Condition - Glucosamine plus omega 3 is superior for joint health
Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects the joints. It is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, with an estimated 8.5 million people affected by the condition, which can cause joint pain, tenderness, stiffness and often inflammation.
Traditionally, people have turned to the supplement glucosamine to help protect their joints or to manage arthritis symptoms, but a new study from Germany suggests that a combination of glucosamine and omega 3 fatty acids may be an even better option.
The scientists recruited 177 people with moderate-to-severe hip or knee osteoarthritis and randomly assigned them to receive either a glucosamine supplement (1,500 milligrams per day) or glucosamine plus omega 3 fatty acids (providing 444mg of fish oil, of which 200mg were omega 3 fatty acids). After 26 weeks of supplementation, the researchers tested pain levels, using an established pain-scoring index (WOMAC).
The results showed that while the same number of people experienced at least a 20% reduction in pain in each group, 27% more people in the group taking glucosamine and omega 3 together experienced an 80% reduction in pain. In addition, the combination product reduced morning stiffness and pain in the hips and knees by between 48.5 and 55.6%, compared to 41.7 to 55.3% in the glucosamine-only group.
Commenting on the potential mechanism, the researchers suggest that the ingredients probably acted synergistically. “Omega 3 fatty acids inhibit the inflammation process in osteoarthritis, whereas glucosamine supports the rebuilding of lost cartilage substance”, they stated.
Source: J. Gruenwald et al. Advances in Therapy. 2009 Sep 4.
[Epub ahead of print]