True or False: Glucosamine & Chondroitin Keep Your Joints Healthy
Beth Skwarecki

If you're smart, you think about your knees a lot. They're crucial to lifting, to running, to almost every sport, and they're worth taking good care of. (If you're lucky, you don't have to think about your knees at all; they just work. But not all of us are that lucky.)

So if you love your knees--and all your other joints--why not take glucosamine and chondroitin? Those are probably the best known supplements for joint health, but are they worth it? Do they actually do anything?

Tony Lamanna October 1 2014 7:36 pm
I would have to disagree with your statement that the effects of glucosamine are just related to placebo effect.

Here are 3 studies that compare it to ibuprofen with equivalent efficacy:

1. Muller-Fassbender H, Bach GL, Haase W, et al. Glucosamine sulfate compared to ibuprofen in osteoarthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 1994;2:61-69.
2. Qiu GX, Gao SN, Giacovelli G, et al. Efficacy and safety of glucosamine sulfate versus ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Arzneimittelforschung. 1998;48:469-474.
3. Thie NM, Prasad NG, Major PW. Evaluation of glucosamine sulfate compared to ibuprofen for the treatment of temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis: a randomized double blind controlled 3 month clinical trial. J Rheumatol. 2001;28:1347-1355.

Here are a few more references of the positive effects (symptomatic relief as well as prevention of degeneration) of glucosamine:

1. Reginster JY, Deroisy R, Rovati L, et al. Long-term effects of glucosamine sulphate on osteoarthritis progression: a randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Lancet. 2001;357:251-256
2. Pavelka K, Gatterova J, Olejarova M, et al. Glucosamine sulfate use and delay of progression of knee osteoarthritis: a 3-year, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Arch Intern Med. 2002;162:2113-2123.
3. Richy F, Bruyere O, Ethgen O, et al. Structural and symptomatic efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin in knee osteoarthritis: a comprehensive meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163:1514-1522.

Evidence suggests that it is definitely not just a placebo!
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