April 19, 2004 |
If you'd guessed 20 years ago what the "it" drug of the new millennium would be, at least for baby boomers, you probably wouldn't have said a pill made from shellfish shells and cow trachea. The pill -- a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin -- is popular with aging boomers because it may ease the pain of arthritis. It's also the treatment of choice for their beloved aging pets. Can you get any more with-it than that?
October 15, 2007 |
Americans with osteoarthritis of the knee may need to wait a little longer for proof that three common approaches actually work. In a review of 42 randomized controlled trials on hyaluronic acid injections, 21 studies on the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin and 23 articles on arthroscopy, researchers at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Assn.
November 21, 2005 |
A clinical trial of the popular dietary supplements glucosamine and chondroitin found no evidence that they're better than placebos in easing arthritic knee pain, the study's lead investigator has reported. The good news: Like placebos, the supplements aren't harmful either. The government-sponsored trial involving 1,600 arthritis sufferers at 16 medical centers across the country was designed to see whether the supplements lived up to their billing as potent weapons against arthritis.
August 30, 2010 |
I took glucosamine and chondroitin for about seven months. I had gotten little relief for my back pain, but I was willing to continue it to see if eventually it would help. Around that time, I had blood work done and found that my cholesterol had jumped from under 200 to 239. I had made no changes in lifestyle or diet other than these supplements. I haven't taken any since. Dozens of readers report a rise in cholesterol associated with taking glucosamine and chondroitin. In many cases, cholesterol levels go back down after the supplements are discontinued.
July 19, 2010 |
My husband and I are in our 50s. We are having much pain from arthritis. His is in his knees. I have had my thumb joint removed due to osteoarthritis, and now I am told I need hip-replacement surgery. Glucosamine and chondroitin seemed to help for a while, but now we are back to limping. What can you tell us about the benefits and risks of these supplements? Are there any other options? A large government-sponsored study of glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis of the knee determined that these supplements were no better than a placebo for mild to moderate arthritis (Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases online, June 4)
February 22, 2010 |
With more than 46 million Americans diagnosed with arthritis, the market for joint pain supplements is enormous — and only set to grow as baby boomers age. "I call it the quiet epidemic," says Dr. Thomas Vangsness, professor of orthopedic surgery and chief of sports medicine at the USC Keck School of Medicine. But while the variety of joint pain supplements just keeps growing, just a few have been well studied, and even fewer have been shown to work. Yucca root, mangosteen juice and fish oil supplements are often touted as remedies for joint pain, but although some lab studies indicate they might help fight inflammation, there's no solid evidence that any of them relieve the symptoms of arthritis in people.