Glucosamine and chondroitin are the most popular supplements taken to help ease the pain of osteoarthritis in the hips or knees. A robust, international study has now confirmed that taking glucosamine hydrochloride plus chondroitin sulphate supplements is as effective in treating severe knee osteoarthritis as the prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, celecoxib.
Glucosamine and chondroitin for knee osteoarthritis
Over 600 people with x-ray evidence of knee osteoarthritis and severe pain were randomised into two groups. One group took standard doses of glucosamine hydrochloride (1500mg daily) plus chondroitin sulphate (1200mg daily) and the other group took prescribed celecoxib analgesics (200mg daily) for 6 months. Those taking part were allowed rescue medication of up to 3g paracetamol per day, if needed, except during the 48 hours before clinical evaluation.
After 6 months, the response rate in both treatment groups was identical at 79%, with a greater than 50% reduction in original symptoms of pain, stiffness, swelling and joint effusions. The use of rescue paracetamol was low throughout the study, although those taking glucosamine needed more during the first month (before the anti-inflammatory effects of supplementation became effective).
This is great news, as glucosamine has attracted a lot of negative publicity in the past. Although it was once thought to only provide building blocks for making new joint cartilage and synovial fluid, it is now known to act as a biological signal that triggers the production of new tissues.
And as a bonus, taking glucosamine may even help you to live longer!
Read more about the 9 best supplements for knee pain which explains how glucosamine works.
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