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Study Suggests Glucosamine Won't Ease Hip Arthritis
Date:2/18/2008

Research adds to debate on the supplement but doesn't settle it, one expert says,,,,

MONDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Glucosamine sulfate, a popular dietary supplement purported to ease the pain and inflammation of arthritis, does not seem to help people with arthritis in their hips.

That's the conclusion of a study that compared the use of glucosamine to a placebo for the treatment of mild to moderate hip arthritis.

"For these patients with hip osteoarthritis, glucosamine sulfate does not seem to be an effective treatment on the basis of our results," said study author Rianne Rozendaal, a researcher at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Not everyone is so certain that glucosamine isn't useful though.

"This study is not definitive. This is the first one specific on hip osteoarthritis, and only subgroups of patients improved. So, no confirmation, but no refuting either," said Dr. Johannes W.J. Bijlsma, the author of an accompanying editorial and chair of the department of rheumatology and clinical immunology at the University Medical Center Utrecht, in The Netherlands.

Results of the study appear in the Feb. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

As many as one in five Americans has been diagnosed with arthritis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States.

While lifestyle interventions, such as exercising, can help prevent some of the disability associated with arthritis, few effective medical interventions are available. That may explain why people with arthritis turn to unproven remedies in the hope that these products might ease the pain in their aching joints.

Glucosamine sulfate is one such product, but clinical trials of the supplement have had mixed results. For every study that finds a benefit, it seems there's another that finds n
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