Glucosamine, Chondroitin Are Useless for Hip and Knee Arthritis

September 17, 2010 7:28 am 21 comments

The market for arthritis drugs is a powerful (46 million people) incentive to sell drug and supplements, and the pain of arthritris is a powerful incentive to take drugs and supplements. Now comes a large and persuasive study, actually a careful analysis of ten other studies involving nearly 4,000 people, that suggests that two of the most popular supplements, glucosamine and chondroitin, do nothing to relieve arthritis pain in knees and hips. Web MD reports that the government-funded Glucosamine/chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT)  showed that overall, the  two supplements did not improve hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) pain. A follow-up arm of this study showed that they did not do any better than placebo in slowing loss of cartilage that occurs in osteoarthritis of the knee. OA is the wear-and-tear form of arthritis, and affects more than 20 million people. WebMD reports that a smaller subset of GAIT participants with moderate-to-severe OA pain, did get some relief with the combined supplements.

Read more from Web MD.

21 Comments

  • I disagree:
    I take Glucosamine and it works for me

  • I agree with George.

  • You are all idiots.

  • Speaking as an RN—there is an effect called the “placebo effect”, where if a person STRONGLY believes that x, y, or z will help him or cure him, it does in fact have a benecial result.
    However, when “double blind” tests are run by objective scientists or MD’s, no real long term physical change has taken place. In a double blind test, the drug or vitamin or herb is tested on a group of volunteers with the condition being studied. Neither the volunteers NOR the testers know which group is getting the “real” thing and which is getting the placebo or what used to be called “sugar water”.
    Sometimes the results of the test are so outstandingly positive the test is called off so everyone who needs that particular drug etc can have it/ vice versa, it can be called off early if the great majority have NO benefit.
    So, what they are saying here is that Glucosamine/Chondroitin MAY help some people feel better but it is not changing your joint damage.

  • I used them for years now I have 2 knees replace ED.

  • Bill said! Look at what you just read,and that will explain it all. Look!Government funded trial!! That said it! End of subject!!Have a Nice Day!

  • nevilles4@att.net

    All I know is that 15 years ago, I was very close to having to take disability retirement because of my arthritis. I started taking Glucosamine/Chondroitin twice daily. I took normal retirement 2 months ago. I’ll always beleive that it worked for me, my wife & my brother-in-law.

  • they work for me, better then vioxx, if of course you dont believe in it, or disagree, then dont use it,george is right tom is an idiot or yuppie which is worse

  • I agree, after spending way too much $ waiting years for replacements! Even the quasi-cartiledge injections @ $300/set only lasted 5-6 weeks. Nothing works like Zimmer parts.

  • byron D… I agree with Bill C. and will someone in these Ynited States please step up and say – I was one one who participated in that “gov funded ” study.

  • byron D… I agree with Bill C. and will someone in these Ynited States please step up and say – I was one one who participated in that “gov funded ” study.

  • Cartilage like bone is building back up breaking down at the same time. Glocosamine and chondroitin are, at least in theory, raw materials for building carilage. If their use could tilt the balance toward cartilage construction ever so slightly they would be useful supplements. None of the current research addresses this point(CT and MRI measurements would not be sensitive enough) so studies that attempt to characterize G and C as pain killers are beside the point.

  • I agree with George,
    I was in a great deal of pain in my knees . A friend recomended Glucosamine and I was desperate for anything that would relieve the pain so I tried it for 2- month’s 1- pill a day and nothing happened? so I stopped and I thought it was a bunch of hype.Then I was talking to a woman friend at a party and she said that she did not know how she would live with the pain in her hands if she did not have glucosamine to take? I told her I took it for 2-months and it did not do a thing for me! She then asked me how much I had been taking and I told her 1-tablet per day and she replied no wonder it did not work for you you are a big guy 240-lbs. you should at least be taking 2- tabs a day or more? I asked her how many she takes per day and she replied 5-tabs and she is around 138-lbs.That was in 2005 and I have continued with 2-tabs everyday. Now , I do not know what I would do if I could not take or use Glucosamine. DO not get me wrong. I sometimes still do have a pain here or there but it is not the constant pain that I was enduring and suffering before I started taking the Glucosamine.I think that if it works for you take it and if it does not stop but don’t judge the people who it seems to be working for in a negative way as they are only doing the best they can.
    Goodluck to all, Tom

  • I don’t know if it is effective or not in everyone, but it worked for me. I had scopes in both knees. Pain returned and I was ready for replacements. Took injections which did help. Took Cosamine religiously. No pain in two years. Can walk fine. I would agree it doesn’t work for everyone, but it is not my imagination that the pain is gone.

