Glucosamine sulfate – the knee protector

Glucosamine sulfate – the knee protector

Author -  Vicki Martin, Nutritionist and Naturopath

Naturopath Vicki Martin details some research investigating the effectiveness of Glucosamine sulfate on knee joint pain

Looking for natural help with arthritis?

Glucosamine is one of the most frequently taken natural remedies for the joint pain and inflammation that comes with arthritis. But did you know that it may actually do more than help with the symptoms? One three year study suggests that the right kind of Glucosamine may actually help to keep the knee joint deterioration of osteoarthritis from progressing.

What causes osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis happens when joint cartilage, which should cushion the ends of the bones and stop them rubbing together, degenerates and becomes thin and worn. This causes the joint pain, swelling and stiffness that people with arthritis experience.

How the Glucosamine sulfate trial worked

Researchers split 200 patients with knee osteoarthritis into two groups, and gave one 1500mg of Glucosamine sulfate each day, and the other a placebo. The trial lasted for three years, and used x-rays of the knee joint space to measure how much the arthritis progressed. Any narrowing of the joint space on the x-ray showed that joint cartilage deterioration had increased.

Study results: Glucosamine sulfate can help slow osteoarthritis progression

At the end of the study, researchers noticed significant differences between the two groups. In particular, they saw a significant improvement in the group who took Glucosamine sulfate. Fewer patients treated with Glucosamine had joint narrowing, and this group also had up to 25% less pain and stiffness symptoms.

The researchers concluded that, beyond just treating the symptoms, supplementing with Glucosamine sulfate long-term could actually slow the progression of knee osteoarthritis.

Glucosamine Sulphate Use and Delay of Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis. Karel Pavelka MD PhD et al. Arch Intern Med 2002 : 162 : 2113 – 2123.