Glucosamine - A new study suggests
that regular use of the supplement glucosamine sulfate slows the
progression of osteoarthritis. The study included a group of people
over the age of 50 who had osteoarthritis, the type of arthritis
associated with daily wear and tear.
For 3 years, half of the people
took glucosamine and half took a placebo. At the end of the study,
x-rays of the knees revealed that arthritis had worsened in the
people who took the placebo but not in the people who had taken
Furthermore, the people who took the placebo reported a
slight worsening of their pain and disability, but the people who
took glucosamine reported that their pain and disability had
lessened. The use of glucosamine was not associated with any
substantial side effects.
These results suggest
that glucosamine may prevent a worsening of osteoarthritis in people
who have this condition. The researchers note, however, that the
glucosamine used in the study was carefully prepared as a drug and
that glucosamine supplements may not have the same effect.
- If you have mild or moderate
joint pain diagnosed as being caused by osteoarthritis, consider
starting over-the-counter glucosamine to help relieve symptoms
and also to possibly slow progression of this disease. But be
aware that the results of this study do not prove that taking
glucosamine will relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis.
- Be aware that the study was
testing the effects of a drug preparation and store-bought
supplements may have different results.
- If you have severe
osteoarthritis, or if you are on multiple other medications,
discuss with your physician the risks and benefits of adding
over-the-counter glucosamine to your treatment plan.
- Tell your physician if you are
taking glucosamine supplements for osteoarthritis.