Glucosamine: Does it protect cartilage in osteoarthritis?

Study results on this question have been mixed, with some suggesting possible benefit and some showing no benefit on cartilage protection.

Glucosamine is one of the substances in your body that is used to build cartilage. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. When you have osteoarthritis, the slick cartilage that covers the ends of your bones and helps joints move smoothly wears away.

Study results have been varied, partly because not all the studies have used the same type of glucosamine. And not all the studies included a placebo comparison or made sure that the patient and the researcher didn't know which pill was being given.

That said, glucosamine is fairly inexpensive and safe. If other treatments aren't helping, you might want to try glucosamine. Talk to your healthcare professional about whether a trial of glucosamine is right for you. It may take several months before you see any pain relief.

Last Updated Mar 5, 2024

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