Tag Archive for: joint and bone health

The results of a clinical trial published in Arthritis Research and Therapy suggest that supplementing with glucosamine and taking regular walks can improve pain, physical function, and overall activity levels in adults with mild to moderate knee or hip osteoarthritis.

Thirty-six low-activity participants (aged 42 to 73 years) were provided with 1500 mg glucosamine sulfate per day for 6 weeks. At the end of six weeks, the participants began a 12-week progressive walking program (while continuing to take glucosamine.)

Study subjects were given a pedometer to monitor step counts. They were then randomized into two groups – one to walk 3 days per week, the other to walk 5 days per week. The length of the walk was gradually increased over the course of the program, with 6000 per day being the goal by the end of the 12-week period. Physical activity levels, physical function, and arthritis symptoms were analyzed at the beginning and at 6, 12, 18 and 24 weeks.

Physical activity levels, physical function, and pain assessment scores improved during the first 6 weeks of the study (glucosamine supplementation only.) Between the start of the walking program (week 6) and the final follow-up (week 24), further improvements were seen, though most improvements happened between weeks 6 and 12. No significant differences were observed between participants who participated in the 3 and 5 day per week programs.

In people with mild to moderate hip or knee osteoarthritis, walking a minimum of 3,000 steps (approximately 30 minutes) at least 3 days per week, in combination with glucosamine sulfate, may reduce some symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Ng N, et al. Efficacy of a progressive walking program and glucosamine sulphate supplementation on osteoarthritic symptoms of the hip and knee: a feasibility trial. 2010. Arthritis Research & Therapy 12(1):R25.

A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine examined the effects of glucosamine supplementation on functional ability and chronic knee pain in individuals with previous cartilage damage or osteoarthritis.

Subjects were randomly supplemented with either glucosamine or placebo for 12 weeks at a dose of 2,000 mg per day. Four testing sessions were conducted during the study. Changes in knee pain and function were determined by clinical and functional tests (joint line palpation, a 3 meter “duck walk,” and a repeated walking stair climb). Additionally, two different questionnaires were used to evaluate changes in pain.

The glucosamine group was found to have significantly better quality of life scores at weeks 8 and 12 than the placebo group. Based on self-report evaluations of changes during the 12 week supplementation period, 88% of the glucosamine group reported some degree of improvement in their knee pain versus only 17% in the placebo group.

These results suggest that glucosamine supplementation can provide some degree of pain relief and improved function in individuals who experience chronic knee pain due to previous cartilage damage or osteoarthritis. The results also suggest that at a dosage of 2,000 mg per day, the majority of improvements are apparent after eight weeks.

Br J Sports Med 2003 Feb;37(1):45-9