Two commonly-used supplements in the treatment of osteoarthritis do have benefits for people living with the condition, new research reveals.
A new study from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre in Canada found that using a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate to treat osteoarthritis can prevent joint deterioration.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and usually develops gradually, over several years, affecting a number of different joints. The cause is unknown and currently no cure currently exists. Treatment is limited to pain relief, self-management and joint replacement for severe cases.
To conduct the research a total of 600 patients with knee osteoarthritis were divided up, based on whether they received conventional pharmacological treatment and/or glucosamine/chondroitin sulphate over a 24-month period, before being assessed for knee structural changes using quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (qMRI), an advanced medical imaging technique.
Results published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases revealed that patients taking glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate experienced a reduction in cartilage volume loss over the two-year period.
This beneficial effect was seen regardless of whether the patients were also receiving a more conventional treatment using analgesic therapies or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
It was also revealed that many of the positive effects of these supplements could not be detected using standard x-ray imaging, but were demonstrated by using qMRI..
An Arthritis Ireland spokesman said: “We very much welcome any evidence that points to effective treatment for osteoarthritis as it is an extremely painful and debilitating condition that affects hundreds of thousand s of people in Ireland. However, it is important to note that this is just one isolated study as glucosamine and chondroitin have both been subject to a large number of clinical trials with varying results.”
*NOTE: For anyone with osteoarthritis who is taking the glucosamine sulphate solution Dona, it is now available from your pharmacist without prescription.