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Arthritis supplements 'ineffective'
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:08 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:21 pm
Posts: 1457
Location: Hampshire
Many of Britain's arthritis sufferers are taking supplements that are ineffective, researchers have claimed.

Patients hoping to alleviate the cripplingly painful symptoms of osteoarthritis are able to receive glucosamine and chrondroitin on NHS prescription or buy it over the counter. But researchers have concluded they do little good.

The most common form of arthritis in the UK is osteoarthritis which occurs in the knees and hips. The condition is felt by an estimated 8.5 million sufferers in Britain.

Experts writing online in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) said their review of existing research concluded the supplements are not effective.

They examined 10 existing studies and found no evidence of improvement when supplements were taken alone or in combination.

More than 3,800 patients suffering from osteoarthritis in their hips, knees or both joints took part in the studies.

Patients were typically aged 58 to 66 and had suffered symptoms for between six months and 10 years.

The results showed the supplements had no effect on joint pain or on the degree of narrowing between joints. Narrowing joint space indicates cartilage loss and worsening osteoarthritis.

However, the authors, led by Professor Peter Juni at the University of Bern in Switzerland, said some patients did think the supplements helped them.


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