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Say it ain’t so: Should multiple myeloma patients avoid using the supplement glucosamine?

Home/Supplements/Drugs/Say it ain’t so: Should multiple myeloma patients avoid using the supplement glucosamine?

Say it ain’t so: Should multiple myeloma patients avoid using the supplement glucosamine?

I have been taking glucosamine to help joint pain in my knees for almost a decade.

I truly believe it helps.  If I stop using it for several days, my knees hurt.  That’s enough evidence for me.

But this morning, I read an obscure report about how glucosamine is contra-indicated for multiple myeloma patients.

WHAT?  Both my medical oncologist and myeloma specialist know I take it.  No one has ever said a word.

Here is a LINK to a post about this on a blog called Natural Medicine News.

…Glucosamine may interfere with the treatment of multiple myeloma and should probably be used with great caution, if at all, by people diagnosed with this disease.  Let me explain why. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the ‘plasma cells.’ Plasma cells help fight infection by producing antibodies. In multiple myeloma these plasma cells grow out of control in the bone marrow, forming tumors in areas of solid bone.
     These tumors hinder the bone marrow from making healthy cells and platelets. This leads to anemia, broken bones, fevers, fatigue and shortness of breath. It’s common practice to treat multiple myeloma with high doses of steroids, in particular prednisone. [1]
     A 2008 paper by Ohwada et al announced that a substance called hyaluronic acid led multiple myeloma cells to become resistant to prednisone so that this kind of drug becomes ineffective as treatment. [2] Hyaluronic acid increases connective tissue providing a framework in which some myeloma cells can hide from attack.
     Knowing that hyaluronic acid might limit multiple myeloma treatment places a strong impetus on us to avoid increasing this substance in people with multiple myeloma…

I understand that you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.  But this report seems credible, complete with references.

Am I going to stop using glucosamine?  I’m thinking about it…

I am going to be running a series of reports about substances/compounds/supplements which help or possibly hinder the effectiveness of anti-multiple myeloma drugs in the upcoming weeks.

Since oncologists don’t know much about this stuff.  Guess it is up to us to keep on top of such things.

One more responsibility which goes along with being diagnosed with cancer…

Feel good, keep smiling and start doing your homework!  Pat