Life Extension Magazine®

Older couple on cruise ship using glucosamine and chondroitin

Glucosamine Intake Linked to Lower Risk of Premature Mortality

Glucosamine and chondroitin lower premature mortality risk; omega-3s help improve periodontitis; healthy diet decreases depression risk in adults over 45; ashwagandha enhances sleep, alertness, and quality of life in older adults.

Scientifically reviewed by Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Intake Linked to Lower Risk of Premature Mortality

Doctor looking at blood slides through microscope

Regular supplementation with glucosamine and chondroitin is associated with a lower risk of mortality, according to the results of a study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.*

The study included 16,686 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999 to 2010. Participant interviews ascertained the use of dietary supplements during the previous month. Individuals who reported using glucosamine and chondroitin for a year or more were identified as glucosamine/chondroitin users in the current investigation.

During a median follow-up period of 107 months, 3,366 deaths occurred, of which 674 were caused by cardiovascular disease. Regular use of glucosamine/chondroitin was associated with a 58% lower adjusted risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and a 27% lower risk of dying from any cause during follow-up.

Editor’s Note: Glucosamine and chondroitin are nutrients that are often consumed in combination to support joint health. Many individuals use glucosamine and/or chondroitin supplements on a regular basis to help maintain healthy joints or relieve some of the symptoms of arthritis.

*J Am Board Fam Med. Nov-Dec 2020;33(6): 842-847.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids as Add-On Therapy for Periodontitis

Number of foods that are rich in omega-3

A review and meta-analysis included six studies that involved the use of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in the treatment of periodontitis.1 In four of the six studies, clinical attachment level and probing depth revealed significant improvement in association with omega-3 supplementation, compared to a placebo.

A randomized trial evaluated the effects of omega-3 supplementation in participants with chronic, moderate periodontitis.2 Clinical attachment level improved at both one and three months among participants who received omega-3 in comparison with the control group, and compared to the beginning of the study.

In another trial, patients with periodontitis received scaling and root planing, while some of the subjects also received EPA and DHA.3 The study documented improvement in clinical attachment loss, bleeding on probing, and probing depth in the group that received omega-3.

Editor’s Note: These studies provide growing evidence that omega-3 supplementation could be a promising adjunct to standard periodontitis therapy. As the authors of the review and meta-analysis noted, an alternative to antibiotics used in periodontal therapy could help solve, in part, the potential problem of antibiotic resistance in this group of patients.


  1. Lipids Health Dis. 2020 May 21;19(1):100.
  2. Indian J Dent Res. 2020 Mar-Apr;31(2): 229-35.
  3. Nutrients. 2020 Aug 27;12(9).

Adults Over 45 with Healthy Diets are Less Prone to Depression

Smiling woman at a dance class

The intake of fruit, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids can help protect against the risk of depression in older adults, according to an article in BMC Psychiatry.*

The study included 27,162 men and women between the ages of 45 to 85 who participated in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Demographic data, depression, physical health, dietary intake, and other factors were assessed upon enrollment.

For men, being in a relationship, having a high intake of omega-3 fatty acids, fruit and vegetables, calcium, and high vitamin D sources, as well as other factors, were protective against depression.

Among women, chronic pain, stage 1 hypertension, low intake of fruit and vegetables, and other factors were associated with a greater risk of depression.

Editor’s Note: The authors note that fruit and vegetables contain magnesium, zinc, and selenium that may help reduce inflammation, which is associated with depression. Additionally, fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants that decrease the effects of oxidative stress on psychological health.

* BMC Psychiatry. 2019 Nov 6;19(1):329.

Ashwagandha Supplementation Associated with Improved Sleep, Alertness, Quality of Life

Older couple using supplementing with ashwagandha

A randomized trial published in Cureus found improvement in sleep, alertness, and quality of life among older men and women treated with the herb ashwagandha.*

The trial included 50 men and women between the ages of 65 to 80. Half of the group received ashwagandha root extract twice daily and the remainder received a placebo for 12 weeks. Quality of life, daytime sleepiness, sleep quality, and mental alertness upon rising were evaluated at the beginning of the trial, at four and eight weeks, and at the end of the treatment period.

Quality of life, including global, physical, psychological, social, and environmental aspects, significantly improved from baseline levels among the group that received ashwagandha.

In comparison with the placebo, sleep quality and mental alertness improved in the ashwagandha-treated group.

Ashwagandha was well tolerated and reported as safe and beneficial by those who received it.

Editor’s Note: Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs used in Ayurveda. It has been found to increase testosterone levels and lower cortisol levels in humans, lengthen the life of roundworms, and increase the activity of telomerase, an enzyme that lengthens telomeres (protective genetic material that caps and protects the ends of chromosomes) in cell cultures.

* Cureus. 2020 Feb 23;12(2):e7083.