Many supplements containing combinations of Glucosamine and Chondroitin are available in the market; however it is not clear whether such products offer any benefit over the individual compounds. The active ingredient Chondroitin Sulfate has been used in more published studies than any other brands in the market. It was used in various important studies that confirm the effectiveness of Chondroitin Sulfate and was used in the recently completed Glucosamine / Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention (GAIT) study, a multi-centre trial involving over 1500 patients with knee OA. GAIT was designed to address the methodological flaws in previous trials of Glucosamine or Chondroitin, such as failure to adhere to an intent-to-treat analysis, use of small numbers of patients, and possible bias due to sponsorship by manufacturers. Patients received 1500mg Glucosamine, 1200mg Chondroitin, a combination of the two, 200mg Celecoxib or placebo daily for 24 weeks. The results of this study have shown that the combination of Chondroitin Sulfate from Bioibierica S.A., Spain with Glucosamine helps to relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis and is more effective than drugs for people with moderate-to-severe pain.
In a study comparing the efficacy and safety of oral Glucosamine, MSM, their combination and placebo in osteoarthritis of the knee, it was found that Glucosamine, MSM and their combination significantly improved signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis compared with placebo. It was found that the combination treatment of Glucosamine 500mg and MSM 500mg 3 times daily was greater after 12 weeks than the individual Glucosamine or MSM. The combination produced an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect in osteoarthritis and showed better efficacy in reducing pain and swelling and improving the functional ability of joints.
Another study of efficacy and tolerability of Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM in OA of knee in Indian patients received Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM 2 tablets three times a day for 12 weeks and were reassessed for changes is above parameters every 4 weeks. The results showed that Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM combination was useful in decreasing pain, improving functional ability and improving joint mobility and was well tolerated in patients with OA.
Overall, the results from more than 50 published clinical studies of Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM are encouraging. The weight of the scientific research shows promising results for use of Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM by people who want to safely alleviate joint discomfort and maintain healthy joint, including those with existing OA and those at risk of developing OA such as elderly and athletes involving high-impact exercise will likely benefit the most.