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My Dr is happy with my recent change in my lifestyle, weight loss and newfound love of road biking but he is advising me to start taking Chondroitin/Glucosamine for my right knee.

This knee does not bother me now that I have shed 123lbs and along with the weight room and biking feels stronger then I can remember.

In the early 80’s I destroyed the ACL and had a severe tear of the menial meniscus (skiing not biking). After several surgeries to clean it up and many months of rehab it continued to bother me but I also went from someone commuting 5 days a week X 14miles one way, lunch time rides with the gang and at least one century a month to a couch potato who quickly gained a massive amount of weight.

Sorry to ramble about my problems so I’ll get back on track. Again the knee does not bother me at all but my DR insists that it probably will some time down the road and ask me to start taking Chondroitin/Glucosamine supplements. Has anyone had any experience with these supplements? Have you had any side effects? ETC.

By the way this is my family physician not a ortho

Thanks in advance for your thoughts
 

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Shirtcocker
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No side effects AFAIK--seems to be enough evidence to suggest it helps arthritis-type symptoms so if you can afford it then use it.
 

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I'm giving it a try also

tgiboney said:
My Dr is happy with my recent change in my lifestyle, weight loss and newfound love of road biking but he is advising me to start taking Chondroitin/Glucosamine for my right knee.

This knee does not bother me now that I have shed 123lbs and along with the weight room and biking feels stronger then I can remember.

In the early 80’s I destroyed the ACL and had a severe tear of the menial meniscus (skiing not biking). After several surgeries to clean it up and many months of rehab it continued to bother me but I also went from someone commuting 5 days a week X 14miles one way, lunch time rides with the gang and at least one century a month to a couch potato who quickly gained a massive amount of weight.

Sorry to ramble about my problems so I’ll get back on track. Again the knee does not bother me at all but my DR insists that it probably will some time down the road and ask me to start taking Chondroitin/Glucosamine supplements. Has anyone had any experience with these supplements? Have you had any side effects? ETC.

By the way this is my family physician not a ortho

Thanks in advance for your thoughts
Doc thinks I have arthritis developing in my feet. My knee when i bend with weight on it sounds like someone opening a velcro wallet. It has never been damaged by injury, Doc thinks the GC will lube the joints up which is a good thing. Going to give it a 60 day trial and see what i feel like at that point.
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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Ummm

tgiboney said:
My Dr is happy with my recent change in my lifestyle, weight loss and newfound love of road biking but he is advising me to start taking Chondroitin/Glucosamine for my right knee.

This knee does not bother me now that I have shed 123lbs and along with the weight room and biking feels stronger then I can remember.

In the early 80’s I destroyed the ACL and had a severe tear of the menial meniscus (skiing not biking). After several surgeries to clean it up and many months of rehab it continued to bother me but I also went from someone commuting 5 days a week X 14miles one way, lunch time rides with the gang and at least one century a month to a couch potato who quickly gained a massive amount of weight.

Sorry to ramble about my problems so I’ll get back on track. Again the knee does not bother me at all but my DR insists that it probably will some time down the road and ask me to start taking Chondroitin/Glucosamine supplements. Has anyone had any experience with these supplements? Have you had any side effects? ETC.

By the way this is my family physician not a ortho

Thanks in advance for your thoughts


Don't take it if it's not hurting......that doesn't really make sense. From an ortho perspective, we get asked about Glucosamine/Chondroitin all the time, and what I tell patients is that we have done some pretty good research on it, and we can't figure out how it works, or that it even should, HOWEVER, many patients take it and it helps them. We also know that they are pretty harmless, and many patients taking it report a dramatic reduction in an arthritic pain....Bottom line

No real concrete scientific evidence
Benign side effect profile
Anecdotally helps many patients....

My advice would be Don't take anything until you need to, despite what some people have claimed...IT does not and WILL NOT slow arthritic change or miracuously regrow cartilage in the joint....it may give symptomatic relief however.

