A study released November 15, 2000 at a meeting of the American College of Rheumatology showed that the popular dietary supplement glucosamine sulfate appears to slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
Several earlier studies have shown that glucosamine reduces the pain of osteoarthritis, but a new study published in
The Lancet medical journal is the first to show that the supplement actually improves the structure of the joints. The double-blind Belgium study, evaluated 212 people over 50 with osteoarthritis over a three year period. One- half of the participants were treated with 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate daily while the other half received a placebo. Researchers found that those taking the placebo experienced a worsening of symptoms including deterioration of joint cartilage and narrowing of joint space. Those taking the glucosamine supplement, showed no joint space narrowing, their cartilage remained stable, and other symptoms, such as pain and joint function, improved.
“For the first time, we have shown that a compound may be able at least to slow down the progression of osteoarthritis," said Dr. Jean-Yves Reginster of the University of Liege in Belgium.
The researchers in the study used pure glucosamine sulfate. Because quality and purity of glucosamine supplements vary, it is important to choose a reputable brand when supplementing with this product.