Glucosamine sulfate not only improves the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee in postmenopausal women, but actually alters the course of disease, according to two 3-year studies. The studies are the first to demonstrate that a pharmacologic intervention has both a disease-modifying and symptom-modifying effect specifically in postmenopausal, osteoarthritic women.
Researchers included 319 postmenopausal women in the two studies. After 3 years, they found that the women given glucosamine sulfate showed no joint space narrowing, while the women given placebo demonstrated a narrowing of 20.33 mm. Using the WOMAC index, women given glucosamine demonstrated improvement (214.1%), while women given placebo demonstrated a trend for worsening (5.4%).
Bruyere O, Pavelka K, Rovati LC, et al. Glucosamine sulfate reduces osteoarthritis progression in postmenopausal women with knee osteoarthritis: evidence from two 3-year studies. Menopause. 2004;11:138-143.