There has been a lot of recent research on Glucosamine and its effective in treating osteoarthritis. It must be noted, that there has not yet been a long term study completed, and thus, Glucosamine is still only recommended as a nutritional supplement.

The most recent, and probably the most important research that has been conducted to date on Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplementation is the
Glucosamine/ Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT). GAIT was the first large scale study to take place that looks at the effect of long term (6 month) Glucosamine and Chondroitin intervention program for sufferers of knee osteoarthritis. This study was double blinded, meaning neither the researchers or the participants knew which group they were in. The groups were
  • glucosamine alone
  • chondroitin alone
  • glucosamine and chondroitin
  • celecoxib (anti inflammatory drug)
  • placebo
To record a positive response to treatment, a 20% or greater reduction in pain at week 24 had to be reported. These were the doses given to the groups (hence the current reccomendation in the supplementation page).
  • Glucosamine alone: 1500 mg daily given as 500 mg three times a day
  • Chondroitin sulfate alone: 1200 mg daily given as 400 mg three times a day
  • Glucosamine plus chondroitin sulfate combined: same doses-1500 mg and 1200 mg daily
  • Celecoxib: 200 mg daily
So what were the results of this study?
  • Participants taking the positive control, celecoxib, experienced statistically significant pain relief versus placebo, about 70 percent of those taking celecoxib had a 20 percent or greater reduction in pain versus about 60 percent for placebo.
  • Overall, there were no significant differences between the other treatments tested and placebo.
  • For a subset of participants with moderate-to-severe pain, glucosamine combined with chondroitin sulfate provided statistically significant pain relief compared with placebo--about 79 percent had a 20 percent or greater reduction in pain versus about 54 percent for placebo. According to the researchers, because of the small size of this subgroup these findings should be considered preliminary and need to be confirmed in further studies.
  • For participants in the mild pain subset, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate together or alone did not provide statistically significant pain relief.
What does that mean?

This study suggests if you have moderate to severe pain from cartilage degeneration, glucosamine and chondroitin taken together will significantly reduce pain and symptoms, having very similar effects to that of an anti inflammatory drug. However, as with all glucosamine studies up until now, more study is needed before Glucosamine will be accepted as something more than a nutritional supplement.

There has been much research done on the effects of Glucosamine and Chondroitin. The above study is the gold standard, the most recent, and the longest. They are currently in the process of completely an even longer term study. Please go
here (Supple Bodies website) and scroll down to find a list of all the research done in this area.

*Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only. It does not substitute for medical advice from your physician. The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are only an opinion. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. See a doctor for further information if you suspect you have a medical condition.