~ Glucosamine Again Proven to Slow Arthritis Progression in Humans

The October 14 2002 issue of the American Medical Association journal Archives of Internal Medicine (http://archinte.ama-assn.org/), published the results of a long-term placebo-controlled trial that sought to determine glucosamine sulfate's ability to retard the progression of osteoarthritis of the knee. Glucosamine sulfate, a natural substance manufactured by the body and found in the joints, has demonstrated benefits in other clinical trials, and the current study, conducted by researchers in the Czech Republic and Italy, proved to be no exception. Two hundred two patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee received 1500 milligrams glucosamine sulfate once per day for three years, or a placebo. Upon enrollment in the study, participants had average joint space widths of slightly less than four millimeters. Joint space narrowing is one of the signs accompanying osteoarthritis.

At the study's conclusion, the placebo group were found to have experienced an average of 0.19 millimeters further joint space loss, with losses ranging from 0.29 to 0.09 millimeters measured by x-ray of the joint. The group taking glucosamine sulfate did not on average experience further change, and there were also fewer subjects who experienced severe narrowings. Although the group receiving the placebo reported a modest improvement in symptoms, the subjects receiving glucosamine improved 20 to 25 percent in their perception of symptoms that included pain, function and stiffness. The therapy proved to be safe and well tolerated.

Conventional arthritis treatments such as pain-relievers only treat the symptoms of the disease, but fail to halt its underlying progression, and can, in some cases, contribute to it. The current study once again shows the ability of glucosamine sulfate to not only stop osteoarthritis in its tracks, but improve symptoms as well.

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