Thursday, May 23, 2024

Is Glucosamine And Chondroitin Good For Arthritis

A Study On The Effectiveness And Safety Of Glucosamine Chondroitin And Celebrex


The purpose of this new analysis of prior studies was to investigate the effectiveness and safety of glucosamine, chondroitin, the two in combination, or celecoxib in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis . The study covered 54 previous studies and a total of 16,427 patients.

Researchers discovered that all the treatment options showed improvements in pain, but only glucosamine plus chondroitin showed improvement in function and reduction in the narrowing of the joint space seen in arthritis. In addition, gastrointestinal adverse effects were seen in those using the celecoxib. Researchers concluded that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin was an effective treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee.

What Are The Possible Risks

  • Shellfish allergy: most glucosamine supplements are made from shellfish, although some made from non-shellfish sources are now available.
  • Bleeding: people taking the blood thinning medicine warfarin should talk to their doctor before starting, stopping or changing their dose of glucosamine or chondroitin. These supplements may interact with warfarin and make the blood less likely to clot or increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Diabetes: glucosamine is a type of sugar so check with your doctor before taking glucosamine if you have diabetes.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women: there have not been enough long-term studies to clearly say that glucosamine is safe for a developing baby. Pregnant women should talk to their doctor before taking glucosamine.
  • Other side effects: upset stomach , headaches, and skin reactions.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether you should be trying these medications, whether they are safe for you and, if you decide to try them, make sure you get the right dose.

High-quality evidence shows little or no benefit from glucosamine or chondroitin for OA. If you want to try these supplements, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether they are safe for you.

Risk Factors For Hand And Finger Arthritis

According to Dr. Newsum, finger or hand arthritis can occur years after of an old injury, but most of the time, it affects people age 50 and older.

By age 60, 70% of people will have arthritis based on X-rays. By age 75, 90% have arthritis on X-rays, but the important thing to note is that many dont have severe symptoms and are not debilitated by it.

If you do, however, its important to get medical help to find your path toward relief.

Other factors that can increase your risk of arthritis in your hands and fingers include:

  • Diabetes
  • Enlarged bumps at the fingers knuckles

Its also important to distinguish between the different types of hand or finger arthritis.

Dr. Newsum explains, Osteoarthritis affects the middle knuckles and knuckles near the nails and can appear as large bumps on the knuckle, which are bone spurs that are caused from bone rubbing on bone when the joint moves.

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that attacks tendons, ligaments, the joint lining and bones.

Read Also: Is Heat Good For Arthritis

Do Glucosamine And Chondroitin Really Help Arthritis Pain

Some people swear that over-the-counter dietary supplements called glucosamine and chondroitin ease arthritis pain, reduce stiffness, and protect joints from further damage. Others say they don’t help.

A major study of glucosamine and chondroitin published in TheNew England Journal of Medicine concluded that how much relief a person gets depends on how severe his or her arthritis pain is to begin with. Among 1,500 participants with knee osteoarthritis, glucosamine and chondroitin taken alone or together provided no more relief than placebo. Those with mild pain did not see much benefit. People with more severe pain experienced modest relief with the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin.

If you’re wondering whether glucosamine and chondroitin might work for you, the answer is “it depends.” If your osteoarthritis pain is moderate or significant, try taking both glucosamine and chondroitin for two to three months. If you find they ease your pain, it’s reasonable to keep using them. If not, save your money. As always, if you choose to try these or any other vitamins, supplements, or alternative therapies, tell your doctor.

For more on living with osteoarthritis and the latest treatments for this condition, buy Living Well with Osteoarthritis, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

What Is The Role Of Glucosamine And Chondroitin Sulfate In The Treatment Of Osteoarthritis

Best Naturals Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM Joint Pain ...

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have been used in Europe for many years and continue to be popular with patients worldwide. In the United States, however, the glucosamine/chondroitin arthritis intervention trial reported, at best, limited benefit from glucosamine , chondroitin sulfate , or the combination of the 2 in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

In GAIT patients overall, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate alone or in combination did not reduce pain effectively at 24 weeks, but in patients with moderate-to-severe pain at baseline, the rate of response was significantly higher with combined therapy than with placebo . At 2 years, no treatment achieved a clinically important difference in loss of joint-space width, though treatment effects on Kellgren-Lawrence grade 2 knees showed a trend toward improvement relative to the placebo group.

The AHRQ comparison found no clear difference between glucosamine or chondroitin and oral NSAIDs for relieving pain or improving function. However, the AHRQ observed that most trials showing therapeutic benefits from glucosamine used pharmaceutical-grade glucosamine that is not available in the United States, noting that the trial findings may therefore be inapplicable to currently available over-the-counter preparations.

  • Osteoarthritis Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at . January 10, 2019 Accessed: February 7, 2020.

  • Also Check: Is Broccoli Good For Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Finger Or Hand Arthritis These 5 Nonsurgical Treatments May Help

    Hand or finger arthritis can limit your ability to live your best, active life. And if you cant open a jar, grip your grocery bags or write a letter to a loved one without wincing in pain, it might be time to seek some solutions that may help. Many of these treatments are even safe and effective without surgery.

