Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 28th 2013 Contents chondroitin include a hefty price tag and possible safety
risks, because supplements such as these are not regulated
by the US Food and Drug Administration.
"There are still some uncertainties regarding specifics
about these supplements and their use," Chaganti said.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, December 28, 2013
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"Changing the way we interact with people!"
The dietary supplements glucosamine and chon-
droitin sulfate might slow joint damage for people
with mild arthritis in their knees, according to a
Previous research on the effectiveness of the sup-
plements has been mixed, so experts remain divided
on what the findings of this latest study mean for
people with knee osteoarthritis, in which wear and
tear over time damages the cartilage that lines the
Among more than 30 parts of the knee joint meas-
ured in the new study, a handful differed between
people who took the supplements and those who
didn t over the course of two years.
The results could also be seen as an indication the
supplements do not make a significant difference in
arthritis symptoms or severity, one researcher said.
"This is yet another set of data arguing against
any disease-modifying benefit of glucosamine and
chondroitin sulfate," said Daniel Solomon, a rheuma-
tologist and pharmacoepidemiologist at Brigham and
Women s Hospital in Boston who was not involved
in the study.
But another researcher thought the study might
indicate a possible role for glucosamine and chon-
droitin, if only for people with milder arthritis.
"(The results) may reflect that drugs or therapies
that affect joint structure in osteoarthritis are likely
to have an effect earlier in the course of the disease,"
said Krishna Chaganti, a rheumatologist at the Uni-
versity of California, San Francisco, who also was
not involved in the study.
The report s authors, led by Johanne Martel-Pelletier
of the Osteoarthritis Research Unit at the University
of Montreal Hospital Research Centre, were unavailable
They looked at data on 600 participants in an
ongoing osteoarthritis study sponsored by the US
National Institutes of Health Osteoarthritis Initiative.
Some of the study participants were taking bone-
building drugs, some were taking pain relievers such
as ibuprofen and some were taking glucosamine and
Researchers used magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) to examine the spaces between the joints and
monitored the participants arthritis symptoms and
disease progression over 24 months.
The people who took both anti-inflammatory pain
medications and glucosamine and chondroitin sup-
plements had less pain and milder changes due to
disease in one part of the knee joint than those who
took the pain drugs but no supplements.
Yet among those who were not taking pain med-
ication, there was no difference in pain between
people taking the supplements and those who did-
n t.And overall, the people who took supplements had
similar disease progression to those who did not take
In addition, given the sheer number of comparisons
made at numerous points in the knees of each par-
ticipant, the few statistically significant differences
in knee anatomy that were seen may have been due
to random variation, Solomon told Reuters Health
in an email.
The study was funded in part by Bioiberica, a
Spanish pharmaceutical company that manufactures
glucosamine and chondroitin supplements.
In general, Solomon says, the results do not change
the bottom line for osteoarthritis patients: glucosamine
and chondroitin don t help.
"Few doctors recommend these agents," Solomon
said, "and I doubt that (the study s results) will impact
treatment in the US."
Chaganti thinks people with osteoarthritis can dis-
cuss the pros and cons of the supplements with their
doctors. But she cautions that aside from questionable
effectiveness, the downsides of glucosamine and
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and advice
Benefit of knee
supplements still unclear
divided on what the
findings of this
latest study mean
for people with
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