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Should I take glucosamine for hip pain?


Updated March 17, 2008

Question: Should I take glucosamine for hip pain?
Glucosamine is a supplement that many people take for arthritis and pain. Glucosamine is heavily advertised, especially during daytime television when older people might be watching; however, there is little evidence to suggest that is has a meaningful impact on pain.

Glucosamine Supplements and Pain

Researchers examined the effect of glucosamine in a study of 222 individuals with hip osteoarthritis. They followed them for two years. Half the patients received 1500 mg of oral glucosamine and the other half took a placebo once every day. The patients were asked to estimate the pain function scales on surveys over a two-year period. Basically the researchers found that glucosamine had no impact on pain, disease progression, or functional status for hip osteoarthritis. This is one of the few studies conducted on glucosamine without any drug company funding.

Bottom Line: Glucosamine Unproven for Hip Pain Relief

I would love nothing more than to report that glucosamine was a magical cure for arthritis and other forms of pain -- but so far, there just doesn’t seem to be enough evidence to recommend spending money on glucosamine.

Read more about longevity supplements.


Rianne M. Rozendaal, MSc; Bart W. Koes, PhD; Gerjo J.V.M. van Osch, PhD; Elian J. Uitterlinden, MD, PhD; Eric H. Garling, PhD; Sten P. Willemsen, MSc; Abida Z. Ginai, MD; Jan A.N. Verhaar, MD, PhD; Harrie Weinans, PhD; and Sita M.A. Bierma-Zeinstra, PhD. Effect of Glucosamine Sulfate on Hip Osteoarthritis. 19 February 2008 | Volume 148 Issue 4 | Pages 268-277.

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