How glucosamine seems to help

Glucosamine tablets are a palliative, not a cure for arthritis.

Browny, July 2008, glucosamine patientGlucosamine tablets are a palliative, not a cure for arthritis.

The supplements, which also include chondroitin sulfate, seem to slow the rate at which joint space declines in arthritis patients.

But it does not effect a cure, or even slow the progress of the disease. And the slowdown is not statistically different from that found with a placebo.

Results of a two-year study directed by Douglas Clegg of the University of Utah will be published in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Producers like Leiner Health Products advertise "two tablets per day deliver" on the supplement. The bottle I got from Costco claims there is 1,500 mg. of glucosamine and 1,200 mg. of chondroitin sulfate per tablet.

But I never assumed this to be an arthritis cure. I was told the pills reduced joint pain from exercise, and they seemed to do that. This is not an empirical study, however, just an observation.

My 12-year old dog Browny (above) does have arthritis and gets the supplement in his food. It made him so frisky he busted his back left knee. He's on steroids now and slowly getting better.

What does this prove? Nothing. With all supplements, your mileage will vary. But I have yet to see a study showing that this stuff hurts. Unless you're a dog.