What’s the question?

Four clinical trials conducted in Europe showed that glucosamine helps relieve the pain and increases the mobility of osteoarthritis. One study had electron microscopic evidence of cartilage repair and regeneration. None of the trials lasted over eight weeks, but at least in the short term no harmful side effects were noted. Thus this has the advantage over anti-inflammatories in that it helps repair cartilage and does not injure the stomach, kidneys, bone marrow, or any other body tissue.

In February, 1999, one of the first US studies of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate was presented at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. The study involved giving 93 patients either a placebo or a combination of 2,000 mg of glucosamine and 1,600 mg of chondroitin sulfate per day. At the end of six months, 52% of the patients taking the supplements experienced a significant lessening of the pain of their arthritis compared with only 28% of the patients taking a placebo. (Harvard Health Letter, July 1999)

Running Times, April 1999, reported the results of several longer lasting studies. In one study, conducted at St. John’s Hospital in Oporto, Portugal, doctors divided a group of 68 patients, giving half a daily dose of 1.5 grams of glucosamine sulfate, the other 1.2 grams of ibuprofen (Motrin). The study was double-blind. After six months, the glucosamine group had significantly less pain than the ibuprofen group. Another double-blind study divided 30 chronic arthritis patients into two groups. One group received 500 mg of glucosamine sulfate per day for 14 days, the other got a placebo. Pain, swelling, tenderness and loss of function we lessened in 71% in the glucosamine group but were little changed in the placebo group. In a 3d study, 51 male and 17 female young athletes with cartilage damage of the knee were given 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate daily for 40 days and then 750 mg for 90 to 100 days. Of the 68 athletes, 52 had complete disappearance of symptoms and resumed full training. A follow-up 12 months later showed no signs of cartilage damage in any of them.

A team of Boston researchers scoured three decades of medical literature to find studies that tested either chondroitin or glucosamine for treating osteoarthritis. Fifteen studies met specific criteria that qualified them to be included in the analysis. The result: glucosamine moderately improved both pain and function, while chondroitin had a large effect on those measures.

As with any other non-controlled substance, the ingredients in any supplement may not be what is said on the label. Nearly one-third of 25 major brands of supplements containing glucosamine and/or chondroitin did not contain all the labeled ingredients. (The New England Journal of Medicine, Health News, May 2000)

Doctors from Boston U. School of Medicine conducted a meta-analysis of research studies on glucosamine and chondroitin. Only the highest quality placebo-controlled, double-blind, and randomized studies were included in the analysis. They concluded that glucosamine and chondroitin are quite effective in treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis, but raised two points: no regulation of the supplements and the studies that show no effect may be less likely to be published and therefore skew the analysis. (Running & FitNews, June 2000)

Do a Google search and you will get a lot of more recent info.

Whatever the question, glucosomine has worked for me. About a year ago, I started experiencing joint pain, mostly in my shoulders, (yeah, getting old sucks) and my Mother suggested it. So far, no bad side affects.

Without seeing the OP the relevance of this is just a guess, but, hot off the press, glucosamine may delay the progression of osteoarthritis.

Thanks-Don’t know what ate my post but you’ve answered it fairly completely.

Another question I had was how is this made avalable to the joints thru the digestive proces.I was uunder the impression that G/C was a naturally occuring substance in the joints.

From Barbitue8s answer it sounds more like an additive that helps the body repair/lessen pain

Also was looking for testimonials to it’s effectiveness,or not.

Thanks again.


Well, I tried it for a couple of months for post-traumatic ankle arthritis, and didn’t note any difference. (There were other problems with my ankle besides the arthritis, though, so that may have something to do with it.) My grandmother, however, swears by the stuff. I think individual responses vary a lot. (Caveat: IANAD, but I’ve tried most everything on the U.S. market for arthritis pain.)

Plus, many of the newer (amazing! Did I tell you how much I love Vioxx?) anti-inflammatories have contraindications for liver/kidney problems, which means many of the people who need them the most shouldn’t take them. Luckily, I’m not in that boat.

If you’re thinking about taking it yourself, it probably won’t hurt to give it a try. My ankle doc say many of his patients do find varying degrees of relief; I just wasn’t one of them. He did a course of Synvisc injections (FDA-approved only for knees, last I checked, but he did it off-label) on me. The pain/swelling upfront were horrendous; he said I reacted worse to it than anyone he’d ever seen. But after the initial hell of a couple of weeks, I’ve had a year and a half so far of greatly reduced pain and greatly increased standing/walking stamina, which is a very good thing.

OK-I’ve got one more question.

Since that statement of 1/3 of brands were found lacking in the stated content,what brand do/did any of you take that proved sucessful?

I mainly go to Walgreens and use whatever label’s on special,but GNC is close enough to me if I need to shop for a specific brand.Or do I just play russian roulette here. back’s a long standing condition,just get a flareup every now and then,like right now.I know the exercises and manipulations that are performed.