There have been just a few case reports suggesting that glucosamine may raise LDL cholesterol levels (WHO Pharmaceuticals Newsletter 2005). However, most clinical studies have not found glucosamine supplementation (glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine chloride taken for 3 months to 3 years, at doses ranging from 1,200 mg to 1,500 mg daily) to be associated with increases in cholesterol (Østergaard, Ugeskr Laeger 2007; Palma Dos Reis, Open Rheumatol J 2011; Eggertsen, BMC Pharm & Tox 2012).
Although glucosamine is unlikely to raise cholesterol levels in most people and is generally considered safe, keep in mind that, in some people, it can cause an allergic reaction, increase eye pressure, and have an anti-coagulant effect. People who need to restrict their sodium intake should avoid forms of glucosamine that contain sodium chloride.
For more information about these effects, tips for using glucosamine and appropriate dosage, and ConsumerLab.com’s tests and reviews of many glucosamine supplements, see the Joint Health Supplements Review (Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Boswellia, and MSM)>>