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Jan 16, 2008

Joint health


Latest clinical trial on osteoarthritis supports the use of glucosamine and chondroitin for bone health.

IN recent years, both glucosamine and chondroitin supplements have gained such a following that the US authorities have undertaken the largest-ever clinical study on glucosamine and chondroitin to test its effectiveness. Full details of the trial have been published in the New England Medical Journal (Feb 23, 2006).

The GAIT trial

The GAIT trial1 is described as “the most rigorous trial to date assessing the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin on knee pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA)”. The GAIT trial has shown that these two supplements in combination are even more effective in treating moderate-to-severe OA knee pain than Celecoxib, a COX-2 inhibitor (an anti-inflammatory drug).

The trial was funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) – the primary US Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research – in Bethesda, Maryland. This trial was a six-month, double-blind, five-arm, placebo-controlled involving 1,583 patients with symptomatic OA of the knee.

Over the period, every day patients were given either glucosamine (1500mg); chondroitin (1200mg); glucosamine and chondroitin combined; Celecoxib 200mg; or placebo (dummy).

The findings from the GAIT trial made it clear that glucosamine and chondroitin when taken together in combination is even more effective than taking Celecoxib – in those with moderate-to-severe arthritis of the knee.

Nutritional support

Most people with OA do not nourish their cartilage. One needs to supply essential nutrients such as glucosamine and chondroitin for the body to build strong, flexible cartilage. Having a strong flexible cartilage is the first step for healthy joints.

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate are substances found naturally in the body, but less is produced as we age. An insufficient supply of glucosamine and chondroitin restricts the efficiency of cartilage rebuilding and can delay repair of cartilage and other connective tissues.

The daily dosage used in GAIT trial was 1500mg glucosamine together with 1200 mg chondroitin. However for chondroitin, five other reputable clinical trials have found that taking 800mg of chondroitin will work just as well as 1200mg to ease pain and improve mobility of joints2,3,4.

Supplementation with glucosamine and chondroitin helps to:

  • Build and repair cartilage


  • Protect existing cartilage from premature breakdown


  • Lubricate joints


  • Decrease joint pain and stiffness


  • Slow progression of OA


  • Improve ease of movement

    When looking for joint health supplements, it makes good sense to look for a synergistic formula combining 375mg of sodium-free glucosamine together with 200mg chondroitin, which will give you 1500mg of glucosamine and 800mg of chondroitin respectively when 2 capsules are taken twice daily.

    The amount of salt that we eat has a direct effect on our blood pressure. Hence, sodium-free glucosamine is preferred by people concerned about high blood pressure because it is processed with potassium chloride rather than sodium chloride (table salt).

    It has to be noted that the study used glucosamine hydrochloride and not glucosamine sulphate, which is a more prevalent form of glucosamine used in dietary supplements. The study subjects received glucosamine hydrochloride; they were not obtaining joint-protecting benefits conferred by the sulphur compound in the “sulphate” part of the glucosamine compound. The anti-arthritis benefits of sulphur are very well documented.

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    1 comments:

    Morgan said...

    Wow, I have to admit this has been a pretty informative post! I do my best to stay up on the blogs and understand my ailments, but my eyes just opened a little wider. I have been suffering from knee and hip joint problems for a while now and after doing some research I was thrilled to find that over the counter supplements could help with my ailments. I was a bit less thrilled when I went to my local big box drugstore and started to see how the pricing worked out….) made me wonder if I wasn’t better off with a $5 co-pay getting prescribed painkillers by mail….Anyway, I coughed up the money and got started with the basics (MSM, Chondroitin, Glucosamine, etc), spending about $40 a month. It took a few months but sure enough it they WORKED!!

    Sadly, about a month ago I lost my job and was forced to take a closer look at my finances. I had some really tough decision to make not just about my health but life decisions. So, as I was going down the list of expenses my supplement bill came up and I was forced to “think outside the box” (never got that, the earth is round?) and so I looked online for a solution. I had bought dvds and other items online but never really though about joint supplements. So, I google “joint support” found a site called Vitaminworld.com and I was blown away, they have incredible deals like: “20-50% off site wide” and free shipping on orders over $75! I am not usually one to promote anyone or anything (the media seems to do a fine job of that) but I really do love their stuff located here http://www.vitaminworld.com/joint-and-bone-support-031, they work well and have saved me some serious money over the last few months but I was wondering if there is anyway I can save even more. Can anyone else share some ideas on how they have been able to save on their supplements?

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