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March 6, 2000

Other Medications

Question from :

My father has adult onset diabetes and arthritis. Is it safe for him to take glucosamine sulfate (1500mg/day)? There seems to be some concern about it causing insulin resistance.


From: DTeam Staff

Glucosamine is well documented as a cause of insulin resistance; but the work is based on animal studies and on cultured human cells. There are essentially no clinical reports. In your father’s case he needs to talk this issue over with his doctor because there are alternative remedies for both the diabetes and the arthritis. If glucosamine at the present dose has a strikingly beneficial effect on the arthritis it might be possible to manage the diabetes on oral medication though this should not be with drugs like the “glitazones” (troglitazone, rosiglitazone, or pioglitazone). If he is insulin dependent and glucosamine clearly increases insulin resistance, then there are other possibilities for the arthritis including the new cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors.