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Glucosamine really works on knee OA

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.