Glucosamine and chondroitin for knee osteoarthritis: a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluating single and combination regimens
Fransen, M and Agaliotis, M and Naim, L and Votrubec, M and Bridgett, L and Su, S and Jan, S and March, L and Edmonds, J and Norton, R and Woodward, M and Day, R, LEGS study collaborative group, Glucosamine and chondroitin for knee osteoarthritis: a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluating single and combination regimens, Annals of The Rheumatic Diseases, 74, (5) pp. 851-858. ISSN 0003-4967 (2015) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2015 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. & European League Against Rheumatism
Objective: To determine if the dietary supplements, glucosamine and/or chondroitin, result in reduced joint space narrowing (JSN) and pain among people with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. Methods: A double-blind randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial with 2-year follow-up. 605 participants, aged 45-75 years, reporting chronic knee pain and with evidence of medial tibio-femoral compartment narrowing (but retaining >2 mm medial joint space width) were randomised to once daily: glucosamine sulfate 1500 mg (n=152), chondroitin sulfate 800 mg (n=151), both dietary supplements (n=151) or matching placebo capsules (n=151). JSN (mm) over 2 years was measured from digitised knee radiographs. Maximum knee pain (0-10) was self-reported in a participant diary for 7 days every 2 months over 1 year. Results: After adjusting for factors associated with structural disease progression (gender, body mass index (BMI), baseline structural disease severity and Heberden's nodes), allocation to the dietary supplement combination (glucosamine-chondroitin) resulted in a statistically significant (p=0.046) reduction of 2-year JSN compared to placebo: mean difference 0.10 mm (95% CI 0.002 mm to 0.20 mm); no significant structural effect for the single treatment allocations was detected. All four allocation groups demonstrated reduced knee pain over the first year, but no significant between-group differences (p=0.93) were detected. 34 (6%) participants reported possibly-related adverse medical events over the 2-year follow-up period. Conclusions: Allocation to the glucosamine-chondroitin combination resulted in a statistically significant reduction in JSN at 2 years. While all allocation groups demonstrated reduced knee pain over the study period, none of the treatment allocation groups demonstrated significant symptomatic benefit above placebo.