Glucosamine and chondroitin
Two natural nutrients, glucosamine and chondroitin, help keep joint cartilage healthy. Here, doctors reveal heart and circulatory benefits, as well. In this study, doctors in 2015 counted deaths in a group of 16,686 adults who had participated in a large trial from 1999 through 2010.
Overall, those who had taken glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for at least one year were 39 percent less likely to have died from any cause compared to those who hadn’t taken glucosamine and chondroitin. Also, glucosamine/chondroitin takers were 65 percent less likely to have had a stroke, coronary artery or heart disease.
Doctors were careful to note that this was a “look-back” study of a population that had or had not taken glucosamine and chondroitin, and was not a clinical trial where participants were treated or given a placebo.
After taking into account factors such as age, sex, smoking, and exercise, doctors said the findings still “support a strong association between regular intake of glucosamine/chondroitin” and increased life expectancy.
Flavones, flavanones, and polyphenols
Flexible, supple blood vessels that relax and dilate to adjust for increases in blood flow are healthy. One of the first signs of circulatory disease is when these vessels stiffen and restrict blood flow.
In this study, 96 men and women, average age 49, took a placebo or a total of 1,000 mg of citrus flavones, flavanones, and olive leaf polyphenols per day. After eight weeks, vessel flexibility increased 3 percent compared to 0.5 percent for placebo. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure also decreased.
Total and LDL cholesterol decreased for the flavone/polyphenol group while increasing for placebo, and HDL—the good cholesterol—increased while decreasing for placebo. Signs of oxidative stress and inflammation also decreased in the antioxidant group while not improving for placebo.