You may have seen in the news lately that the arthritis supplements glucosamine and chondroitin don't work. The headline "Popular Arthritis Supplements Don't Work!" was all over the national papers.
The reports are based on a four-year study that was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. I've read the media reports. And I've read the study. I'm now wondering if the media read the same study I did.
In it, researchers tested over 1,500 arthritis sufferers. When they gave the participants a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin, 79% of participants who had moderate-to-severe arthritis pain in their knees had a 20% or greater reduction of pain. The research team called this "significant relief."
Obviously, the supplements work! A 79% success rate is overwhelming proof. And it confirms what I've seen in my nutritional counseling practice patient after patient, year after year.
So why did the media say that the supplements didn't work? Because the study found that the supplements didn't give relief to everyone with osteoarthritis. But this isn't surprising. Most everyone knows that not every supplement will work for every person or condition. So this is no excuse for the media's false statements.
If you're one of those people who isn't getting significant relief from glucosamine and chondroitin, you may want to try additional remedies. I've seen great results in people who combine glucosamine/chondroitin with sulfur, ginger, turmeric, bromelain, boswellia, or a soy-avocado extract.
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In fact, in answer to those patients who didn't get enough relief from glucosamine and chondroitin, I helped develop Women's Preferred Advanced Joint Support, that has some of these very ingredients. I'm hearing good reports about it.
One final tip: Take arthritis supplements for at least three months. Some anti-inflammatory supplements will take that long to show results. If the one you're using doesn't work, try another formula. There is no definitive product. Some work better and for more people than others. But not all natural anti-inflammatories work for everyone. And whatever you do, don't stop taking your supplements because of the reports you read in the mainstream press. Arthritis supplements do work!
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
New England Journal of Medicine, vol 354, 2006.
Clegg, D., et al. New England Journal of Medicine, February 2006.