Oral glucosamine supplements do not lessen knee cartilage deterioration among patients with chronic knee pain, a short-term study has concluded.
The findings, published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology, indicate that glucosamine does not decrease pain or improve knee bone marrow lesions.
The University of Arizona 24-week study involved 201 patients with mild to moderate pain in one or both knees.
They received 1,500mg of a glucosamine hydrochloride per day or placebo. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess cartilage damage.
The results showed no decrease in cartilage damage in participants in the glucosamine group compared to the placebo group.
Researchers reported no change in bone marrow lesions in 70% of knees, while 18% of knees worsened and 10% improved.
The control group had greater improvement in bone marrow lesions compared to treated participants, with neither group displaying a worsening of bone marrow lesions.
The study’s lead author was Dr Kent Kwoh, from the University of Arizona in Tucson.
He said: “Our study found no evidence that drinking a glucosamine supplement reduced knee cartilage damage, relieved pain, or improved function in individuals with chronic knee pain.”
- Read the full study paper in Arthritis and Rheumatology