Glucosamine, Chondroitin May Not Help Osteoarthritis
Posted Mar 22 2010 7:01am
Similar to a Dutch study we reported on in February, results from a U.S. study indicates that glucosamine does not impede the progression of osteoarthritis.
The 2 year Dutch study of the benefits of glucosamine on patients with hip osteoarthritis found that there was no improvement in pain, stiffness, function or disease progression. In addition, 15 of the 222 participants had hip replacement surgery before the end of the study.
The current study, an extension of the National Institutes of Health-funded Glucosamine/chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT), did not measure effectiveness as a pain reliever, but specifically at impacts on disease progression.
In 2006, researchers from the GAIT trial reported that glucosamine and chondroitin supplements were no better than a placebo for use in reducing knee osteoarthritis pain. That conclusion was based on input from 1,600 participants who took either one, or both, of the supplements.
Of the original participants in the GAIT study, 572 participated in an 18 month extension of the trial. All of these patients were diagnosed with moderate to sever osteoarthritis. The rate of disease progression was measured using a specific X-ray protocol. Results at the end of the extension showed no significant difference between the glucosamine and placebo groups.
According to lead researcher Dr. Allen Sawitzke of the University of Utah School of Medicine: “While we found a trend toward improvement among those with milder osteoarthritis of the knee in those taking glucosamine alone, we were not able to draw any definite conclusions.
“That’s not the same as saying there is no difference. The result was influenced by the slow rate of progression for everybody. The study actually says more about what we need to do for the next investigation than for what patients should do.”
The results of the Utah study were published in the October, 2008 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.