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Glucosamine Reduces Progression of Osteoarthritis

Glucosamine stops the progression of osteoarthritis in postmenopausal women, according to a study published in the journal Menopause.

Researchers conducted two, three-year, randomized, placebo-controlled studies evaluating the effect of glucosamine sulfate on symptoms and the modification of joint structure in women with knee osteoarthritis. Of the 414 subjects in the two studies, 319 were postmenopausal women.

After 3 years, postmenopausal participants in the glucosamine sulfate group showed no joint space narrowing, whereas participants in the placebo group did experience joint narrowing. Joint space narrowing is an indication of osteoarthritis disease progression. In addition, symptoms improved in the glucosamine-treated group, whereas the placebo group experienced a trend toward worsening of symptoms.

The researchers concluded that the study demonstrated for the first time that glucosamine has a disease-modifying effect in knee osteoarthritis, particularly in postmenopausal women, a group of the population who are the most frequently affected by this disease.

According to the study authors, "Glucosamine sulfate, therefore, is the first agent that meets the current requirements to be classified as a symptom- and structure-modifying drug in women with knee osteoarthritis."


Bruyere O, Pavelka K, Rovati LC, Deroisy R, Olejarova M, Gatterova J, Giacovelli G, Reginster JY. Glucosamine sulfate reduces osteoarthritis progression in postmenopausal women with knee osteoarthritis: evidence from two 3-year studies. Menopause. 2004;11(2):138-143.

Key concepts: Glucosamine, osteoarthritis, OA