Glucosamine and Longevity


  • Glucosamine is a natural molecule found in shellfish, fungi and in our own cartilage and skin. 
  • Glucosamine can extend lifespan in various organisms. 
  • Glucosamine can mimic a calorie-restricted diet. 
  • Glucosamine induces the formation of new mitochondria (mitochondrial biogenesis).
  • Glucosamine intake is associated with reduced mortality in humans.
  • Glucosamine can help to lower aging-related low-grade inflammation (inflammaging). 
  • Glucosamine can protect against DNA damage. 
  • Glucosamine can reduce some forms of crosslinking. Crosslinking of tissues makes them more stiff and contributes to aging. 
  • Glucosamine can improve skin health and skin appearance. 

Glucosamine Impacts Aging Via

The role of glucosamine in aging and longevity

Glucosamine is a natural molecule found in shellfish and fungi. 

It is present in your own body in the cartilage of your joints, and in your skin, bones, nails and ligaments. 

Glucosamine is mostly known as a supplement to improve joint health during aging. However, there is a lot of discussion whether glucosamine can really improve joint health. Some studies do show positive effects of glucosamine on joint health, while other studies don’t find any effect. 

Some scientists claim that studies showing no effect of glucosamine use the wrong form of glucosamine, namely plain glucosamine instead of glucosamine sulfate, which they claim is better.

This could make sense, given glucosamine sulfate is the form that is naturally incorporated in our joints and cartilage.

Also, sulfate can have various beneficial effects on the aging body.

Some scientists also assert that many glucosamine studies are too short in duration: they do not last long enough to be able to see an effect on joint health. 

But glucosamine has some far more important effects than improving joint health.

Glucosamine slows down aging

Few people know a much more interesting role of glucosamine in health: its ability to slow down aging and lengthen lifespan. 

Studies show that glucosamine can extend lifespan in various organisms (R,R). 

Glucosamine supplementation increases lifespan in mice (red graph) compared to mice not receiving glucosamine (black graph). Source: D-Glucosamine supplementation extends life span of nematodes and of ageing mice. Nature Communications. 

Scientists believe that glucosamine can extend lifespan by mimicking a calorie-restricted diet. More specifically, glucosamine slightly inhibits the ability of the mitochondria to process sugars, so that the cells believe they do not have enough energy. In response, cells create more mitochondria to improve their energy levels. 

But glucosamine’s effect on mitochondria is not the only reason why this substance can impact aging. 

For example, studies show that glucosamine inhibits aging-related inflammation, called inflammaging. It can also protect DNA against damage (R). Glucosamine could also prevent specific forms of crosslinking (R), relieve oxidative stress, and induce autophagy (R) (clearing up proteins that accumulate during aging). 

Glucosamine supplements and mortality in humans

A large study in humans found that glucosamine intake was associated with reduced mortality (R). This is in agreement with another large study that also found a reduction in mortality in people who take glucosamine supplements (R). 

A large study (a meta-analysis) of food supplements showed that glucosamine intake was associated with improved heart health, while most other supplements didn’t show any effects. 

These are of course association studies. Association is not causation. However, taking into account the ability of glucosamine to extend lifespan in various organisms, and given the many ways glucosamine impacts various aging mechanisms, this substance could definitely be one of the more interesting longevity ingredients. 

Glucosamine, wrinkles and skin health

Interestingly, glucosamine is a supplement that can improve skin health and slow skin aging.

This occurs via various mechanisms. For example, glucosamine inhibits matrix metalloproteinases, enzymes that break down collagen and elastin fibers in our skin, a process that contributes to skin wrinkles (R).

Glucosamine can also inhibit inflammation processes in the skin, which increases with the aging process.

Glucosamine also increases the expression of collagen, hyaluronan synthase and other important proteins that build up our skin (R). 

NOVOS CORE & glucosamine

Glucosamine is one of the 12 ingredients in NOVOS Core.

1 sachet of NOVOS Core contains 1000 mg of glucosamine sulfate.

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