Hope that helps
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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Well

Lone Gunman said:
Doc thinks I have arthritis developing in my feet. My knee when i bend with weight on it sounds like someone opening a velcro wallet. It has never been damaged by injury, Doc thinks the GC will lube the joints up which is a good thing. Going to give it a 60 day trial and see what i feel like at that point.

Keep in mind that it has NEVER been proven to synthesize synovial fluid, or grow cartilage or slow the disease process at all. It is simply for symptomatic relief...
 

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BS the DC
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I would take it ... in fact I do take it.

Glucosamine

TRADE NAMES
Glucosamine is available from numerous manufacturers generically. Branded products include Aflexa (McNeil Consumer), Natures Blend Glucosamine (National Vitamin Co.), GS-500 (Enzymatic Therapy), Glucosamine Complex (Schiff), Maxi GS (Maxi-Health Research), NAG (Twinlab).

DESCRIPTION
Glucosamine is an amino monosaccharide found in chitin, glycoproteins and glycosaminoglycans (formerly known as mucopolysaccharides) such as hyaluronic acid and heparan sulfate. Glucosamine is also known as 2-amino-2-deoxyglucose, 2-amino-2-deoxy-beta-D-glucopyranose and chitosamine. Glucosamine has the following chemical structure:

Glucosamine

Glucosamine is available commercially as a nutritional supplement in three forms: glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine HCl, glucosamine sulfate and N-acetyl-glucosamine.

At neutral as well as physiologic pH, the amino group in glucosamine is protonated, resulting in its having a positive charge. Salt forms of glucosamine contain negative anions to neutralize the charge. In the case of glucosamine hydrochloride, the anion is chloride, and in glucosamine sulfate the anion is sulfate. N-acetylglucosamine is a delivery form of glucosamine in which the amino group is acetylated, thus neutralizing its charge. To date, most of the clinical studies examining the effect of glucosamine on osteoarthritis have been performed with either the sulfate or the chloride salts of glucosamine. All three forms are water soluble.

The glucosamine used in supplements is typically derived from marine exoskeletons. Synthetic glucosamine is also available.

ACTIONS AND PHARMACOLOGY
ACTIONS
The actions of supplemental glucosamine have yet to be clarified. It may play a role in the promotion and maintenance of the structure and function of cartilage in the joints of the body. Glucosamine may also have anti-inflammatory properties.

MECHANISM OF ACTION
Until the specific actions of supplemental glucosamine are determined, the mechanism of action in relieving arthritic pain and in repair of cartilage is a matter of speculation. However, we do know a great deal about the biochemistry of the molecules in which glucosamine is found. Biochemically, glucosamine is involved in glycoprotein metabolism. Glycoproteins, known as proteoglycans, form the ground substance in the extra-cellular matrix of connective tissue. Proteoglycans are polyanionic substances of high-molecular weight and contain many different types of heteropolysaccharide side-chains covalently linked to a polypeptide-chain backbone. These polysaccharides make up to 95% of the proteoglycan structure. In fact, chemically, proteoglycans resemble polysaccharides more than they do proteins.

The polysaccharide groups in proteoglycans are called glycosaminoglycans or GAGs. GAGs include hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, dermatan sulfate, keratan sulfate, heparin and heparan sulfate. All of the GAGs contain derivatives of glucosamine or galactosamine.

Glucosamine derivatives are found in hyaluronic acid, keratan sulfate and heparan sulfate. Chondroitin sulfate contains derivatives of galactosamine.

The glucosamine-containing glycosaminoglycan hyaluronic acid is vital for the function of articular cartilage. GAG chains are fundamental components of aggrecan found in articular cartilage. Aggrecan confers upon articular cartilage shock-absorbing properties. It does this by providing cartilage with a swelling pressure that is restrained by the tensile forces of collagen fibers. This balance confers upon articular cartilage the deformable resilience vital to its function.

In the early stages of degenerative joint disease, aggrecan biosynthesis is increased. However, in later stages, aggrecan synthesis is decreased, leading eventually to the loss of cartilage resiliency and to most of the symptoms that accompany osteoarthritis.

During the progression of osteoarthritis, exogenous glucosamine may have a beneficial role. It is known that, in vitro, chondrocytes do synthesize more aggregan when the culture medium is supplemented with glucosamine. N-acetylglucosamine is found to be less effective in these in vitro studies. Glucosamine has also been found to have antioxidant activity and to be beneficial in animal models of experimental arthritis.

The counter anion of the glucosamine salt (i.e. chloride or sulfate) is unlikely to play any role in the action or pharmacokinetics of glucosamine. Further, the sulfate in glucosamine sulfate supplements should not be confused with the glucosamine sulfate found in such GAGs as keratan sulfate and heparan sulfate. In the case of the supplement, sulfate is the anion of the salt. In the case of the above GAGs, sulfate is present as an ester. Also, there is no glucosamine sulfate in chondroitin sulfate.

PHARMACOKINETICS
Pharmacokinetics of glucosamine are derived primarily from animal studies. About 90% of glucosamine administered orally as a glucosamine salt gets absorbed from the small intestine, and from there it is transported via the portal circulation to the liver. It appears that a significant fraction of the ingested glucosamine is catabolized by first-pass metabolism in the liver. Free glucosamine is not detected in the serum after oral intake, and it is not presently known how much of an ingested dose is taken up in the joints in humans. Some uptake in the articular cartilage is seen in animal studies.

INDICATIONS
Glucosamine may be indicated for the treatment and prevention of osteoarthritis, either by itself or in combination with chondroitin sulfate (see Chondroitin Sulfate).

RESEARCH SUMMARY
Two recent meta-analyses have confirmed that glucosamine is useful in the treatment of osteoarthritis. One of these meta-analyses included all double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that lasted four weeks or longer. This meta-analysis also included trials that studied the effects of chondroitin sulfate (see Chondroitin Sulfate). In all, there were l3 of these studies (six involving glucosamine and seven involving chondroitin sulfate).

All l3 studies found positive results in hip or knee osteoarthritis. The authors of the meta-analysis judged a trial positive if there was 25% or more improvement in the treatment group compared with placebo. The Levesque Index and global pain scores were used to assess improvement. Very significant improvement was associated with both glucosamine (39.5%) and chondroitin sulfate (40.2%), compared with placebo.

In another recent meta-analysis of nine randomized, controlled trials of glucosamine, glucosamine was significantly superior to placebo in seven of the studies and was superior to ibuprofen and equal to ibuprofen in the other two studies.

Recently, a long-term, randomized placebo-controlled trial of glucosamine sulfate's effects on osteoarthritis ended with the conclusion that the supplement halts progression of structural joint damage and reduces symptoms of those with osteoarthritis of the knee. The study involved 212 patients 50 years or older who received 1500 milligrams of glucosamine sulfate daily or placebo.

Radiographic evidence, at a three-year followup, showed joint space narrowing--the prime indicator of arthritic joint damage--in the placebo group consistent with what has been documented to be typical in untreated osteoarthritis. The glucosamine-supplemented subjects, on the other hand, showed only a non-significant increase in joint space at the same three-year followup.

There has been one study demonstrating an apparent synergistic effect using glucosamine and chondroitin together. The combination was more effective than either substance alone in inhibiting progression of degenerative cartilage lesions in an experimental study.

Clinical research is needed to determine if this effect is truly synergistic, additive or non-existent. The National Institutes of Health has started a large, multi-center study that may shed further light on this issue.

It is probably not surprising that glucosamine may be helpful in osteoarthritis. Glucosamine is crucial for the construction of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in articular cartilage. Reduced GAG content in osteoarthritic cartilage matrix corresponds with the severity of osteoarthritis. Oral glucosamine appears to be capable of prompting the chondrocytes to secrete more GAGs. This knowledge, derived from animal and in vitro studies, has prompted clinical trials of glucosamine in osteoarthritis.

