Benefits of Glucosamine for Arthritis Improved with Addition of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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A study reported in Advances in Therapy in September, 2009 concluded that the addition of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to over the counter Glucosamine Sulfate was more effective in alleviating arthritis symptoms than Glucosamine alone.
One hundred seventy seven men and women between the ages of 40 and 75 with moderate to severe hip or knee osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to receive 3 capsules daily of 500 milligrams of Glucosamine Sulfate with or without 200 milligrams of the Omega-3 Fatty Acids Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) for 26 weeks. Participants answered questions related to pain, stiffness, and physical functioning limitations before and after the study and at 13 weeks into the study.
Pain was evaluated and 165 subjects showed at least a 20% reduction in pain scores with no significant differences between the groups. At the 80% or greater reduction in pain level, 44% of the combined group compared to 32% of those in the Glucosamine group responded. Morning stiffness and pain in the hips and knees were reduced by 48.5-55.6% in the combined group compared to 41.7-55.3% in the Glucosamine group. In addition, twice as many of those in the combined group reported a reduction in pain compared to those who received only Glucosamine.
The authors concluded that Glucosamine improves the mnetabolism of the cartilage, EPA and DHA further reduce degradation by suppressing inflammation that lowers swelling and pain and could contribute to the independence and well-being of those with arthritis.

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