Glucosamine for Knees Evidence Builds

  1. Glucosamine for Knees Evidence Builds

    Glucosamine for Knees Evidence Builds

    Using the Right Dose of the Supplement, Patience Are Key to Effectiveness

    By Jennifer Warner

    WebMD Medical News

    Reviewed By Michael Smith, MD


    Jan. 27, 2003 - Many people swear by the supplement glucosamine to help ease their arthritic knee pain. But only recently has scientific evidence been appearing to back it up. Now, a new study not only adds to that evidence, but also gives a better understanding of how long it takes for glucosamine to start working.

    Glucosamine is a natural substance produced by the body and found primarily in joint cartilage, where it is thought to play an important role in maintaining joint health and resilience. Glucosamine supplements are widely sold in health food stores and over the Internet.

    Previous studies have found at least some perceived benefit among users, but the results have been somewhat controversial. Many of these studies have been criticized for using too low a dose, short treatment periods, small numbers of participants, and a lack of tests to document actual changes in pain.

    In this study, researchers say they attempted to overcome some of these shortcomings by looking at the effects of 12 weeks of glucosamine supplements at a dose of 2000 mg per day. In addition, they included tests to directly measure joint function and pain in people with knee pain.

    The results appear in the February issue of the <I>British Journal of Sports Medicine</I>.

    The size of the study was relatively small, involving only 24 people who took glucosamine and 22 who took a placebo. The patients ranged in age from 20 to 70 years and all suffered from knee pain due to previous cartilage damage or possibly osteoarthritis that was severe enough to limit daily activities.

    Tests such as a stair climb and duck walk measured knee joint function and the participants also answered two questionnaires on perceived pain.

    Researchers found that general mobility improved over time in both groups, but this improvement happened more quickly among those treated with glucosamine, starting after about four to eight weeks of treatment.

    But the biggest benefits of glucosamine seemed to be in reducing the amount of perceived pain. By the end of the study, 88% of the glucosamine group said their knee pain had improved compared to only 17% in the placebo group -- even though the participants did not know which pill they were taking.


  2. I found this one to be a good read for possible weight trainers who have knee problems. I wish I knew if there was evidence to back it with shoulder pain and hip problems&nbsp;as well. I hope to find some to support them. This one made me really think if I have future joint problems to really look at glucosamine for relief.

  3. Well... in my case, my knees used to hurt a lot when I started lifting, and after I took glucosamine the pain went away in about a month... could've been the glucosamine or just me adjusting.


  4. Usually its combined w/ chondroitin to alleve joint pains.
    For answers to board issues, read the Suggestion and News forum at the bottom of the main page.

  5. yeah... my doc told me just to take glucosamine, he said there's not much clinical evidence to support chondoitrin


  6. Glucosamine, Chondroiton and MSM Sulfate when blended together have a synergistic effect, thus enhancing the synthesis of new cartilage, muscle tissue and ligaments. By normalizing the cartilage matrix, it will in essence, treat the problem at the cellular level, which in turn allows the body to heal itself.

    Chondroiton Sulfate consists of (GAGs) Glucuronic Acid and Galactosamine. The structure of the matrix allows Chondroiton to contribute to joint lubrication by sweeping nutrients into the cartilage. In short, the precise arrangement of this component and collagen along with the properties of water, enables cartilage to provide a tough wear resistant, weight bearing surface (shock absorbing effect). Chondroiton Sulfate also has the ability to accelerate wound and ulcer healing, as well as promote cardiovascular health.

    Chondroitin Sulfate – hydration for joint mobility

    Chondroitin sulfate another immensely popular nutritional aid in the joint health category, provides the structural components of the cartilage found in the joints. It ensures the necessary hydration and material for joint mobility. Since cartilage does not have blood vessels to supply nutrients, chondroitin sulfate serves as the conduit for these nutrients to flow through the cartilage.

    Several double-blind placebo-controlled studies have investigated the effect of chondroitin sulfate. In one study, [Busci and Poor, 1998], 85 people with osteoarthritis of the knee received either 400mg of chondroitin sulfate twice daily or placebo, for six months. The intensity of daily joint pain was assessed, as well as the time to walk 20 meters, and other standard clinical pain indicators were used.

    Statistically significant differences in favor of the treatment group, compared to the control group, were seen in most measures of pain assessment. At six months, physicians rated the improvement as good or very good in 69% of those taking chondroitin sulfate, but in only 32% of those taking placebo.

    Published research continues to demonstrate why glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate have become two of the nation’s most popular selling nutritional supplements. The recommended daily dosage for this combination is 1500mg of glucosamine sulfate and 1200mg of chondroitin sulfate. It is important to look for the sulfate form as this is the most readily absorbable by the body, and is the form used in scientific research studies. The benefits take about three to six months to notice but apparently, it is well worth the wait. HW

    Nice summary and clinical research.
    For answers to board issues, read the Suggestion and News forum at the bottom of the main page.


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