Supplements for Joint Pain Not Much Help

September 17, 2010

Glucosamine and chondroiton supplements are ineffective on their own or in combination.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, a new analysis of glucosamine and chondroiton supplements in the treatment of joint pain reveals that they are ineffective on their own or in combination.

The analysis, which involves 10 studies and more than 3,800 people, was conducted by Swiss researchers. The team concluded that measurements of pain or changes in joint space did not differ for individuals taking the supplements.

While the authors did not find the supplements to be harmful, they write that any beneficial effects may be the result of a placebo effect, or natural joint healing overtime. The researchers also wrote that, “Health authorities and health insurers should not cover the costs of these preparations, and new prescriptions to patients who have not received treatment should be discouraged.”

The study is titled, “Effects of glucosamine, chondroitin, or placebo in patients with osteoarthritis of hip or knee: network meta-analysis,” and will be published in the British Medical Journal.