A study published in the International Journal of Cancer suggests that taking glucosamine and chondroitin as dietary supplements may help reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer. The current study led by E. D. Kantor from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, USA and colleagues shows that men and women using a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin for more than three years had a 45% reduced risk of colorectal cancer, compared with those who did not take the supplements.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin and Reduced Risk of Colorectal Cancer 1An early study in which participants were followed for a shorter period already observed the association between use of glucosamine and chondroitin and reduced risk of colorectal cancer. For the current study, the researchers analyzed more data from an additional 2-year follow-up and found men and women reporting use of glucosamine and chondroitin on more than four days a week for more than three years were 45% less likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, compared with non-users.

The researchers added, “There is great need to identify safe and effective cancer preventive strategies, suggesting that glucosamine and chondroitin may merit further attention as a potential chemopreventive agent.” Glucosamine and chondroitin as dietary supplements have been commonly used for joint pain and osteoarthritis because they have anti-inflammatory properties. Many forms of cancer are believed to be associated with inflammation and it is hypothesized that glucosamine and chondroitin may reduce risk of CRC through an anti-inflammatory mechanism.