Australian Rheumatology Association And Arthritis Australia Statement Regarding The Use Of Glucosamine For The Treatment Of Osteoarthritis
Recent media reports have raised concern over the use of glucosamine in the treatment of osteoarthritis. These reports appear to be based on two unrelated recent events:
In October 2019 the ACR updated their guidelines for the management of osteoarthritis from a longstanding conditional recommendation against the use of glucosamine for osteoarthritis , to a strong recommendation against the use of glucosamine for osteoarthritis . They did not cite new safety concerns.
This paper reviewed 366 glucosamine related adverse drug reactions reported to the Therapeutic Goods Administration between 2000-2011, including 43 classified as severe, possibly related to the known risks of glucosamine in those with shellfish allergy. This highlights a valid concern but the number of adverse events needs to be considered in the context of the many hundreds of thousands of people who took glucosamine during that period. This suggests that severe adverse reactions are very uncommon.
Many other osteoarthritis treatment guidelines make conditional recommendations against the use of glucosamine on the basis that it probably does not help, including The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners guideline for the management knee and hip OA .
Effectiveness Of Glucosamine And Chondroitin Sulfate For Osteoarthritis
Conventional medicine does not yet have a proven treatment to stop or slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
The nutritional supplements glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have emerged as a treatment alternative for some patients suffering from osteoarthritis pain.
See Osteoarthritis Complete Treatment Guide
Perhaps the most important aspect of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements is that they are thought to help slow or prevent the degeneration of joint cartilage, the underlying cause of osteoarthritis pain. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate dietary supplements may also help alleviate existing joint pain. Presently, it is thought that unlike many medications available to treat arthritis pain and inflammation, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements have very few side effects.
However, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate nutritional supplements do not offer the desired pain relief for all osteoarthritis patients. At the time of this article, the benefits and risks of taking glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have not been definitively proven, and long term studies are needed to better understand their effects.
Usa Nutra Maximum Strength Glucosamine Chondroitin Turmeric Msm
As another multi-ingredient supplement focused on joint health, USA Nutras take on glucosamine is pretty good, with 500 mg of glucosamine per tablet, as well as the namesake extras and quercetin and methionine for good measure.
The lack of extra filler compound is appealing to people who want to keep the additives in their supplement to a minimum.
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Previous Studies On Glucosamine With Chondroitin Show Promise For Knees
Based on research published in May 2015 in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases and a study published in April 2016 in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, using glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin together have shown promise for knee osteoarthritis. Dr. Erickson coauthored an article in the Journal of Hand Surgery about the evidence for chondroitin and glucosamine together as a therapy, and found that the combination did offer some improvement on pain in hips and knees due to OA.
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Are Arthritis Pain Supplements Safe And Effective
In terms of consumer safety, most arthritis pain supplements do not contain controlled substances or other prescription-strength medications. They are classified as food supplements, not medication. However, you should consult with your physicians before beginning a regimen of this type. Diabetics should be careful when using sugar-based ingredients such as glucosamine and chondroitin, and those with severe shellfish allergies should also use caution.
The effectiveness of arthritis pain supplements is a matter of debate. The beneficial effects may not appear for several months, as the body slowly begins to rebuild lost tissue or fluids. Anecdotal testimony from satisfied users indicates a noticeable degree of relief from pain and swelling, but these claims are not fully supported by scientific studies.
How To Give Glucosamine To Dogs
When it comes to glucosamine supplements for pets, the market offers a plethora of choices. Most dietary supplements for dogs are oral available in flavored tablets or chews, pills, liquids, or powders.
However, before starting your dog on a supplement, consult with your vet. The vet will explain which joint supplement is best for your dog and calculate the correct dosage based on its body weight .
The vet will also review whether your dog is receiving some other drugs that should not be combined with dog joint supplements and assess its overall health status.
Most veterinarians prefer combining glucosamine with other joint supplements.
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How Much Glucosamine Do I Give A Dog For Arthritis
It depends on the type of joint supplement your dog is using. Different supplements contain different amounts of glucosamine, and some contain additional ingredients. The exact dosage you need to give your dog also depends on the severity of your osteoarthritis and whether it needs a loading or maintenance dose. Your vet will give you the right administration instructions.
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Doctors Best Glucosamine Chondroitin Msm
Doctors Best makes a glucosamine supplement that tries to do too much at once. The presence of all of these different joint regulating supplements leaves little room for a proper dosage for each.
