Glucosamine alone or in combination with chondroitin sulfate has sales in the hundreds of millions of dollars. It is by far the most popular supplement for osteoarthritis.
Are users getting good value for their money? The answer is no and this is why.
In 2006 an important double blind trial found that neither glucosamine alone or together with chondroitin did not reduce knee pain or other arthritic symptoms better than a placebo. In case you have forgotten what a placebo is we will remind you that it is a substance with no medicinal value that resembles the substance that is being tested.
The next question was whether glucosamine had a beneficial effect on the damage to the knee caused by arthritis. A follow-up study using x-ray showed no reduction in cartilage loss among the supplement users.
Because of these reports and other studies the American College of Rheumatology has reviewed the use of glucosamine and after exhaustive review has decided that there is no proven medical benefit from using glucosamine. The American College of Rheumatology has issued an advisory that there is no medical benefit from taking a glucosamine supplement
In view of this you may wonder why so many people continue to spend their money on a pill that does not work better than a placebo. We certainly do not have an answer.