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Research Center

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Effects on Arthritis

07/26/2005

Question:

How does glucosamine and chondroitin work for arthritis and what is its value. Is it worth taking or is it just a passing fancy.

Answer:

Research from Europe - where Glucosamine has been used for several years - showed that Glucosamine is useful to control pain in patients with osteoarthritis (mainly of the knee). It was shown in some studies to be as good as antiinflammatories in controlling pain and much safer. Recently a larger study from Europe was published showing that Glucosamine might prevent joint space loss in knee osteoarthritis. The substance is studied now also in the US. For the moment we just explain to the patients that it is a safe substance, that can help with pain in the knee osteoarthritis. Not being controlled by the FDA we do not know for sure what each bottle contains, how pure it is, if what is on the label is also in the bottle. If after research in the US the substance will be approved as medication and controlled by FDA we will be more comfortable in advising patients.

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Response by:

Yolanda   Farhey, MD Yolanda Farhey, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati