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Glucosamine and chondroitin 'no better than placebo'

Dietary supplements glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are no better than placebo in slowing the rate of cartilage loss in osteoarthritic knees, US research suggests.

The study compared 357 patients taking 500 mg of glucosamine three times a day, 400 mg of chondroitin sulfate three times a day, a combination of the two supplements, 200 mg of celecoxib daily or a placebo.

There was no significant improvement in any group.

The group taking glucosamine had the least change in joint-width space only as measured by X-ray at one and two years, at only 0.013mm, compared with 0.107mm for chondroitin, 0.111mm for celecoxib, but this difference was not deemed clinically significant.

Arthritis and Rheumatism 2008 early online publication

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