Objectives: Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements have been associated with reduced inflammation, as measured by C-reactive protein (CRP). It is unclear if associations vary by formulation (glucosamine alone vs. glucosamine+chondroitin), form (glucosamine hydrochloride vs. glucosamine sulfate), or dose. Design, Subjects, Setting, Location: The authors evaluated these questions using cross-sectional data collected between 1999 and 2010 on 21,917 US adults, surveyed as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Exposures: Glucosamine and chondroitin use was assessed during an in-home interview; exposures include supplement formulation, form, and dose. Outcome/Analysis: CRP was measured using blood collected at interview. Survey-weighted linear regression was used to evaluate the multivariable-adjusted association between exposures and log-transformed CRP. Results: In early years (1999-2004), use of glucosamine (ratio = 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.79-0.96) and chondroitin (ratio = 0.83; 95% CI = 0.72-0.95) was associated with reduced CRP. However, associations significantly varied by calendar time (p-interaction = 0.04 and p-interaction = 0.01, respectively), with associations nonsignificant in later years (ratio = 1.09; 95% CI = 0.94-1.28 and ratio = 1.16; 95% CI = 0.99-1.35, respectively). Consequently, all analyses have been stratified by calendar time. Associations did not significantly differ by formulation in either set of years; however, significant associations were observed for combined use of glucosamine+chondroitin (ratioearly = 0.82; 95% CI = 0.72-0.95; ratiolate = 1.16; 1.00-1.35), but not glucosamine alone. Associations also did not significantly differ by supplement form. Even so, a significant inverse association was observed only for glucosamine sulfate in the early years (ratio = 0.78; 95% CI = 0.64-0.95); no significant association was observed for glucosamine hydrochloride. No significant trends were observed by dose. Conclusions: Although a significant inverse association was observed for glucosamine and chondroitin and CRP in early years, this association did not hold in later years. This pattern held for combined use of glucosamine+chondroitin as well as glucosamine sulfate, although associations did not significantly vary by supplement form, formulation, or dose. Further study is needed to better understand these associations in the context of calendar time.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
- dietary supplements