CONTRAINDICATIONS, PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS
CONTRAINDICATIONS
There are no known contraindications to glucosamine supplementation.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Glucosamine may increase insulin resistance. Glucosamine increases insulin resistance in normal and experimentally diabetic animals. In these animals, intravenous glucosamine significantly decreases the rate of glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. In animals given oral glucosamine, this is not observed.

Those with type 2 diabetes and those who are overweight and have problems with glucose tolerance should have their blood sugars carefully monitored if they use glucosamine supplements. Because of insufficient safety data, children, pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid using glucosamine.

ADVERSE REACTIONS
Side effects that have been reported are mainly mild gastrointestinal complaints such as heartburn, epigastric distress and diarrhea. No allergic reactions have been reported including sulfa-allergic reactions to glucosamine sulfate.

INTERACTIONS
Glucosamine may increase insulin resistance and consequently affect glucose tolerance. Diabetics who, under medical advisement, decide to use glucosamine supplements will need to monitor their blood glucose and may need to adjust the doses of the medications they take to control blood glucose. This needs to be done under medical supervision. No other drug, nutritional supplement, food or herb interaction is known.

OVERDOSAGE
None known.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
The three forms of glucosamine available commercially are glucosamine hydrochloride, glucosamine sulfate and N-acetyl glucosamine. The usual dose used by those with osteoarthritis is l,500 milligrams daily in divided doses. These three forms of glucosamine are available in 500 milligram capsules.

The amount of glucosamine base varies with the supplemental form. Pure glucosamine hydrochloride is about 83% in glucosamine base, pure glucosamine sulfate is about 65% in glucosamine base, and pure N-acetyl glucosamine, about 75% in glucosamine base. It is important that all clinical studies standardize the glucosamine dose of the form used to glucosamine base.

Supplements are available containing glucosamine and low-molecular-weight chondroitin sulfate. (See Chondroitin Sulfate.)

It usually takes several weeks of supplementation before effects, if any, are noted.

HOW SUPPLIED
Capsules — 500 mg, 550 mg, 750 mg, 1000 mg

Powder

Liquid — 500 mg/5 mL

Tablets — 340 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg

LITERATURE
Deal CL, Moskowitz RW. Nutraceuticals as therapeutic agents in osteoarthritis. The role of glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and collagen hydrolysate. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 1999; 25:379-395.

Drovanti A, Bignamini AA, Rovati AL. Therapeutic activity of oral glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthritis, a placebo-controlled double-blind investigation. Clin Ther. 1980; 3:260-272.

Houpt JB, McMillan R, Wein C, Paget-Dello SD. Effect of glucosamine hydrochloride in the treatment of pain of osteoarthritis of the knee. J Rheumatol. 1999; 26:2423-2430.

Leffler CT, Philippi AF, Leffler SG, et al. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and manganese ascorbate for degenerative joint disease of the knee or low back: a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. Mil Med. 1999; 64:85-91.

McClain DA, Crook, ED. Hexosamines and insulin resistance. Diabetes. 1996; 45:l003-l006.

Noack W, Fischer, M., Forster, KK, et al. Glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 1994; 2:51-59.

Pujalte JM, Llavore EP, Ylescupidez FR. Double-blind evaluation of oral glucosamine sulfate in the basic treatment of osteoarthritis. Curr Med Res Opin. 1980; 7:110-114.

Reichelt A, Forster K, Fisher M, et al. Efficacy and safety of intramuscular glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthritis of the knee. A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Arzneimittelforschung. 1999; 44:75-80.

Setnikar I, Giacchetti C, Zanolo G. Pharmacokinetics of glucosamine in the dog and in man. Arzneimittelforschung. 1986; 36:729-735.

Setnikar I, Palumbo R, Canali S, Zanolo G. Pharmacokinetics of glucosamine in man. Arzneimittelforschung.1993; 43:1109-1113.

Towheed TE, Anastassiades TP. Glucosamine and chondroitin for treating symptoms of osteoarthritis. Evidence is widely touted but incomplete. JAMA. 2000; 283:1483-1484.

Towheed TE, Anastassiades TP. Glucosamine therapy for osteoarthritis. Editorial. J Rheumatol l999; 26:2294-2297.
 

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My ortho suggested I start taking it after an ACL reconstruction 4 years ago. and I've been taking it ever since. It took 4-5 months before I noticed anything but I woke up one morning and realized my knees were no longer sore the next day after riding. I have gradually increased my miles every year since (6000/year, 47 yrs old) and still have no problems unless I play sports on a hard court. It does seem to work for me.
 

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Works wonders for me

My right knee took a full body hit from the side while playing "touch" football on Christmas eve, 1978. Medial meniscus was lacerated. ACL and MCL were damaged. The extent of the damage wasn't clearly visible with diagnostic imaging available at the time. Attempted to do without surgery (per orthopedic surgeon's advice) Ended up having the medial meniscus removed in the fall of 1979. Ligaments weren't touched in the surgery, leaving tremendous joint space and instability.

After recovery, I continued a high level of athletic activity including cycling, racquetball 3-5 times a week, gymnastics, skiing, windsurfing, tennis, ... By 1984 I had completely destroyed the ACL and damaged the bone surface where the medial meniscus used to be. I was in a fair amount of pain.

I had the right knee scoped to assess the damage. During the procedure they surfaced the damaged bone. I was then put through a rigorous rehab program to overbuild the quads in attempt to do without an ACL reconstruction. In 1985 I opted to have the ACL reconstruction performed and followed the surgery with another thorough round of physical therapy.

The result was a very stable, functional knee, but I suffered from arthritic pain. On average, I would experience around an hour of pain a day at a pain level high enough to wake me up or keep me from falling asleep. The pain was influenced by recent physical activity and the weather. This went on until about 1995/1996 when someone suggested I try Glucosamine. I was skeptical. I did a fair amount of research. My research was encouraging, but I still couldn't believe that a non-prescription supplement could be a suitable solution. It looked to me like the worst side effect would be a lighter wallet, so I decided to give it a try. Based on my reading, I didn't expect any noticeable improvement for the first 30 days. But I was shockingly surprised at how effective it was after the first 7 days of use. My pain episodes nearly disappeared. I went from regular daily pain to occassional pain during the month. I began to be surprised when I encountered knee discomfort at all and found the frequency to be around or less than an hour a month.

I've been virtually pain free for 10 years from using Glucosamine. Over the 10 years, I've stopped taking it on several occasions, partly due to curiosity. Interestingly, I have found that the pain eventually comes back but not all the way to original level. I have also found that the longer I've taken the supplement, the longer it takes for pain to return. I have never taken a dosage higher than the recommended amount, but over the years I have been able to reduce the dosage down to less than half of the suggested dose.

I have no illusions that it has improved the joint / joint tissue in any way, but I do believe it has helped prevent additional damage. It has certainly improved my quality of life.

I have had 3 occasions to visit the orthopedic experts since I started taking Glucosamine. I have made a point to have a discussion about the supplement each time (different doctors). Without fail they proceeded to share amazing success stories and told me that they give an overwhelming recommendation for patients to give it a try.

The last orthopedic event I had gave me the opportunity to ask the Dr. to evaluate my right knee. It had been about 20 years since a professional had taken a look and I had some lingering questions about future care/options based on comments made at the ACL reconstruction. The outcome of the eval was encouraging as the doctor said my knee was in overall excellent condition. The surgical repair, joint space, alignment, range of motion and general knee function all look great. What's really encouraging is that there is little to no signs of arthritis.

If you are researching supplements, you may also want to spend time looking at Omega-3. I have a friend who's an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in spinal surgery. He's well matched with his wife who's an outstanding neurosurgeon. I heard him give a talk on health about 3 years ago a few days after a big orthopedic medical convention in San Francisco. He had many interesting things to share, but the one that stuck with me was his success with prescribing Omega-3 for patients with chronic back pain / chronic arthritic pain. He claims he has cut his surgical schedule in half. I don't remember the exact protocol, but I do remember the dosage was much higher than the recommended daily dosage. I take Omega 3 for other reasons and have never tried such a high dosage. He swears by it.

While I'm sure there are other excellent blends of Glucosamine, I use Nutrilite's product. It's made to parmaceutical standards, has a very high percentage of effective ingredients and a longer corporate history / track record than any other supplement manufacturer. Any plant based materials used in their supplements are grown organically on farms that they own. They know the field, growth and harvest history of the plant materials in each package. Good stuff.

All the best,

sminar
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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Exactly

sminar said:
My right knee took a full body hit from the side while playing "touch" football on Christmas eve, 1978. Medial meniscus was lacerated. ACL and MCL were damaged. The extent of the damage wasn't clearly visible with diagnostic imaging available at the time. Attempted to do without surgery (per orthopedic surgeon's advice) Ended up having the medial meniscus removed in the fall of 1979. Ligaments weren't touched in the surgery, leaving tremendous joint space and instability.

After recovery, I continued a high level of athletic activity including cycling, racquetball 3-5 times a week, gymnastics, skiing, windsurfing, tennis, ... By 1984 I had completely destroyed the ACL and damaged the bone surface where the medial meniscus used to be. I was in a fair amount of pain.

I had the right knee scoped to assess the damage. During the procedure they surfaced the damaged bone. I was then put through a rigorous rehab program to overbuild the quads in attempt to do without an ACL reconstruction. In 1985 I opted to have the ACL reconstruction performed and followed the surgery with another thorough round of physical therapy.

The result was a very stable, functional knee, but I suffered from arthritic pain. On average, I would experience around an hour of pain a day at a pain level high enough to wake me up or keep me from falling asleep. The pain was influenced by recent physical activity and the weather. This went on until about 1995/1996 when someone suggested I try Glucosamine. I was skeptical. I did a fair amount of research. My research was encouraging, but I still couldn't believe that a non-prescription supplement could be a suitable solution. It looked to me like the worst side effect would be a lighter wallet, so I decided to give it a try. Based on my reading, I didn't expect any noticeable improvement for the first 30 days. But I was shockingly surprised at how effective it was after the first 7 days of use. My pain episodes nearly disappeared. I went from regular daily pain to occassional pain during the month. I began to be surprised when I encountered knee discomfort at all and found the frequency to be around or less than an hour a month.

I've been virtually pain free for 10 years from using Glucosamine. Over the 10 years, I've stopped taking it on several occasions, partly due to curiosity. Interestingly, I have found that the pain eventually comes back but not all the way to original level. I have also found that the longer I've taken the supplement, the longer it takes for pain to return. I have never taken a dosage higher than the recommended amount, but over the years I have been able to reduce the dosage down to less than half of the suggested dose.

I have no illusions that it has improved the joint / joint tissue in any way, but I do believe it has helped prevent additional damage. It has certainly improved my quality of life.

I have had 3 occasions to visit the orthopedic experts since I started taking Glucosamine. I have made a point to have a discussion about the supplement each time (different doctors). Without fail they proceeded to share amazing success stories and told me that they give an overwhelming recommendation for patients to give it a try.

The last orthopedic event I had gave me the opportunity to ask the Dr. to evaluate my right knee. It had been about 20 years since a professional had taken a look and I had some lingering questions about future care/options based on comments made at the ACL reconstruction. The outcome of the eval was encouraging as the doctor said my knee was in overall excellent condition. The surgical repair, joint space, alignment, range of motion and general knee function all look great. What's really encouraging is that there is little to no signs of arthritis.

