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HHS HealthBeat (April 2, 2014)

Does glucosamine make a difference?

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates the supplement glucosamine does not live up to claims that it can help people with osteoarthritis.

Researcher Dr. Kent Kwoh of the University of Arizona in Tucson studied people with chronic knee pain who took glucosamine or a non-active substitute for six months. Kwoh says glucosamine didn’t make a difference:

“Glucosamine was not able to prevent the damage from osteoarthritis, either in terms of cartilage loss or damage that occurs in the bone under the cartilage in the knee.”

And he says there was no difference in reported knee pain between people who had glucosamine and those who didn’t.

Kwoh says this adds to evidence glucosamine does not help osteoarthritis.

The study in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: April 2, 2014