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Harvard Medical School, Division of Rheumatology/Immunology/Allergy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr J E Silbert
    Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, 200 Springs Road, Bedford, MA 01730, USA; jesilbert{at}


Background and objective: Glucosamine is suggested to affect glucose transport and insulin resistance. The effects of oral glucosamine on serum glucose and insulin levels at the initiation and throughout the duration of a 3-h oral glucose tolerance test were examined.

Methods: Sera from 16 patients with osteoarthritis, but with no other diagnosed medical condition who had fasted overnight, were obtained every 15–30 min during the 3 h of continued fasting and during the 3 h after ingestion of 75 g of glucose with or without ingestion of 1500 mg of glucosamine sulphate. Glucose was analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography using a Metrohm-Peak 817 Bioscan, and the area under the curve (AUC) for glucose was calculated. Insulin was measured by radioimmunoassay every 30 min for 2 h.

Results: Three participants who were found to have previously undiagnosed abnormalities of glucose tolerance demonstrated significant (p = 0.04) incremental elevations in glucose levels after ingestion of glucosamine sulphate. The other 13 participants also had mean incremental elevations that were not significant (p = 0.20). Glucosamine sulphate ingestion had no effect on insulin levels.

Conclusion: The results suggest that glucosamine ingestion may affect glucose levels and consequent glucose uptake in patients who have untreated diabetes or glucose intolerance.

  • AUC, area under the curve
  • BMI, body mass index

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.