Glucosamine sulfate, a dietary supplement sold over the counter in the United States and as a prescription drug in Europe, reduces the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee, according to research presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting Nov. 13-17 in Boston, MA.
"For the first time, we have shown that a compound may be able at least to slow down the progression of osteoarthritis," said lead investigator Jean-Yves Reginster, MD PhD, of the University of Liege in Belgium.
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is the deterioration of cartilage that cushions bones in the joints. The disease affects 12 percent of the population, many of whom eventually undergo total joint replacement or become disabled. In the United States alone, there are close to 70 million who suffer from osteoarthritis.
The three-year study compared disease symptoms and average joint space widths, as measured by radiographs, between patients taking a 1500 mg daily dose of glucosamine sulfate and those taking a placebo. Joint space narrowed in patients on placebo but showed no further narrowing in patients on glucosamine sulfate. Symptoms worsened for patients on placebo and improved for those on glucosamine sulfate.
These results have been confirmed by other randomized trials. Furthermore, mounting evidence now suggests using glucosamine in conjunction with chondroitin will increase efficacy and pain relief. The latest studies also show liquid glucosamine is superior to powdered glucosamine (pill form).
The American College of Rheumatology is the professional organization for rheumatologists and health professionals who share a dedication to healing, preventing disability and curing arthritis, and related rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.
Visit the Arthritis Resource Center for more information on the latest arthritis studies, research, and breakthroughs.
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J.R. Rogers is the founder and President of Activex America, Inc. makers of Liquid Glucosamine Formula Syn-flex®