New bike = dodgy knees. Advice?



j.r.hawkins said:
My wife works at Blackmores so I have access to this at good prices. It works.

My preference, though, is for the version that has Chondroitin (a shark cartilege extract) in the mix. It is my belief that Chondroitin helps the body repair cartilege damage more quickly. Glucocamine only deals with inflamation, AFAIK.
Chondroitin is not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. If it works, and I'm not aware of any studies suggesting that it does, it's somehow working from within the bowel. It's a great moneyspinner for the "alternative" pharmaceutical industry.
 
artemidorus said:
It's a great moneyspinner for the "alternative" pharmaceutical industry.
I don't disagree with where you're going with this. Despite the fact my wife works for the apparent quality leader in this market sector, I’d consider myself a sceptic. The lack of sufficiently-sized randomized double-blind testing and scientific peer review just doesn’t sit well with me at all.

I’ve read some of the literature she’s brought home from their library on the subjects of homeopathy and alternative medicine. Much of it would make your hair stand on end. The paradigms they operate from are so “out there” I don’t know whether to roll on the floor laughing or race to the toilet and be sick. What these branches of alternative medicine have supposedly discovered that does actually work can only have been hit upon by accident. Their theoretical framework certainly didn’t lead them there because almost 100% of it is baloney. A case of the right answer for completely the wrong reasons, in my view. As they say in Russia, even a broken clock is right once a day.

Even so, despite my complete lack knowledge of the transport mechanism, and the sample size of 1 (me), I have found the mix that includes Chondroitin to be more effective than glucosamine alone.

Apart from vitamins, the only other products of theirs I’d use would be Echinacea when I’m run down and trying to stop a headcold getting a foothold.
 
artemidorus said:
Chondroitin is not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. If it works, and I'm not aware of any studies suggesting that it does
+1 on this. There's absolutely no evidence that glucosamine + chondroitin is any better than glucosamine alone. And the evidence for glucosamine is only for knees - its not proven for osteoarthritis in any other joints (at least it was the last time I did a lit search 6 months ago).

You can buy it if you want, but given the evidence, any benefit is *probably* placebo.

That isn't a cricitism of you, JR, because if you think it works for your n=1, and you're happy buying it in spite of the evidence, then you can keep doing so. It certainly isn't likely to cause any harm if it hasn't already (other than a relative dent in your bank balance).

n
 
nerdag said:
+1 on this. There's absolutely no evidence that glucosamine + chondroitin is any better than glucosamine alone.
I stand corrected:
Clegg et. al. (2006) Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate, and the Two in Combination for Painful Knee Osteoarthritis. New England Journal of Medicine; 354(8)795-808

Full text here (freely available to general public).

In summary, glucosamine + chondroitin *may* be slightly better in moderate to severe degenerative arthritis, than glucosamine alone. Otherwise, there's no difference.

n
 
Whilst I too am sceptical about the claims of the alternative therapy industry, I have to say that taking glucosamine with chondroitin made a dramatic difference to my older sister. She went from being unable to turn on the bathroom tap due to joint stiffness to being able to turn it on easily within 6 months and she went back to knitting and crocheting - something she hadn't been able to do for the past 5 years.

I started taking it because I was getting the early signs of osteoarthritis in both little fingers and I have to confess the pain and stiffness have completely gone.

And then there's our 2 elderly dogs, both of whom were having great difficulty getting up off the floor, who are now able to do so quite easily. (the good thing about observing animals is that they tend not to fake their symptoms, so what you see is a genuine response)

So I think there is some benefit from taking glucosamine and chondroitin but more studies are needed.
 
matagi said:
Whilst I too am sceptical about the claims of the alternative therapy industry, I have to say that taking glucosamine with chondroitin made a dramatic difference to my older sister. She went from being unable to turn on the bathroom tap due to joint stiffness to being able to turn it on easily within 6 months and she went back to knitting and crocheting - something she hadn't been able to do for the past 5 years.

I started taking it because I was getting the early signs of osteoarthritis in both little fingers and I have to confess the pain and stiffness have completely gone.

And then there's our 2 elderly dogs, both of whom were having great difficulty getting up off the floor, who are now able to do so quite easily. (the good thing about observing animals is that they tend not to fake their symptoms, so what you see is a genuine response)

So I think there is some benefit from taking glucosamine and chondroitin but more studies are needed.
Have you or she tried glucosamine alone?
 
artemidorus said:
Have you or she tried glucosamine alone?
I'm not sure about my sister, I just started taking the combination because it was on special at a much better price than the single agent.
 

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