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Chondroitin and Glucosamine May Be As Effective as Prescription Medication for Joint Pain Relief

A recent study suggests that taking a supplement containing chondroitin sulphate (CS) and glucosamine (GH) may help reduce joint pain, stiffness, and functional disability in people with osteoarthritis as well as the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib.


Participants in the study included 606 people with knee osteoarthritis who had moderate-to-severe pain levels. Over the course of six months they took either 400 mg CS plus 500 mg GH three times daily or 200 mg of celecoxib every day.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted decreases in pain, functional disability, stiffness, swelling, and joint effusion in the CS/GH group. Both groups had a 50% reduction in pain, while the CS/GH combination had a 46.9% reduction in stiffness, compared with a 49.2% reduction in the celecoxib group. Finally, the supplement group had a 45.5% improvement in function and the celecoxib group had a 46.4% improvement.


Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 14, 2015, in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.


Glucosamine is produced naturally in the body and helps with joint function. Glucosamine supplements have been found to help with osteoarthritis, reducing joint pain and improving joint function.


Chondroitin is found in and around the cells of cartilage, and provides cartilage with strength and resilience. Previous research has found that chondroitin may help ease the pain of arthritis and osteoporosis, lower cholesterol and possibly help with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

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