Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements plus
analgesic/anti-inflammatory medication reduce symptoms of arthritis.
The combination of glucosamine and chondroitin plus anti-inflammatory dietary supplements and herbs may be a good combination in helping relieve the symptoms and indeed the progression of some osteoarthritic conditions without the side-effects of NSAID's
One study that examined data of 600 participants looked at structural changes, cartilage volume, joint space and pain in arthritis of the knee over a two year period.
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to compare the results of supplementary glucosamine and chondroitin sulphates with or without analgesic/anti-inflammatory(NSAID) drugs on certain markers of arthritis disease progression.
The results of this study found significant improvements in some of the joint measurements. Those taking analgesic/anti-inflammatory medication plus glucosamine and chondroitin had significantly reduced loss of cartilage volume at 24 months in the medial central plateau.
Also those who took both anti-inflammatory pain medications plus glucosamine and chondroitin supplements had a mild reduction in disease progression and less pain compared to those who took only pain/anti-inflammatory medications without the supplements.
The authors of the study reported that the analgesic/anti-inflammatory participants who took glucosamine and chondroitin sulphates had a reduced loss of cartilage volume over 24 months in subregions when assessed with MRI, which could not be identified by normal X-rays(1)
This study adds positive data to the complementary medicine approach in the management of osteoarthritic conditions where anti-inflammatory supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, Lyprinol and krill oil) (2)(3) and analgesic /anti-inflammatory herbs including White willow bark are often recommended in combination and been found to have considerable potential in the symptomatic treatment of rheumatic disorders (4)(5).
1. 1. Johanne Martel-Pelletier, Camille Roubille1 et al. First-line analysis of the effects of treatment on progression of structural changes in knee osteoarthritis over 24 months: data from the osteoarthritis initiative progression cohort , Ann Rheum Dis doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-203906
2. 2. Sheila A. Doggrell, Lyprinol—Is It a Useful Anti-Inflammatory Agent? Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011; 2011: 307121. Published online 2011 August 11. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nep030
3. 3. Chi-Ho Lee,1 John Hon-Kei Lum et al. Pain Controlling and Cytokine-regulating Effects of Lyprinol, a Lipid Extract of Perna Canaliculus, in a Rat Adjuvant-induced Arthritis Model, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 June; 6(2): 239–245. Published online 2007 September 26. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nem100
4. Ernst E, Chrubasik S. Phyto-anti-inflammatories. A systematic review of randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2000;26(1):13-27.
5. Schmid B, Ludtke R, Selbmann HK, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of a standardized willow bark extract in patients with osteoarthritis: randomized placebo-controlled, double blind clinical trial.Phytother Res. 2001 Jun;15(4):344-50