Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Popular supplements to combat joint pain do not work, study finds

Date:
September 17, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Two popular supplements taken by millions of people around the world to combat joint pain, do not work, new research finds.

Two popular supplements taken by millions of people around the world to combat joint pain, do not work, finds research published online in the British Medical Journal.

Related Articles


The supplements, glucosamine and chondroitin, are either taken on their own or in combination to reduce the pain caused by osteoarthritis in hips and knees.

The researchers, led by Professor Peter Jόni at the University of Bern in Switzerland, argue that given these supplements are not dangerous "we see no harm in having patients continue these preparations as long as they perceive a benefit and cover the cost of treatment themselves."

However, they add: "Health authorities and health insurers should not cover the costs for these preparations, and new prescriptions to patients who have not received treatment should be discouraged."

Osteoarthritis of the hip or knee is a chronic condition which is mainly treated with painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs but these can cause stomach and heart problems, especially if used long-term. Treatments that not only reduce pain but slow the progression of the disease would be desirable, say the authors.

In the last decade, GPs and rheumatologists have increasingly prescribed glucosamine and chondroitin to their patients. And many individuals around the world have purchased them over the counter. In 2008 global sales of glucosamine supplements reached almost $2bn, which represents an increase of about 60% since 2003.

The authors say that results from existing trials about the effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin are conflicting. A large scale review of studies was therefore needed to determine whether or not the supplements work.

Professor Jόni and colleagues analysed the results of 10 published trials involving 3,803 patients with knee or hip osteoarthritis. They assessed changes in levels of pain after patients took glucosamine, chondroitin, or their combination with placebo or head to head.

They found no clinically relevant effect of chondroitin, glucosamine, or their combination on perceived joint pain or on joint space narrowing.

Despite this finding, some patients are convinced that these preparations are beneficial, say the authors. They suggest this might be because of the natural course of osteoarthritis or the placebo effect.

"Compared with placebo, glucosamine, chondroitin, and their combination do not reduce joint pain or have an impact on narrowing of joint space. Health authorities and health insurers should be discouraged from funding glucosamine and chondroitin treatment," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Simon Wandel, Peter Jόni, Britta Tendal, Eveline Nόesch, Peter M Villiger, Nicky J Welton, Stephan Reichenbach, Sven Trelle. Effects of glucosamine, chondroitin, or placebo in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee: network meta-analysis. British Medical Journal, 2010; DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c4675

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Popular supplements to combat joint pain do not work, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100916202428.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, September 17). Popular supplements to combat joint pain do not work, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100916202428.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Popular supplements to combat joint pain do not work, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100916202428.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins