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How do glucosamine and chondroitin benefit joints?

Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are commonly used for osteoarthritis and have been shown to have a benefit in the treatment of pain from the arthritic process. The improvement is generally partial and does not work for everyone. These supplements are generally safe to use. Many people will ask if these supplements decrease the progression of arthritis or make new cartilage grow. There is no evidence that these supplements change the progression of the disease process. You can try the supplements for treatment of early arthritis pain, and if after a trial of 6-12 weeks no effect is noticed, you can stop.
Glucosamine and chondroitin both occur naturally in the body and help maintain healthy cartilage, the soft cushioning between bones. Although glucosamine and chondroitin nutritional supplements are marketed to arthritis sufferers as a way to reduce pain and rebuild lost cartilage, the research on the benefits has been mixed. Some studies show that a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin reduces pain in people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee, while other studies show no benefit at all. There is no proof that the supplements slow or reverse the loss of cartilage in osteoarthritis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.