Glucosamine is well known for its use in relieving joint pain. But a recent study shows that it may have a new application in reducing lung cancer risk. Inflammation plays a key role in lung carcinogenesis. Studies have reported a lowered lung cancer risk when taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In a study involving data collected from 76,904 adults between the ages of 50 and 76 years, high use (more than 4 days/week for 3 or more years) of glucosamine was found to be associated with a reduction in risk of lung cancer (specifically adenocarcinoma).
The results of taking glucosamine were found to be similar to the prior human studies of NSAID use and lung cancer, however unlike NSAIDs, glucosamine has no known adverse effects. Although further studies are needed, glucosamine could be an important supplement for lung cancer chemoprevention.
Study: “Use of glucosamine and chondroitin and lung cancer risk in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort,” Brasky TM, Lampe JW, et al, Cancer Causes Control, 2011 June 25