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Supplements for the treatment of osteoarthritis 

Supplements for the treatment of osteoarthritis
Chapter:
Supplements for the treatment of osteoarthritis
Author(s):

Allen D. Sawitzke

and Daniel O. Clegg

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199668847.003.0031
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date: 31 May 2020

Foodstuffs have long been thought to affect health beyond just their supply of calories. Some have been used as a ‘dietary supplement’ to health and thereby aid patients with osteoarthritis. The evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of using dietary supplements to improve pain or protect the structure of the joint is not complete, but some preliminary conclusions are possible. This chapter is an inclusive review of the current published evidence for selected commonly recommended dietary supplements for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Among the dietary supplements, the most credible evidence continues to be for glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate, and their combination with additional evidence suggesting potential benefit for avocado soybean unsaponifiables, ginger, rose hip powder, and strontium. For most agents, systematic reviews are the best evidence thus far as large well-designed trials are uncommon. Some dietary supplements, especially combined glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate, may be helpful to reducing the pain of patients with osteoarthritis. Others may slow joint space narrowing of osteoarthritis particularly strontium and the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate although further evidence will be required to inform best practice.

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