If you are researching supplements, you may also want to spend time looking at Omega-3. I have a friend who's an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in spinal surgery. He's well matched with his wife who's an outstanding neurosurgeon. I heard him give a talk on health about 3 years ago a few days after a big orthopedic medical convention in San Francisco. He had many interesting things to share, but the one that stuck with me was his success with prescribing Omega-3 for patients with chronic back pain / chronic arthritic pain. He claims he has cut his surgical schedule in half. I don't remember the exact protocol, but I do remember the dosage was much higher than the recommended daily dosage. I take Omega 3 for other reasons and have never tried such a high dosage. He swears by it.

While I'm sure there are other excellent blends of Glucosamine, I use Nutrilite's product. It's made to parmaceutical standards, has a very high percentage of effective ingredients and a longer corporate history / track record than any other supplement manufacturer. Any plant based materials used in their supplements are grown organically on farms that they own. They know the field, growth and harvest history of the plant materials in each package. Good stuff.

All the best,

sminar
We DO recommend it for our patients who are suffering from symptomatic arthritis, but we also want to make sure they know that many people and companies tout them as some sort of miracle cure, and they are not, they are used for symptomatic relief. If you are asymptomatic, I would not take them, if you are having pain, give them a try. They help MANY people, but they do not have any evidence, at least not yet, that they repair cartilage, increase synovial fluid synthesis, or and this is the big myth touted recently, that they slow the arthritic process. We have no evidence to support any of the above claims, and this is one supplement that has been researched rather extensively. If you really want to know the precise pharmacokinetics and molecular makeup, check out BSDC's post above. He gives a rather complete overview of the drug.
 

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Some evidence that it may slow arthritis progression

I did a lot of research on this specifically during my school training, as I have some major issues with my knees. There are not a lot of long-term studies on the effectiveness of glucosamine, but there have been two large, double-blind, randomized - controlled trials (for those of you that care about that jargon) that were done in Europe, and one large study that is currently going on called the GAIT trial.

These studies looked at a few variables.. The first one was pain relief, and these studies showed that glucosamine was "almost" as effective as ibuprofen and was much better tolerated, without the known associated risks of ibuprofen use (and side effects of glucosamine were much lower).

The other variable, the one that I was particularly interested in, was whether or not glucosamine can slow the progression of knee osteoarthritis. Suprisingly, the two large studies DID show that there was a statistically significant slowing of Joint Space Narrowing (an indicator of progressing arthritis) in patients treated with glucosamine versus placebo.

This was good enough evidence for me to start taking the supplement myself and encouraging my patients to as well, as it APPEARS to be safe and effective. Sure, there are risks to everything, but the evidence was enough for me to be cautiously optimistic!!
 

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It may be all in my head, but I started on Glucosamine sulfate 3 months ago because I've always had sore knees, the day after a "hard" workout. I'd always be limping around for the next 15-20 hours after one of those workouts. After 3 to 4 weeks of taking a 1000mg pill, once a day, my knees stopped hurting.
I can't say for sure if it was the Glucosamine that "cured" my problem, but everything that I have read, says that it can't hurt you, and I can get it, "dirt cheap" at "Sam's Club" by me. I think that it cost me $8 for an 8 months supply.
 

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I don't think I have any knee/joint problems, but I started taking when weight lifting in 2001?

Cycling since '03.. and I still take it, just maybe not full dose.
 

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My doctor recommended it to me along with omega 3. I am developing arthritis in my ankle (pinned) and my right knee. I had surgery on my right knee in 1984 and am now developing some pain. The chondroitan started kicking in after about six weeks when I noticed that I didn't have much pain coming down the stairs and my knee was much quieter. My doctor is a DO, so he is as much into preventive medicine as he is diagnosing current issues. I buy the big jars of pills. I also take calcium since I no longer do any significant weight bearing exercise.
 
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