Thursday, February 23, 2006

Glucosamine and chondroitin supplementation?

I haven't tried it. Have you?

As I'm closing out my 5th decade on earth, I'm starting to feel some effects of the years on my joints. You know, those chronic nagging painful aches? A little arthritis in my knees, and a lot in my right thumb and wrist (thanks to mouse abuse). Fortunately aerobars allow me to ride a bike without supporting part of my body weight on my hands (and bent wrists) for extended periods, which can get prohibitively painful. But those achy knees make running (especially on downhills) a real pain sometimes.

Some new positive results in an NIH clinical trial may just convince me to try some oral glucosamine and chondroitin supplements.

". . . using a combination of the two supplements "significantly decreased" knee pain in osteoarthritis patients experiencing moderate-to-severe pain."

Sounds good to me!



Update: Here's the abstract for the New England Journal of Medicine article. It's not terribly straightforward, but it seems that it may be helpful in some people who have pain from osteoarthritis. Worth a try. The dosages were 1500 mg of glucosamine and 1200 mg of chondroitin sulfate daily for 24 weeks. Then again, they got a positive response in 54% of subjects to their placebo!

18 comments:

backofpack said...

Okay, I haven't tried it myself, but we give it to our dog and she swears by it!

When I first read aerobars, I thought of those chocolate bars with all the air bubbles in them. Haven't seen them since I was a kid (and yes, I'm the same age as you, but I never thought of it as closing out my fifth decade!). Anyway, I think the candy bars were called Aero Bars. But then I realized you were talking about the bike. Context is everything!

Flo said...

I take them everyday, me and the dog. I don't know if they really work or not. I do know that I have terrible knees (no cartlidge in one) and I can run and bike pretty much all I want. They do help my dog a lot. She has severe arthritis in her knees and they make a difference.

KLN said...

I take GC every day, in combination with a vitamin/mineral mix (EmergenC). Tastes great, and my knees just don't ever really ache, despite the pounding I give them!

trifit said...

I use it. Love it. Honestly, I think I grew new knees!

Lynne said...

My German Shepherd swore by them (had dysplasia) as does my sister, who says she's not running with as much pain as she used to - plasibo affect or they're really working. She doesn't care either way.

Geek Girl said...

Holy cow, I'm very enthusiastic about this news! I have osteoarthritis in both feet. I'm going to try it!

nancytoby said...

Oh yeah, I forgot I also have some osteoarthritis in one ankle. Maybe that will be helped too! We'll see!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

gluco- chondro- what?!?

TriMom217 said...

I've spent tons of $$ on this crap and have never had any results worth reporting. I've tried it in every shape and form that it comes in.

The only thing that has worked for me is Synvisc. Way more intrusive (injections into the knee joint) but also way more effective.

Good luck!

Keryn said...

I used it for a while and saw no real change, but I was in pain when I started taking it. My dad loves the stuff. Hubby has started taking it too just to ward off any weight training joint problems. I may start taking it again at some point now that my knee isn't hurting anymore.

I have read that it can be really beneficial for some people. Either way, it can't hurt to try.

Iron Benny said...

Funny you ask, there was an article in the local paper today about the stuff. If it's good enough for President Bushit's good enough for me. Oh wait, he's a dumb ass, I guess we're on our own. My opinion, the stuff works. It may work differently for everybody but there is a lot of good literature that supports it. Don't fall for the ol' one article debunks it so it must not work thing. If there are 10 studies that say it doesn't work there are 100 that say it does. You know how it works. All I know is that my tri coach loves it and that's good enough for me. She is literally the smartest lady I know, besides Nytro. She is addicted to research and she swears by the stuff. Just my thoughts.
Benny

LouBob said...

Yep, me and a horse! I also take hyaluronic acid which works wonders too.

jeanne said...

I take it nightly. have done so for a year, with a multi-vitamin. Hard to know if it's "working." I'd have to have my clone not take it and then compare the results! It's not hurting anything, at least. that i know of.

Interesting studies. thanks for the link.

Lora said...

I work with the elderly, most who have OA. I can only add that I see no change when they take this combo. My advice would be towards anything with anti-inflammatory results--and not the medication kind. Remove soda from your diet, add Green tea, include pineapples and anti-oxidant foods (think dark green veggies).

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

I take 3 a day and seems to work. They say it sometimes takes a few months of taking it before you start to notice the difference.

stronger said...

When I was 20 I was shocked to learn that the pain around my sternum area was actually arthritis and the dr. told me to take advil 3 times a day for the rest of my life. I went to another dr. and was told the same. I could hardly look over my shoulder to change lanes while driving. I started taking Glucosamine once a day and the artritis went away in a couple of months.

Comm's said...

The research on Gluco. & Condro. is as far as I have read pretty conclusive to work for most people who have a non-disfuncitonal ailment. By that I mean no nerve damage or impingement. For athiritis and joint pain it has strong medicinal backing.

Pem said...

I have not tried it because I have diabetes and was told the Glocosamine will hurt my blood sugar control (although a quick search suggests that research has put that concern to rest). I probably won't try it now because my knees have gotten better and better with more training. Since it is an anti-inflammatory I would count it as a medication, and I take as little medication as possible.