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Chondroitin Sulfate: How Effective Is It?

This past year there have been numerous newspaper articles published claiming that studies have show that certain nutritional supplements and vitamins are not beneficial and in some cases can be harmful in treating diseases. One such recent article reported that chondroitin sulfate was of no value in stopping the pain and progression of osteoarthritis.

This month I came across a study that showed just the contrary. Researchers from universities in France and Belgium conducting a 2-year phase 3 trial found that chondroitin 4,6 sulfate significantly reduced the progression of joint-space narrowing in patients with knee osteoarthritis compared with placebo. After receiving 800mg daily of oral chondroitin sulfate for 2 years digitalized x-rays found that the placebo group had a mean joint-space narrowing of 0.24mm while those receiving chondroitin sulfate had a joint narrowing of 0.1mm.- a significant difference. Not only was there less cartilage loss but there was a significant reduction in pain with no side effects.

Now did we here about this study in the press? For whatever reason the press seems to jump at the opportunity to publish negative studies but overlook the tens or hundreds of positive studies.

Terry Pfau, DO, HMD

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