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Does Glucosamine Work?

Does Glucosamine Really Work?

Study findings conclude that once daily dosage of 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate is more effective than placebos for treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis particularly knee arthritis and back pain associated with degenerative arthritis. While some studies show that acetaminophen is more effective when compared with placebos, acetaminophen failed to produce significant effects in functional indexes.

In other words, glucosamine sulfate is more likely to improve overall function and more likely to decrease the progression of disease. While acetaminophen and other NSAIDs may reduce pain like glucosamine sulfate, only glucosamine can actively slow the progression of disease. No studies demonstrate that COX-2 inhibitors or NSAID’s can slow the progression of degenerative diseases like glucosamine sulfate.

DMARD and Glucosamine Effects

Glucosamine sulfate acts more like a disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug. These are medications that slow the progression of joint damage normally associated with rheumatic diseases. Osteoarthritis is not a rheumatic disease however, it is a progressive and degenerative disease associated with cartilage and connective tissue destruction. Typically OA is associated with aging. Other factors including malnutrition and excessive wear and tear may contribute to osteoarthritis.

However, glucosamine sulfate and related supplements may function in a manner similar to that of a disease modifying agent. Over time, glucosamine sulfate may work to repair the damage done to joint fluids and cartilage. This may help relieve some of the pain and swelling associated with degenerative and chronic disease states. As this healing takes place, even less pain will result.

Taking Charge of Pain

This may improve a patient’s ability to move and engage in physical activities. Physical activities can improve overall health and wellness. This can begin a cycle of health and wellness. While glucosamine sulfate is no panacea, for many patients, it may be just the supplement they need to feel like they have some hope, and some method for actively participating in their health and wellness.

Health and wellness should be about choices. For many glucosamine sulfate offers just that choice. It is a chance to become an active participant in life and an opportunity to take better control over chronic pain and inflammation.

References:
Herrero-Beaumont, G; Ivorra JA; Del Carmen Trabado, M; Blanco FJ; Benito P; Martin-Mola E; Paulino J;
Marenco JL; Porto A; Laffron A; Araujo D; Figueroa M; Branco J. 2007 Feb. Glucosamine sulfate in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study using acetaminophen as a side comparator. Arthritis Rheum. Feb; 56(2):555-67.
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