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Initial Results of National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funded Study Reveal Glucosamine and Chondroitin Effective in Treating Moderate to Severe Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
Last review: 08/12/10  Leiner Health Products
Findings Bring New Hope for Millions of Americans Suffering from Arthritis

CARSON, Calif., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- For 21 million Americans hobbled by osteoarthritis, new science confirms nutritional supplements glucosamine and chondroitin are the right combination for effective knee pain relief(1). The Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT), funded by NIH, rigorously evaluated the efficacy and safety of glucosamine and chondroitin in 1,258 people, concluding in its abstract that the "combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate is effective in treating moderate to severe knee pain due to osteoarthritis."

GAIT lead researcher Daniel O. Clegg, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Chief of Rheumatology at the University of Utah, will present findings from the full study on November 14, 2005 at the American College of Rheumatology's Scientific Meeting in San Diego, California.

"GAIT brings good news to adults suffering from the wear and tear of cartilage degeneration, particularly those who cannot tolerate the side effects of taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)," said C. Thomas Vangsness, Jr., MD, Professor Orthopaedic Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. "For years glucosamine and chondroitin have been well recognized alternative solutions to pharmaceutical options in treating osteoarthritis patients in Europe, Asia and Russia. In fact, preliminary results reported in the GAIT abstract indicated glucosamine and chondroitin were found to be more effective than Celebrex® in treating moderate to severe knee pain. Clearly, the GAIT abstract suggests glucosamine and chondroitin together may be a good non-surgical pain relief choice for arthritis patients," added Dr. Vangsness.

Funded by NIH, the $14 million GAIT study is the largest placebo controlled, double blind, clinical trial ever conducted to test the effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin. All 1,258 patients who completed the study were over the age of 40 with knee pain and randomly assigned placebo; glucosamine 1500 mg; chondroitin 1200mg; glucosamine/chondroitin at above mentioned doses; or celecoxib (Celebrex) 200 mg daily for 6 months. The abstract published each treatment group's response rate to pain. Of note, the group taking the glucosamine/chondroitin combination experienced greater relief for the treatment of moderate to severe knee pain than the Celebrex group.

GAIT was designed to test the safety and efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin alone and in combination in reducing knee pain associated with osteoarthritis. The study's abstract concluded that when taken together, "glucosamine and chondroitin is effective in treating moderate to severe knee pain due to OA [osteoarthritis]."

Naturally occurring in the body, glucosamine stimulates the production of cartilage, the connective tissue which cushions joints. Chondroitin is also naturally occurring in the body and like glucosamine stimulates the production of cartilage. Previous research indicates glucosamine is just as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in reducing osteoarthritis pain and has fewer gastrointestinal side effects than NSAIDs.

Store brand nutritional supplements offer consumers the highest quality product at the best value. On average, double strength glucosamine(500mg)/chondroitin(400mg) sells for 35% less than brand name double strength glucosamine/chondroitin products and triple strength glucosamine (750mg)/chondroitin (600mg) sells for about 15% less than higher priced brands. Consumers can find store brand glucosamine and chondroitin products at the nation's leading retailers.

Nearly 1 in 3 Americans (nearly 70 million) live with some form of arthritis, costing the United States $82.5 billion a year in healthcare costs related to treating the illness.(2) For arthritis knee pain sufferers who find relief in taking glucosamine and chondroitin, they will also find the supplements to be great values. Widely used in Europe for years to treat osteoarthritis, glucosamine and chondroitin are safe and effective nutritional supplements, as proven by the GAIT abstract.