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Shark Cartilage in the treatment of osteoarthritis

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Shark Cartilage in the treatment of osteoarthritis


Much publicity has been given in both the medical and the lay press to the benefits of glucosamine (the main constituent of shark cartilage) treatment for osteoarthritis (OA). If patients ask about it's effectiveness, what should they be told? A recent study published by a prominent international medical journal may provide the answer.

Treatment of OA has generally been limited to short-term palliative treatment and symptom control. The study assessed the effect of the specific drug glucosamine sulphate on the long-term progression of OA joint structure changes and symptoms.

Much publicity has been given in both the medical and the lay press to the benefits of glucosamine (the main constituent of shark cartilage) treatment for osteoarthritis (OA). If patients ask about it's effectiveness, what should they be told? A recent study published by a prominent international medical journal may provide the answer.

RESULTS

The 106 patients on placebo had a progressive joint-space narrowing. There was no significant joint-space loss in the 106 patients who received glucosamine sulphate. Similar results were reported in the minimum joint-space width. Symptoms worsened slightly in patients on placebo compared with the improvement observed after treatment with glucosamine sulphate. There were no differences in safety or reasons for early withdrawal between the treatment and placebo groups.

The long-term combined structure-modifying effects of glucosamine sulphate suggest that it could be a disease-modifying agent in osteoarthritis.


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