Does glucosamine relieve arthritis joint pain?
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Glucosamine may provide some pain relief. Studies have shown varied results, ranging from glucosamine being superior or equivalent to other agents, to no difference between glucosamine and placebo. However, most of these studies have small sample sizes, short duration, and often other significant flaws. Meta-analyses of available studies suggest a trend toward benefit from glucosamine (strength of recommendation: B). Glucosamine may help osteoarthritis pain, but it is premature to recommend it universally until better studies are done. Even if glucosamine is effective, this sector of the market is currently unregulated, and products may not contain the amount or kind of glucosamine material advertised on their labels.
Journal of Family Practice, 52(8) 2003: 645-647.