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A six-month study of chondroitin sulfate


A six-month study of chondroitin sulfate (800 mg once daily) versus placebo in patients with hand osteoarthritis showed a significantly greater decrease in hand pain and improvement in hand function among those taking chondroitin sulfate (Gabay, Arth & Rheum 2011). The duration of morning stiffness was also slightly reduced. These benefits were not noticeable until after 3 months of treatment. There was no significant difference in grip strength or the amount of analgesic used by patients. The chondroitin tested in the study was a tablet containing highly purified (95% pure) chondroitin of fish origin and is marketed as Chondrosulf (IBSA, Switzerland) in Europe where it is approved as a “Symptomatic Slow Acting Drug for Osteoarthritis” (IBSA website – accessed 9/21/2011).  Chondroitin is believed to promote water retention and elasticity in cartilage and inhibit enzymes that break down cartilage. In veterinary medicine, glucosamine and chondroitin, often in combination, are commonly used in the treatment of degenerative joint disease
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