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Nutrient - Glucosamine declared safe by Food Standards Agency

By Holly Taylor BSc(Hons) DipCNM MBANT

Following a small number of case reports and a recent Scottish inquest, the Food Standards Agency’s Committee on Toxicology (COT) launched a study to investigate any links between the popular joint supplement glucosamine and hepatitis. 

After an analysis of the available data, including the case reports and information from scientific trials on humans and animals, the committee ruled that glucosamine does not increase the risk of developing hepatitis. 

“The COT concludes that the available data on glucosamine does not indicate that glucosamine damages the liver”, a statement from the Food Standards Agency read. “Glucosamine occurs naturally within the human body and no plausible mechanism by which it might cause liver damage is apparent.” 

During the study, the COT scientists also looked at information on chondroitin, another common ingredient in joint formulations, and found no evidence to suggest a risk of liver damage.   

A spokeswoman for the Arthritis Research Campaign welcomed the findings, stating: “It is reassuring to know that the product is safe.” 

Article References

Committee on toxicology. Statement on Glucosamine and Hepatotoxicity. April 2009 Arthritis research campaign. Glucosamine ‘does not cause hepatitis’ 19 May 2009

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