One serving does deliver 1500 mg of glucosamine, but you need to take four whole tablets to get that dosage. Its an alright supplement if you are okay going through bottles pretty rapidly, but if your main focus is just glucosamine, youve got better options.
Common Ingredients In Arthritis Pain Supplements
The default ingredient list of many arthritis pain supplements includes glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. However, manufacturers are not restricted to these ingredients. Here is a list of potential ingredients which should be clearly displayed on product packaging.
GlucosamineGlucosamine is a natural substance produced by the human body. It is usually found in joint fluids, bone marrow, and shellfish. It helps with the repair of cartilage damaged by inflammation. It can raise blood sugar levels in diabetics but is generally considered safe. There is no established therapeutic dose.
ChondroitinChondroitin is similar on a molecular level to glucosamine and is also found naturally in human joint tissue. Several reputable studies link the use of chondroitin with significant relief from osteoarthritis pain. It has some blood-thinning properties, so users taking blood-thinning medications or certain cancer drugs should caution.
MSMMSM is naturally found in green plants, but it is also produced in the human body. It is often touted as a miracle supplement that can help with a wide variety of medical conditions. The primary function of MSM in arthritis pain supplements is to deliver beneficial sulfur to damaged tissues.
TurmericTurmeric is a spice with a number of claimed health benefits. It is commonly found in prepared mustards and Indian food. As a supplement, turmeric is considered to have anti-inflammatory properties.
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Q2 What Causes Joint Pain
Joint pain can be triggered in a variety of ways. Being overweight or eating an improper diet might deprive the body of its nutrients to maintain healthy joints. Individuals with unhealthy inflammation or hormonal imbalances also may be more susceptible to joint discomfort than others. Furthermore, joint discomfort can be caused by overuse or misuse of the body when it moves in an incorrect manner.
Glucosamine And Chondroitin For Osteoarthritis Pain
Research is mixed on whether these supplements help with OA pain and stiffness, but they are safe to try.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are popular supplements used to treat osteoarthritis . According to one estimate from the NIH, 6.5 million adults, or 2.6 percent of the population, has used one or both of these products. Although studies on glucosamine and chondroitin have been mixed, some evidence suggests they may help relieve OA joint pain and stiffness.
What Are Glucosamine and Chondroitin?
Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural compounds found in healthy cartilage — the connective tissue that cushions joints. Supplements are manufactured from the cartilage of animals such as cows, pigs, or shellfish, or are made in a lab. Glucosamine is sold in different forms, including glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. You can buy glucosamine and chondroitin individually, but most often theyre sold together in a single supplement.
In many European countries, these supplements are a prescribed treatment for OA. In the U.S., the recommendations on glucosamine and chondroitin are more moderate, due to the mixed results of studies.
How Do They Work?
Glucosamine and chondroitin protect cells called chondrocytes, which help maintain cartilage structure. In theory, these supplements have the potential to slow cartilage deterioration in the joints, and to reduce pain in the process.
Which Form Is Best?
Are They Safe?
The Bottom Line
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Is Glucosamine A Beneficial Arthritis Treatment
Since the book “The Arthritis Cure” was sold in bookstores across the country in 1997, physicians, pharmacists, and arthritis patients have frequently been asked their opinion of glucosamine as a treatment for arthritis. The word “cure” in the title of the book raised the hopes of many who suffer from the disease.
Q7 Can I Take Vitamins For My Joints
Some vitamins may be able to help support your joint health even more because inflammation causes arthritis and joint pain. The most important vitamins for joint health are strong anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. Vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin E are important for joint health.
Although vitamin D is not technically an antioxidant, it is necessary for controlling your immune system’s response to inflammation. Several significant studies have linked vitamin D levels to a lower incidence of arthritis. Although the direct link between the two is unknown, it appears to help halt the progression of arthritis.
Even if there isn’t a significant correlation between vitamin D and joint health, it’s still an excellent vitamin to take, especially during cold and flu season.
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What Does It Do
The glucosamine in your body helps keep up the health of your cartilage — the rubbery tissue that cushions bones at your joints. But as you get older, your levels of this compound begin to drop, which leads to the gradual breakdown of the joint.
There’s some evidence that glucosamine sulfate supplements help counteract this effect, although experts aren’t sure how.