    In fact, Nicholas J. Newsum, MD, board-certified orthopedic surgeon with fellowship training in hand, wrist, elbow and microsurgery, spoke to us about these five nonsurgical treatments for hand and finger arthritis.

    Glucosamine Not An Option With Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Q. In a recent column, you said that a person should not take glucosamine if they have rheumatoid arthritis but that it was useful for people with osteoarthritis. I have just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and my doctor started me on glucosamine and chondroitin immediately. Why is this a problem?

    –C.P., Coral Springs, Fla.

    A. You should talk to your doctor about discontinuing this supplement and trying something else. Let me give you some background. Glucosamine and chondroitin are used to build cartilage within the joints. In osteoarthritis, there is a deficit of cartilage in the joints, so these supplements are helpful. Any supplement that improves the shock-absorbing quality of the joints is useful to an osteoarthritic sufferer. But the most important point here is that osteoarthritis is basically limited to joint degeneration.

    People with rheumatoid arthritis have what is called an autoimmune disorder. It’s an inflammatory process affecting the entire body. Essentially, something goes wrong and causes the immune system to go berserk. The body suddenly views itself as a foreign substance and launches an attack on itself. The joints bear the brunt of the assault, although the whole body is affected.

    Q. When I was growing up, my dad told me that washing my hair daily would make it fall out sooner. He said to wash my hair every few days rather than every day to avoid going bald. Is there any truth to this?

    –D.G., Round Rock, Texas


    Recommended Reading: How To Fight Against Arthritis

    Is Glucosamine Actually Good For Joints

    by Andrew Lavender, The Conversation

    Pharmaceutical companies have been promoting glucosamine supplements as a treatment for osteoarthritis for many years. Taking glucosamine for osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of complementary medicine in western societies.

    Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage lining the surfaces of the joints wears thin due to the bones rubbing on each other for a long period. It’s also caused by reduced production of proteoglycan, an essential component of cartilage, as we age. This results in joint pain and stiffness.

    Glucosamine and chondroitin occur naturally in the body and are required for the biosynthesis of proteoglycan. It’s been suggested supplementation with these products increases the amount of cartilage and fluid in the joints, and/or reduces the rate of decline in these substances leading to relief of pain and improved joint health.

    Glucosamine and chondroitin have both been developed as prescription drugs for treating osteoarthritis. And there are many products available as over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements. These vary greatly in the quantity of glucosamine and chondroitin they contain.

    While osteoarthritis is usually associated with an older age group, there are other risk factors including genetics, obesity, joint injury, occupational or recreational activities, gender and ethnicity.

    Glucosamine formulation

    Glucosamine as a preventative measure

    Chondroitin sulfate

    So what’s the verdict?

    Exercise May Help Knees More Than Glucosamine And Chondroitin

    Glucosamine and Chondroitin For Arthritis
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    With osteoarthritis, knees become swollen and stiff, and cartilage can degenerate. Ted Kinsman/Science Sourcehide caption

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    If you’re among the estimated 27 million Americans who suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee or hip, then perhaps you’ve tried the nutritional supplements glucosamine and chondroitin. They’ve been marketed for joint health for about 20 years, and sales are still brisk. But do they help?

    Some horses might say yes. The supplements were first tried in horses, and there’s some evidence that the supplements might improve joint function for them.

    Glucosamine and chondroitin are also marketed to dog owners. But what about us humans? Unfortunately, researchers say that for us the results just don’t match the glowing testimonials.

    It would seem to make sense that glucosamine and chondroitin could help. They’re both natural substances found in cartilage, that hard connective tissue that pads joints.

    Glucosamine is an amino sugar that may help renew cartilage, and chondroitin sulfate is a complex carbohydrate that is thought to help cartilage retain water. Arthritis causes pain, swelling and stiffness in joints and damages cartilage over time. So the thought was maybe extra glucosamine and chondroitin could help maintain and even repair the damage.

    The vast majority of patients reported no significant difference in pain relief between glucosamine, chondroitin, a combination of the two and placebo.

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    Topical Or Oral Nonsteroidal Anti

    Dr. Newsum explains that topical over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications in the form of gels or creams can be even more effective than similar medications taken by mouth.

    Since the finger joints are right under the skin, topical anti-inflammatories can deliver the active ingredient quite well and even offer less side effects compared to oral anti-inflammatories.

    Though, oral anti-inflammatories can be an effective treatment, too, if needed.

    Your doctor can help you determine which is best for you, says Dr. Newsum.

    How Should I Take Chondroitin And Glucosamine

    When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.

    If you choose to use chondroitin and glucosamine, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.

    Do not use different formulations of chondroitin and glucosamine at the same time without medical advice. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose of chondroitin and glucosamine.

    If you need surgery or dental work, stop taking chondroitin and glucosamine at least 2 weeks ahead of time.

    Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

    Also Check: Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes

    Chondroitin And Glucosamine Side Effects

    Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

    Although not all side effects are known, chondroitin and glucosamine is thought to be possibly safe when taken for up to 2 years.

    Stop using chondroitin and glucosamine and call your healthcare provider at once if you have:

    • irregular heartbeats or

    Safe Use Of Glucosamine And Chondroitin

    Best supplements for arthritis to try in 2020

    Be aware that such supplements as glucosamine and chondroitin are not subject to approval by the FDA and do not fall under the same rigorous and strict standards that traditional medications do. Patients should ask their healthcare provider and their pharmacist for suggestions on which brands they believe to have the highest quality product.

    It would also be wise to contact the glucosamine or chondroitin manufacturer through the Internet or from addresses or phone numbers found on the bottle for more information concerning their methods of quality assurance for their product.

    Also Check: What Supplements Should I Take For Arthritis

    Glucosamine And Chondroitin Reduce Cartilage Loss

    There have been a bevy of studies in addition to this new one that show that glucosamine and chondroitin help MRI cartilage findings when taken over many months to years. For example, I blogged on a study a few years ago that showed that chondroitin helped to reduce cartilage loss on MRI. There are other studies for both glucosamine and chondroitin that show this, especially when theyre taken for long periods of time .

    Another study shows again that when both are taken together over two years, they slow the progression of arthritis as seen on X rays. The study looked at more than 600 middle-aged and elderly patients who still had a small amount of cartilage and who were randomized to take either supplement alone, the two together, or a placebo. Only the two supplements taken together showed protection of cartilage over the two year period.

    Ra Treatment: Do Glucosamine And Chondroitin Really Work

    Jump to:Pain ReliefResearchPros/ConsThe Verdict

    If youre living with Rheumatoid Arthritis , you are no stranger to the pain associated with this condition. Stiffness, swelling, and tenderness in the joints. Back and muscle pain. Whole body fatigue, anemia, skin blemishes/redness, dry mouth, pins and needles sensations. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the whole body. And those that suffer from this chronic condition are seeking relief using a variety of compounds to limit or prevent inflammation.

    < h3> Pain Relief via Supplements< /h3>

    Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate are compounds that work together to treat inflammation due to arthritis as found in RA and osteoarthritis. Glucosamine is key to cartilage formation and maintenance and is manufactured from shellfish. Chondroitin is also a key component to cartilage maintenance as its main function is to attract water to the cartilage to provide better shock absorption during physical activity.

    Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate have been found to have considerable success in the treatment of osteoarthritis in both humans and animals. Results from the American College of Rheumatologys medical studies indicate that both supplements have been found to reduce joint inflammation and swelling, with most evidence being present in the knee.

    < h3> What Does the Research Say?< /h3>

    < h3> The Case Against These Supplements?< /h3>

    < h3> So Whats the Verdict?< /h3>

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    What The Science Says About Safety And Side Effects

    • No serious side effects have been reported in large, well-conducted studies of people taking glucosamine, chondroitin, or both for up to 3 years.
    • However, glucosamine or chondroitin may interact with the anticoagulant drug warfarin .
    • A study in rats showed that long-term use of moderately large doses of glucosamine might damage the kidneys. Although results from animal studies dont always apply to people, this study does raise concern.
    • Glucosamine might affect the way your body handles sugar, especially if you have diabetes or other blood sugar problems, such as insulin resistance or impaired glucose tolerance.
    More information

    If you use dietary supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, read and follow the label instructions, and recognize that natural does not always mean safe.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates dietary supplements, but the regulations for dietary supplements are different and less strict than those for prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

    Some dietary supplements may interact with medications or pose risks if you have medical problems or are going to have surgery. Most dietary supplements have not been tested in pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children.

    For more information, see .

    Who Should Take Glucosamine/chondroitin Sulfate

    Glucosamine Safe for Diabetes

    Many patients who suffer from osteoarthritis may benefit from the positive effects of taking this supplement. The painful symptoms of osteoarthritis may appear when cartilage becomes worn, and exposed bones begin to rub together. Conventional medicine does not yet have a proven treatment to stop or slow the progression of osteoarthritis. Traditional medical treatment includes drug therapy to control the pain associated with osteoarthritis. These treatments are sometimes disappointing for physicians and patients because medications may not provide complete relief and can have unwanted side effects. Some of these patients may be candidates for nutritional supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.

    Also Check: How To Prevent Arthritis In Knees

    What Do We Know About The Safety Of Glucosamine And Chondroitin Supplements

    • Studies have found that glucosamine and chondroitin supplements may interact with the anticoagulant drug warfarin . Overall, studies have not shown any other serious side effects.
    • If you take glucosamine or chondroitin supplements, tell your health care providers. They can do a better job caring for you if they know what dietary supplements you use.

    Inclusion And Exclusion Criteria

    Studies were included if they met the following criteria: RCTs studies about primary hip and/or knee OA patients with clinical and/or radiologic diagnosis studies covering at least two of the following oral treatments: glucosamine, chondroitin, or the two in combination against placebo and extractable data reporting the pain, function, stiffness, and the adverse events of patients.

    The exclusion criteria were as follows: studies of non-randomized and/or uncontrolled trials, treatment methods described unclearly, interventions combined with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, studies or data reported repeatedly, and trial arms with sub-therapeutic doses ) .

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