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Ann Rheum Dis. 2015 May;74(5):851-8. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-203954. Epub 2014 Jan 6.

Glucosamine and chondroitin for knee osteoarthritis: a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluating single and combination regimens.

Author information

1
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, New South Wales, Australia.
2
Graduate School of Medicine, Notre Dame University, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia.
3
Covance Pty Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
4
The George Institute for Global Health, University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia.
5
Institute of Bone and Joint Research, University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, New South Wales, Australia.
6
St George Hospital Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Kogarah, New South Wales, Australia.
7
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, St Vincent's Hospital and University of New South Wales, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine if the dietary supplements, glucosamine and/or chondroitin, result in reduced joint space narrowing (JSN) and pain among people with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.

METHODS:

A double-blind randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial with 2-year follow-up. 605 participants, aged 45-75 years, reporting chronic knee pain and with evidence of medial tibio-femoral compartment narrowing (but retaining >2 mm medial joint space width) were randomised to once daily: glucosamine sulfate 1500 mg (n=152), chondroitin sulfate 800 mg (n=151), both dietary supplements (n=151) or matching placebo capsules (n=151). JSN (mm) over 2 years was measured from digitised knee radiographs. Maximum knee pain (0-10) was self-reported in a participant diary for 7 days every 2 months over 1 year.

RESULTS:

After adjusting for factors associated with structural disease progression (gender, body mass index (BMI), baseline structural disease severity and Heberden's nodes), allocation to the dietary supplement combination (glucosamine-chondroitin) resulted in a statistically significant (p=0.046) reduction of 2-year JSN compared to placebo: mean difference 0.10 mm (95% CI 0.002 mm to 0.20 mm); no significant structural effect for the single treatment allocations was detected. All four allocation groups demonstrated reduced knee pain over the first year, but no significant between-group differences (p=0.93) were detected. 34 (6%) participants reported possibly-related adverse medical events over the 2-year follow-up period.

CONCLUSIONS:

Allocation to the glucosamine-chondroitin combination resulted in a statistically significant reduction in JSN at 2 years. While all allocation groups demonstrated reduced knee pain over the study period, none of the treatment allocation groups demonstrated significant symptomatic benefit above placebo.

TRIAL REGISTRATION CLINICALTRIALSGOV IDENTIFIER:

NCT00513422; http://www.clinicaltrials.gov.

KEYWORDS:

chondroitin; disease progression; glucosamine; osteoarthritis knee; pain

PMID:
24395557
DOI:
10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-203954
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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