Navigation Links
More Evidence That Glucosamine, Chondroitin Won't Help Ailing Joints
Date:9/17/2010

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Although millions take supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis in their hips and knees, there is no evidence that these supplements have any healing effect, finds a new analysis of large-scale studies.

This latest report is one of several that have found no beneficial effect of either supplement in relieving arthritic pain. But since there is no evidence that the pills cause harm, the new report's authors say there's no reason to stop taking them if individuals think they are being helped.

On the other hand, "if a patient hasn't had these preparations [already], it doesn't make sense that he or she should be encouraged to take these supplements," said lead researcher Dr. Peter Juni, head of the division of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Bern in Switzerland.

The bottom line, according to Juni: "None of the two supplements we evaluated appears to have any clinically relevant benefit in terms of pain relief that could be detected by patients with knee or hip arthritis."

The report is published in the Sept. 17 online edition of the BMJ.

Over the past 10 years doctors have prescribed supplemental glucosamine and chondroitin and many millions around the world have bought them over-the-counter, the researchers said.

According to background information in the study, in 2008 sales of glucosamine supplements around the world reached almost $2 billion -- about a 60 percent increase since 2003.

For the new study, Juni's team analyzed the results of 10 randomized clinical trials involving more than 3,800 patients with knee or hip osteoarthritis. The trials -- which all compared people taking the supplements to a control group that was not taking them -- focused on any changes in levels of pain after patients took glucosamine, chondroitin or both, comparing them with the placebo or with each other.

Poring through all the data, the researchers found no clinically relevant effect of chondroitin, glucosamine or both taken together on joint pain or on narrowing the space within the painful joints.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Andrew Sherman, associate professor and vice-chair, department of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, said that "we need to look more closely at these over-the-counter medications that claim to be panaceas and may not be giving us our money's worth."

For his part, Juni said that, "if the patient already has had the preparations and really believes in a benefit -- which is most likely related to the natural history of the disease or to a placebo effect -- in light of the fact that we don't have any evidence that these preparations are unsafe, there is no real reason to actively discourage these patients from taking these preparations as long as they can cover the cost."

Sherman agreed that some people report these supplements help them.

"Is it that they want it to help so bad or so much that they actually feel better, and that's a placebo effect? Or is it able to help a small minority of folks, just not a majority of people?" he said.

Since there appears to be no negative consequence to taking these supplements (except cost) there appears to be no harm in doing so, Sherman said.

The study does suggest, however, that the claims that the companies who produce the supplements are making "need to be reevaluated, scrutinized and criticized until such time as a large study shows that the medication works," Sherman said. "At this time no such study exists."

More information

For more information on arthritis, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Peter Juni, M.D., head, division of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland; Andrew Sherman, M.D., associate professor and vice-chair, department of rehabilitation medicine, University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine; Sept. 17, 2010, BMJ, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Hayes Announces Appointment Of Dr Susan Levine To The Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC)
2. Evidence-based care and outcomes improve at Get With The Guidelines-Stroke hospitals
3. Researchers find further evidence linking Epstein-Barr virus and risk of multiple sclerosis
4. More Evidence That Swings in Blood Pressure Raise Stroke Risk
5. Cellular pathway could provide evidence of how cancer and obesity are linked
6. Palladians Distinguished Clinicians Present at APTAs National CSM Convention in San Diego on Evidenced Informed Management of Chronic Low Back Pain Without Surgery
7. Pew Applauds Federal Grant Program Supporting State Expansion of Evidence-Based Home Visitation
8. Elseviers Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice celebrates 10th year with special issue
9. Evidence-based medicine theory can be applied to frequent flying says US professor
10. No Evidence That Lithium Helps in ALS
11. UNC study offers first clinical evidence of anti-cancer drug triggering viral infection
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
More Evidence That Glucosamine, Chondroitin Won't Help Ailing Joints
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and ... main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin ... of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical ... and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe ... from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine ... his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent ... that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals ... also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) ... will receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance research ... anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dublin - ... " Global Markets for Spectroscopy Equipment" report ... This report focuses on the global market of ... applications in various applications. The report deals with spectroscopy ... industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and beverage, and environmental ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... Tests" report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the ... analysis in the report includes the following: ... Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016  MedSource ... platform as its e-clinical software solution of choice.  ... the best possible value to their clients by ... nowEDC.  The preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the ... pricing for MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: