There are many vitamins, minerals, and supplements that are pushed to those who are aging. One of the most popular is glucosamine, and for good reason. Glucosamine has been found in study after study to help promote healthy bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, all of which are essential for healthy aging. Many athletes take these supplements, as do average Joe’s and Jane’s who are looking to improve their movement. Glucosamine is also marketed to dogs and cats for their healthy aging, and by most accounts, it works to improve movement in aging animals.

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Glucosamine is an amino sugar that helps in the biochemical synthesis of protein and lipids. In laymen’s terms, glucosamine helps proteins and lipids absorb into your ligaments, cartilage, tendons, bones, and tendons. This helps you keep your body flexible, and helps keep arthritis at bay. While it is inevitable that many of us will get some form of arthritis, taking a glucosamine supplement can alleviate the severity of the arthritis. It also helps alleviate the severity of arthritis that already exists.

Controversy aside, there have been animal studies that find that glucosamine can elongate the lifespan of those animals that consume glucosamine, as compared to animals that do not. The National Institute of Health found in 2014 that nematodes given gluosamine supplements lived longer than those who did not receive any supplement. The study found that in addition to the fat and protein transfer to bones and joints, glucosamine gave the nematodes a big boost in antioxidants which help liven up the entire body. While humans and nematodes vary drastically, many of the findings in the study support that which studies in humans do.

Another study, performed with mice, shows that glucosamine mimics the effects of a low-carb diet on your body. Glucosamine helps slow the absorption of sugar, which is the low-carb effect. Studies have also shown that glucosamine can also slow the growth of some cancer, and in others it supports the killing of pre-cancerous cells. Glucosamine, for many, is the golden ticket to happy aging, while others are still skeptical.

Skeptics are common with supplements and natural remedies, but glucosamine has enough studies to support its benefits for bone health. For other things, such as cancer, studies can only do so much as everyone has a different DNA matter in which cancers can thrive. Some of us are genetically bound to certain cancers, and glucosamine may be a false hope for those people. Glucosamine should always be taken under a doctor’s supervision, because some prescription medications can interfere with supplements. Your doctor may suggest another route for you besides glucosamine, and that may be your golden ticket to happy aging.