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Chondroitin may Not Have Any Beneficial Effect on Arthritis, New Study Says

Chondroitin has simply no effect on arthritis, yet another study says. It neither prevents or reduces joint pain, researchers said after an analysis of 20 studies. //

"We do not have evidence to suggest that chondroitin has a clinically relevant effect on patients' pain," says author Peter Jüni, head of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Bern in Switzerland.

The paper comes a little more than a year after a major National Institutes of Health study found no clear proof that the popular supplement combo glucosamine and chondroitin reduces joint pain.

While glucosamine is believed to stimulate production of cartilage-building proteins, chondroitin may inhibit production of cartilage-destroying enzymes and fight inflammation too.

Cartilage is a smooth, connecting tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. It enables our joints to support the weight when bending, stretching, walking or running. It is the body's natural shock absorber.

Glucosamine supplements are derived from shellfish shells; chondroitin supplements are generally made from cow cartilage.

In recent years, glucosamine and chondroitin have been widely promoted as a treatment for osteoarthritis. While arthritis means inflammation of the joints, and is the name given to a group of over 200 diseases, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis. The most commonly affected joints are the knees, the hips, hands, feet, and spine.

The risk of developing the condition increases with age. It mainly affects people over the age of 40, and is most common among those over the age of 65. In fact, by the age of 65, around 50 per cent of people have OA in one or more of their joints, and around 10 per cent have some disability caused by it.

Glucosamine, an amino sugar, is thought to promote the formation and repair of cartilage. Chondroitin, a carbohydrate, is a cartilage component that is thought
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