  • Here is THE telling statement of this whole inquiry:
    QUOTE:
    The market for arthritis drugs is a powerful (46 million people)
    THE MARKET IS BIG, and natural supplements take a BIG CHUNK out of the revenue stream that the big pharmas would LIKE to maintain.
    So … the (dis)information wars (based upon ‘studies’) continue……

  • I would like to tell my story. I was building a two story house and visiting the project I realize my legs started hurting when I was climbing the stairs to the second floor. A nurse friend of mine recommended to me to take the pills G&C and I did. The pain went away and I am still taking two a day. My dog, a 16 years old dalmata, started having problems when walking and I found at the pet supermarket a seniors dog food with this medicine and now he runs without problems. For me and my dog definitely worked.
    Mafalda

  • My knees hurt me daily and I thought I’d read this and get some help! LOL, I am in the same boat now as when I started.
    Truthbknown

  • after 15 years of pain swelling and clicing as i walked up stairs. i went to the campell clinic were they told me to take Glucosamine/Chondroitin 3 pills a day its been 4 years no bone on bone clic, no swelling no pain. you can believe what you want. we all say ya or na but unless you try it you wont know

  • I think it may be the doseage that makes the difference. Single pill did not wokr for me either but when I switched to WELLESSE Joint Movenment Glucosamine ( a liquid that contains 2000 mg of glucosamine ,1200 mg. chondroitin, 500 mg. MSM and take 2 tablespoons aday.. and iot works very well. EASIER TO TAKE AND TASTE NOT BAD. My 2 cents and I give 1/2 tablespoon to the dog in her water and it works for her too and she is 16 yrs old… much improved…

  • I’ll have to tell my golden retriever with severe hip displasia that all the times he’s been been unable to walk without the glucosamine and able to walk with it, he’s been taking a placebo, and the pill didn’t really help him.

  • Are you planning on any replacement?

Leave a Reply


Recent Posts

  • Eating Well Fitness Pain Walnuts Slow Prostate Cancer

    Walnuts Slow Prostate Cancer

    Yes, it appears to be true: walnuts slow the growth of prostate cancer, at least in mice. A UC Davis news release reports that researchers at the school had found, in a previous study, that walnuts reduced prostate tumor size in mice, but the researchers weren’t sure which parts of the nuts generated these benefits. This time around, the researchers used a mixture of fats with virtually the same fatty acid content as walnuts as their control diet. Mice were […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Gear

    Ski Season Is Just Around The Corner. Are You Ready?

    It’s true that many midwesterners are less than thrilled with this week’s blast of winter weather, but skiers elsewhere are getting psyched. But wait, there’s something else: getting in shape. A quick review of the forest of websites offering get-into-ski-shape advice reveals general agreement on the benefits of two exercises: squats and lunges. The rest, my friends, is chatter. Livestrong.com describes squats as “the cornerstone” of your skiing workout,” and recommends that you compound the gain (and pain) by doing […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Why Scratching An Itch Makes It Worse

    Why Scratching An Itch Makes It Worse

    No, it doesn’t make sense. Why would scratching an itch make it itch even more? It’s like eating food making you more hungry. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis thought so too, so they did some scratching experiments–with mice, of course, not humans, to find out why. Why? It’s about itch signals and pain signals and brain chemicals jumping tracks.  A Wash U news story reports that the researchers found that scratching creates a mild amount of pain in the skin, which […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Sex Another Bad Way To Treat Low-Grade Prostate Cancer

    Another Bad Way To Treat Low-Grade Prostate Cancer

    It’s called androgen deprivation therapy, ADT for short, and it works like this: drugs (and there are several that can be used) are administered, often by injection, to suppress testosterone production, because lowering testosterone levels has been shown slow the growth of prostate cancer cells. But wait. Now, from researchers at Tulane University, comes a study showing that for men with low-grade, slow-growing disease, ADT can do more harm than good. There are two reasons for that: one, low-grade prostate […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain The New York Times’ Seven-Minute Workout

    The New York Times’ Seven-Minute Workout

    No, you don’t need exotic machineries; you don’t even need a gym. Here’s what you need: a chair, a wall, and gravity, which is widely available at no cost. Wait, you also need seven minutes. That’s how long it takes, according to New York Times Health columnist Gretchen Reynolds, to stay is shape, but you have to be willing to really put out during those seven minutes. Writing in the Times, Reynolds gives us 12 exercises recommended by Chris Jordan, the […]

    Read more →
  • Eating Well Fitness Pain How To Lose Weight: Stay Cold and Hungry

    How To Lose Weight: Stay Cold and Hungry

    There are some very pleasant ways to keep the weight off–playing tennis or swimming–and then there are two much less pleasant conditions that researchers at Yale believe could do the same thing, by turning white fat (bad) into brown fat (good.) Cold and hunger. Yes, staying cold and hungry could keep us thin. Maybe.  Yale News reports that researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have uncovered a molecular process in the brain known to control eating that transforms white fat into brown […]

    Read more →
  • Attitude Pain Computer Brain Games Are For Losers

    Computer Brain Games Are For Losers

    Brain games, the computer based mental challenges that promise to boost the brain power of older adults, are an excellent way to waste time, but they do almost nothing to make us smarter. That’s the opinion of 69 scholars, including many cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists from around the world. A Stanford University news release reports that the scholars, who have jointly issued a statement expressing their skepticism, say that while people who play computer brain games may improve their scores on […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Exercise Pain Predicts Broader Pain Threshold

    Exercise Pain Predicts Broader Pain Threshold

    How much you hurt after exercise is a good predictor of how much you hurt in life, according to research conducted at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, where they know a thing or two about pain. Researchers have known for years that exercise generally helps us tolerate pain. They even have a name for the phenomenon; it’s called “exercise-induced hypoanalgesia” or (EIH), but you knew that. Researchers have also known that some people respond better to the pain-diminishing influence of […]

    Read more →