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Joint pain supplements do not work


Popular supplements taken to counter joint pain are no better than placebo, Swiss research has found.

Glucosamine and chondroitin, taken individually or in combination, were found to have no effect on reducing pain caused by osteoarthritis in hips and knees.

Researchers reviewed 10 trials involving 3,803 patients.

They said: “Compared with placebo, glucosamine, chondroitin, and their combination do not reduce joint pain or have an impact on narrowing of joint space. Health authorities…. should not cover the costs of these preparations.”


Readers' comments (4)

  • I have been taking Superflex 3 (Glucosamine, Chondroitin and msm) since being diagnosed with OA in both hips. I have gone from limping, pain and a restriction in how far I can walk to no limp, reduced pain (I do not take any analgesia or NSAIDs) and a significant increase in how far I can walk. It was recommended by my orthopaedic surgeon and purchased off the internet from a reputable firm. I can only say that is my experience, something is working. I am not advocating it is a cure, but I wouldn't be without it.

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  • I agree absolutely with the comments made above as I have observed similar results in my husband. Should he forget to take them for even a single dose he returns to a state of pain and impaired mobilty. And this sn a man who does not believe in medication of any sort. Perhaps the findings of the studies reviewed are dependent on the outcome criteria used to evaluate them?

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  • This study concerned mainly glucosamine hydrochloride, with or without chondroitin. Less than 1/3 of the patients were given glucosamine sulphate, which is generally believed to be more efficacious. The researchers did not try using higher doses, which may have afffected the outcome of their research. Many other researchers have questioned the viability of this piece of research.
    Whilst glucoamine/chondroitin has not had any noticeable effect upon my own OA, many of my patients, some of whom have had considerable mobility problems due to OA, have benefitted from the use of glucosamine and chondroitin. In some of these cases it is unbelievable that this could be merely placebo effect. We all have differing responses to drugs and supplements. I am quite sure that some people benefit significantly from the use of these supplements, particularly if taken in large enough doses, and the use of glucosamine sulphate rather than hydrochloride.

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  • Jacqueline, try Superflex 3 from Biovea uk.
    It is Glucosamine 1500mg though HCL, Chondroitin Sulphate 1200mg and Methylsulphonylmetane (MSM) 250mg. Biovea do have Glucosamine Sulphate (500mg) also, but not in a combination with any other supplement, but they also have Chondroitin 250mg and MSM 500mg as separate items. Alternatively, there is Superflex 3 Advanced, which is Glucosamine Sulphate 400mg, Chondroitin 500mg, MSM 1350mg and a load of other vitamins, minerals and other ingredients. Good luck!

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