Effect of glucosamine on glucose control

Ann Pharmacother. 2006 Apr;40(4):694-8. doi: 10.1345/aph.1E658. Epub 2006 Mar 28.


Objective: To review the literature regarding the effect of glucosamine on glucose control.

Data sources: English-language articles on the effects of administration of exogenous glucosamine on glucose control were identified through a search of MEDLINE (1966-March 2006), EMBASE (1988-March 2006), and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970-March 2006) databases using the search terms glucosamine, blood glucose, and diabetes mellitus. Abstracts of articles were then reviewed to determine relevance to the topic. Bibliographies of selected articles were screened for other pertinent references.

Data synthesis: Theoretically, glucosamine may alter glucose metabolism. Insulin resistance has been noted following intravenous administration of glucosamine in animal studies; however, these findings have not been confirmed in humans. Alterations in glucose control have not been documented in long-term efficacy studies using oral glucosamine for osteoarthritis or in trials of short duration conducted in healthy or diabetic subjects. The long-term effects of glucosamine in patients with diabetes have yet to be established in well-controlled trials.

Conclusions: Small, short-term studies suggest that glucosamine may be used in selected patients without affecting glucose control; however, data in patients with diabetes mellitus are limited, and close monitoring for potential changes in glucose control is recommended.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Databases, Bibliographic
  • Glucosamine / adverse effects*
  • Glucosamine / pharmacokinetics
  • Glucosamine / therapeutic use
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Osteoarthritis / drug therapy
  • Osteoarthritis / metabolism


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glucose
  • Glucosamine