Possible role of chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine for primary prevention of colorectal cancer. Results from the MCC-Spain study

Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 1;8(1):2040. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-20349-6.


A safe and effective colorectal cancer (CRC) chemoprevention agent remains to be discovered. We aim to evaluate the association between the use of glucosamine and/or chondroitin sulphate and risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) in the MCC-Spain study, a case-control study performed in Spain that included 2140 cases of CRC and 3950 population controls. Subjects were interviewed on sociodemographic factors, lifestyle, family and medical history and regular drug use. Adjusted odds ratios and their 95% confidence intervals were estimated. The reported frequency of chondroitin and/or glucosamine use was 2.03% in controls and 0.89% in cases. Users had a reduced risk of CRC (OR: 0.47; 95% CI: 0.28-0.79), but it was no longer significant when adjusted for NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) use (OR: 0.82; 95% CI: 0.47-1.40). A meta-analysis with previous studies suggested a protective effect, overall and stratified by NSAID use (OR: 0.77; 95% CI: 0.62-0.97). We have not found strong evidence of an independent preventive effect of CG on CRC in our population because the observed effects of our study could be attributed to NSAIDs concurrent use. These results merit further research due to the safety profile of these drugs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chondroitin Sulfates / administration & dosage*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Glucosamine / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Chondroitin Sulfates
  • Glucosamine