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Old 11-18-2011, 04:46 PM   #13
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Bend Oregon
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Originally Posted by PETDOC View Post
I already was taking supplements of Vit D3,

Get it checked via a blood draw. Not expensive.

During my active years as a vet, now retired, I stayed up with the literature on glucosamine and chondrotin sulfate. Most of the credible studies came to the conclusion that for chronic arthritis it is a waste of money..
There are many published studies. Here's one.

Keywords: ARTHRITIS - Osteoarthritis, Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Glucosamine Sulfate
Reference: "Recent Advances in Glucosamine and Chondroitin Supplementation," Owens S, Wagner P, Vangsness CT, J Knee Surg, October 2004;17(4):185-193. (Address: C. Thomas Vangsness Jr, MD, Dept Orthopedic Surg, Keck School Med, Univ Southern California, Healthcare Consultation Center, 1520 San Pablo St, #200, Los Angeles, CA 90033-4608, USA)
Summary: One out of every 8 Americans report having arthritis, and >50% of people older than 65 years of age report arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a significant health problem in developed countries. Cartilage degeneration, osseous eburnation and osteophytosis, synovial hypertrophy and an inflammatory and proteolytic synovial fluid environment are key elements of this disease process. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory agents have been the mainstay of treatment, but they do nothing for the pathogenesis of the disease. They increase the risk of peptic ulcer, renal hypertension and hemorrhage and are problematic in the elderly. There is a growing concern that nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs have a negative effect on cartilage metabolism. Ibuprofen and fenoprofen have been shown in vitro to reduce glycosaminoglycan synthesis in canine cartilage, and indomethacin has been shown to speed the progression of osteoarthritis in humans. Glucosamine and chondroitin are very important parts of the cartilaginous matrix. Glucosamine is a topical agent which was first used in 1969 in arthritis patients. It has been used for the past 15 years in Europe and Asia. It became popular in the United States after the 1997 publication of The Arthritis Cure. The Arthritis Foundation maintains a neutral position regarding the use of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, and notes that there are no long-term studies and if used, it should be used only for several months unless there is benefit, then it may be continued. Glucosamine hydrochloride has a purity of 99% compared with glucosamine sulfate having a purity of 74%. This equates to a dose equivalent of 2,608 mg glucosamine sulfate for a 1,500-mg dose of glucosamine hydrochloride. The oral absorption rate of glucosamine hydrochloride compared with glucosamine sulfate has been shown to be equivalent. Chondroitin sulfate has a lower oral absorption of about 70%. Most of the studies have been done on glucosamine sulfate when given by itself. Studies have shown improvement in pain and range of motion. Glucosamine sulfate by itself at 1,500 mg/day compared with 1,200 mg/day of ibuprofen has shown a delayed but progressive and longer-lasting effect. Glucosamine hydrochloride by itself has shown an insignificant improvement in the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) Osteoarthritis Index score over placebo, although there have been positive trends in the glucosamine group. A daily diary by each subject has shown significantly less pain with glucosamine hydrochloride than placebo, and the knee range of motion was significantly better at the end of the study with glucosamine hydrochloride. Studies with glucosamine have shown less joint space narrowing over placebo over a 3-year period. Several chondroitin trials showed reduction in pain and improvement in joint function in osteoarthritis, as well as a lower number of joints involved in osteoarthritic erosions. Experimental studies have shown a synergistic effect with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate when given together, with a greater increase in glycosaminoglycan production than for either agent alone, although the mechanism of action may be different for each agent. The combination of glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate and manganese ascorbate showed only improvement in knee pain, without any benefit to the back. The National Institutes of Health is currently conducting a study with glucosamine/chondroitin, called the Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT), involving the following groups: placebo; chondroitin sulfate with glucosamine; glucosamine alone; chondroitin sulfate alone; and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. Results of the GAIT trial will be available in November 2005. The current recommendations of 1,500 mg of glucosamine and 1,200 mg of chondroitin are accepted by the Arthritis Foundation, but the products should be discontinued if symptoms do not improve within a few months. Overall, the results of glucosamine and chondroitin in treating osteoarthritis have been favorable. Although no long-term studies have been done, there are very minor side effects to short-term use of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Glucosamine's effect on insulin resistance needs to be followed. Also, glucosamine's purity has been shown to vary from product to product.
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