Some people have also used glucosamine to try to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, allergies, chronic venous insufficiency, sports injuries, temporomandibular joint problems , and long-term low back pain. So far, though, there’s not much scientific evidence that it works for those problems.
How Much Glucosamine Chondroitin Should You Take
Glucosamine is a dietary supplement that is often combined with another supplement, chondroitin, to treat osteoarthritis. Glucosamine is made from the shells of shellfish and chondroitin is derived from cow trachea.
Evidence published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 suggested that glucosamine alone or combined with chondroitin can help relieve osteoarthritis pain in a subgroup of people with moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis.
It should be noted that based on further research, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons currently advises against the use of glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine hydrochloride in treating symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.
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Other Options To Ease Arthritis Pain
Theres no known cure for osteoarthritis, short of a knee or hip replacement for people with advanced disease.
And treatments to reduce symptomsincluding nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen as well as injections of steroidsoffer limited benefits and can cause side effects. So it makes sense to rely on nondrug measures when you can. Here are some of the most effective.
Weight loss. Every pound of excess weight you shed can take about 4 pounds of pressure off the knees when walking, research suggests. See our ratings and reviews of diet plans.
Physical activity. Strength training helps build up the muscles that support the affected joint. Aerobic exercise, particularly weight-bearing activities such as walking, can ease stiffness by keeping joints flexible and lubricated. But check with your doctor before starting any new workout regimen. See our ratings and reviews of ellipticals, treadmills, and pedometers.
Mechanical aids. A cane, crutch, or walker can take a load off painful knees, and insurance usually covers them if theyre medically necessary.
Heat and cold. A heating pad can ease ongoing stiffness and soreness in joints. For acute pain and swelling, switch to ice packs.
Massage. The deep-tissue variety got high marks in a 2010 survey of Consumer Reports online readers who tried it for osteoarthritis. Half said it helped a lot.
Results Showed Glucosamine Sulfate To Improve Pain And Function
The research team didnt expect to see any changes until the six-month mark but were surprised to see results after just three months, reporting 18 percent difference in reduction of pain between the study and control group. The only side effects reported by the glucosamine sulfate group were some cases of mild and transient gastrointestinal upset.
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Dosage And Side Effects
Generally, glucosamine should be taken with meals three times per day.
Doses usually range from 300500 mg with each meal, adding up to a total daily dose of 9001,500 mg. Most studies used 1,500 mg per day.
Salts of glucosamine sulfate or the Rotta formulation only need to be taken once per day. Make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging.
These supplements are considered safe and no serious side effects have been reported. Flatulence is the most common complaint.
Studies also indicate that glucosamine injections may worsen insulin sensitivity, but supplements do not seem to have the same effect (
Good News: Study Not Funded By Industry
John Erickson, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center in North Carolina, points out that this particular study was not funded by any supplement maker, which is nice because a lot of the studies on supplements are industry-funded and are to subject to bias. This study needs to be followed up with a randomized controlled trial to prove that it works, but this is a promising start. Based on this, its reasonable to have patients try it for two to three months.
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For Other Parts Of The Body
Only a small amount of research has been done on glucosamine and chondroitin for osteoarthritis of joints other than the knee and hip. Because there have been only a few relatively small studies, no definite conclusions can be reached.
- Chondroitin for osteoarthritis of the handA 6-month trial of chondroitin in 162 patients with severe osteoarthritis of the hand showed that it may improve pain and function.
- Glucosamine for osteoarthritis of the jawOne study of 45 patients with osteoarthritis of the jaw showed that those given glucosamine had less pain than those given ibuprofen. But another study, which included 59 patients with osteoarthritis of the jaw, found that those taking glucosamine did no better than those taking a placebo .
- Glucosamine for chronic low-back pain and osteoarthritis of the spineA Norwegian trial involving 250 people with chronic low-back pain and osteoarthritis of the lower spine found that participants who received glucosamine fared the same at 6 months as those who received placebo.
Glucosamine Sulphate Trials For Osteoarthritis
A review article of 18 trials investigating the effectiveness of glucosamine sulphate in treating osteoarthritis was published in 2005. A further four trials published since 2007 evaluated the effect of glucosamine sulphate in the treatment of hip and knee osteoarthritis. A second review article compared the clinical effectiveness and safety of glucosamine sulphate with those of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
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