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New Member

20 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2006 :  07:25:06  Show Profile Send wombatwal a Private Message
Anyone have an opinion on Glucosamine for joint problems.
I have not read a good report as yet.


15831 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2006 :  09:00:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
Neither have I. I take it, and give it to my dog. My vet thinks "it can't hurt." Haven't asked my own doc. Wonder if it helps?

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

9687 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2006 :  12:06:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
I'm taking it for my hip joint.

I have gone a week without them, and I think they make a difference. Not huge, but enough to make it worth taking them. The Swedish health insurance picks up more than half the bill for the pills. But then, I'm also taking Tenoxicam and Paracetamol.

Edited to add:
I used to be on Cox2-inhibitor, Bextra, but I quit them after my blood pressure sky-rocketed. 170/115 with a resting pulse about 90bpm.

Edited #2: I'm taking about 1200mg /day

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"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 11/15/2006 14:32:32
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Skeptic Friend

141 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2006 :  13:01:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sts60 a Private Message
We've been giving it (in a veterinary formulation, if it makes any difference) to our Golden Retriever for years. She's 14 years old - way up there for a GR - and still runs well, though she's a bit stiffer and her hips aren't so stable laterally anymore.

So there's a bit of anecdotal "evidence" that it helps. FWIW. YMMV. IANAMD. ETC. ETC.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

26020 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2006 :  14:38:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
I'd encountered some convincing-sounding reports over the last few years that this stuff had passed lots of tests, but I just now went and looked up some of the more-recent data, and find things like this:
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate alone or in combination did not reduce pain effectively in the overall group of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Exploratory analyses suggest that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may be effective in the subgroup of patients with moderate-to-severe knee pain.

- Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and the two in combination for painful knee osteoarthritis
And this:
There is now clinical evidence indicating that recommending GS, GH, and CS for the treatment of mild knee pain from OA is ineffective. Further research needs to be done to identify specific characteristics in patients that results in a positive response. Until the findings of the GAIT undergo further peer review, the results of the research needs to be interpreted with caution.

- Evidence-based practice: review of clinical evidence on the efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin in the treatment of osteoarthritis
So it turns out that (once again) reports that sound good sometimes aren't.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Skeptic Friend

258 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2006 :  15:00:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send McQ a Private Message
I was a participant in a double blind- placebo controlled, crossover trial of Glucosamine and Chondroitin just over two years ago.

Although I have no way of knowing what I received, I do know that one of the crossovers was the real deal.

I started taking the combination of G/C 1500mg just after the trial ended and I have to say it makes a difference in my joint pain. I have knee, back, wrist, and finger pain due to osteoarthritis (yes I'm really way too friggin' young to have it, but I've had it since I was in my early thirties).

My finger and knee pain is moderate and requires NSAIDs for relief. UNLESS I take the G/K combo. Then I need nothing. I've since tried going off of it for short periods at a time and each time, the pain comes roaring back. When I take it, I require no NSAIDs whatsoever, so even though I am now a "study of one", I am fairly convinced that it is helping me.

I've not yet read anything detrimental in the clinical studies on it, so other than expense and questionable quality control from the various manufacturers, I can see no reason to stop taking it.

Elvis didn't do no drugs!
--Penn Gillette
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New Member

20 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2006 :  20:49:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send wombatwal a Private Message
Yes, I have had anecdotal testimonies from friends and my brother about it's effectiveness.
I have a bit of a "dicky" knee and went on it for a month, I don't think it did anything, maybe a month was not long enough. But then again my knee is not too bad, I don't need NSAIDs.
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SFN Die Hard

3834 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2006 :  06:19:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
Here's the Cochrane meta-analysis on Glucosamine. The Chondroitin data wasn't available yet.

Glucosamine therapy for treating osteoarthritis - Cochrane review abstract and plain language summary
How well does glucosamine work?
Pain: The high quality studies showed that pain improved about the same whether people took glucosamine or fake pills. If all of the studies are examined (including low quality and old studies), then glucosamine improved pain more than fake pills.
Pain may improve by 13 more points on a scale of 0 to 100 with glucosamine than with fake pills.
Studies testing only the Rotta brand of glucosamine (including low quality and old studies) showed that glucosamine improved pain more than fake pills.

Function: The high quality studies show that glucosamine improved pain more than fake pills when measured by one type of scale, but improved the same amount as fake pills when measured by another scale. This result is the same whether all of the studies (including low quality and old studies) or whether studies using the Rotta brand of glucosamine are analysed.

How safe is it?
The number of people taking glucosamine who had side effects was about the same as the number who took fake pills. Side effects mainly included stomach upset and other joint pain.

What is the bottom line?
It was shown in a previous Cochrane review that glucosamine taken for 6 weeks decreases pain and improves function (physical ability) in people with osteoarthritis.

When compared to the previous review, this review which analyzes newer studies and more high quality studies, shows there is "platinum" level evidence that pain does not improve as much when taking glucosamine for 2 to 3 months. Depending on the scale used to measure function (physical ability), function may not improve at all or as much.
Glucosamine seems to be safe.

And the more complete data on osteoarthritis treatment is in this section.
Cochrane review topics - Musculoskeletal

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SFN Die Hard

3834 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2006 :  06:25:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
I have the usual beginnings of those joint pains. I take NSAIDS because there is some evidence taking them now decreases Alzheimer's later. But I caution that many researchers reporting on that data aren't taking NSAIDS until the data is better confirmed and causality shown. I wouldn't take NSAIDS just for the future benefits alone and I don't take any large doses.

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