Glu­cosamine’s role in treat­ing os­teoarthri­tis

Waikato News - - Health & Wellbeing - John Arts

Glu­cosamine and chon­droitin are of­ten fa­mil­iar words for those with os­teoarthri­tis (OA).

But what are they? What do they do? Can they help? Is there re­search to sug­gest how these could be used?

To­day, we dig a lit­tle deeper at glu­cosamine, and chon­droitin in the next edi­tion.

Glu­cosamine sul­phate is a spe­cialised form of su­gar used to make hard shells in crus­taceans and in hu­mans the build­ing blocks of car­ti­lage.

Adding glu­cosamine seems to help car­ti­lage func­tion and per­haps car­ti­lage re­newal.

Some sug­gest that it may have an an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory func­tion.

Glu­cosamine was re­ally put on the map with the pres­ti­gious med­i­cal jour­nal,

Lancet (Re­qin­ster, 2001), pub­lish­ing a study “Glu­cosamine on os­teoarthri­tis pro­gres­sion: A ran­domised placebo con­trolled clin­i­cal trial.”

This study fol­lowed more than 200 peo­ple over three years and com­pared a group tak­ing glu­cosamine and those given a placebo.

The au­thors con­cluded, “The longterm com­bined struc­ture-mod­i­fy­ing and symp­tom-mod­i­fy­ing ef­fects of glu­cosamine sul­phate sug­gest that it could be a dis­ease mod­i­fy­ing agent in os­teoarthri­tis.”

Adding glu­cosamine seems to help car­ti­lage func­tion and per­haps car­ti­lage re­newal.

My view is that glu­cosamine can help but I rate this as less ef­fec­tive than sim­i­lar doses of chon­droitin.

It is in­ter­est­ing that my old joint for­mula was mostly glu­cosamine and it did help a lot of peo­ple. How­ever, my new for­mula which is 50 per cent glu­cosamine, 45 per cent high grade chon­droitin and 5 per cent cur­cumin (95 per cent ex­tract) from turmeric has seen dra­mat­i­cally bet­ter re­sults.

I al­ways pre­fer to give in­di­vid­u­alised ad­vice but in gen­eral terms, com­bin­ing this for­mula with 4000-6000mg of fish oil can re­ally help. I gen­er­ally like to start with higher ini­tial dose of­ten 1-2 months at doses of 1500mg of glu­cosamine, 1500mg of high grade chon­droitin sul­phate plus 200mg of 95 per cent cur­cumin.

John Arts (B Soc Sci, Dip Tch, Adv Dip Nut Med) is a nu­tri­tional medicine prac­ti­tioner and founder of Abun­dant Health Ltd. For per­son­alised ad­vice, con­tact John on 0800 423559 or email john@abun­dant.co.nz. Join his full weekly news­let­ter at www.abun­dant.co.nz.

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