In humans, an impressive number of studies over the last 22 years have provided relatively consistent findings on the safety and efficacy of
, major components of joint cartilage, on joint health.
A comprehensive analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trials that assessed the efficacy of oral glucosamine and chondroitin on signs and symptoms associated with knee osteoarthritis concluded that supplementation with glucosamine and chondroitin had significant structural efficacy (joint space narrowing) and provided significant symptomatic relief as assessed through several standard assessments for pain and functional outcomes. In most studies chondroitin is given with glucosamine, but a recent study examined the effects of chonroitin alone on several measures of knee health in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 800 mg of chondroitin sulphate or placebo for 6 months. The primary outcome measure was structural changes in the knee joint as determined by MRI. The chondroitin group showed significantly less loss of cartilage in several locations of the knee. This is the first study to show structural protective effects of chondroitin using MRI, and indicate rapid improvement after just 6 months of supplementation.
Wildi LM, Raynauld JP, Martel-Pelletier J, Beaulieu A, Bessette L, Morin F, Abram F, Dorais M, Pelletier JP. Chondroitin sulphate reduces both cartilage volume loss and bone marrow lesions in knee osteoarthritis patients starting as early as 6 months after initiation of therapy: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study using MRI. Ann Rheum Dis. 2011 Mar 1. [Epub ahead of print]