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Jonathan

Glucosamine, yeah or nay?

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Hey,

 

As the big 50 approaches my once invunerable knees are feeling 35 years of hiking and scrambling. Nothing wrong w/ them 'cept wear and tear. Word has it that glucosamine taken on a regular basis will help those old joints. C'est vrai?

 

Jonathan

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I just turned 45, had my physical, and my doc ( a general practice MD) suggested that it is something I should seriously consider, given my recreational lifestyle.

 

He also said some stuff about glucosamine that I should look out for, but I don't remember exactly what all that was. In general, he gave it a thumbs_up.gif for me. I should call him up again...

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Same here. I'm 39 and went in for my yearly physical and my doc, who used to climb quite a bit, suggested the same thing given my recreational tendency to abuse my joints. He said there have been numerous studies that corroborate the findings and there are no downsides or side effects. He did caution that it just helps to maintain not make stronger.

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I'm a young guy but I've been taking it ever since I worked at the GNC over 2 years ago. Cartilidge doesn't last forever right? There aren't any side affects and I used to sell it almost soley to the elderly and athletes in their mid thirties and older. I am unwilling to wait until it starts hurting to act on the apparent problem. There are no side affects that I have ever heard of being attributed to glucosamine chondrotin. For the most pure product buy the GNC brand, it's worth the extra money.

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Let me start by saying I can't say whether or not it helps. I can only relate my experience.

 

I have twice tried this stuff and both times I've stopped taking it after a month (or a little less) because my knees and hips started to hurt more! Was it the gluc.? Who knows. That's the point.

 

He said there have been numerous studies that corroborate the findings and there are no downsides or side effects.

 

Now I by no means want to imply anyone is full of it, but I've heard there's no "real" studies on the stuff and I haven't been able to find anything (online) either. What is this doc talking about? I'd like to know what these studies say. Any info?

 

Like I said above, I;m not saying good or bad here.

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I've used it off and on for a while but from what little I know about cartilege and how it is built or sustained it would take several years of continuous use to replenish any of the material that builds cartilege. Any immediate effects are placebo effects.

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I'm Nay but it's up to you:

 

I'm 50, and started taking it last year for a knee. Within 2 months, I had pulled a calf muscle. Would the calf had tweaked if I hadn't used it? Who knows.

 

In the absence of studies and long term use evaluations, there does seem to be some verbal static that for athletes, it can lead to a higher propensity of tweaks and pulls.

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There are good data - check out the summaries on the Center for Science in the Public Interest Site and AARP site (really). I've found it has take some edge off my 50 yr knees, but it's not a miracle drug

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I believe my Doc said AARP. He also saw the findings presented at a recent conference and one of his buddies did a study as well as the U of W.

 

I'm taking fish oil and lickin'toads so, don't take my word for it....

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42 and was getting creaky. Started dosing glucosamine about a year ago, 1500 mg a day. It has made a big difference to me.

 

Also heard as one gets older, regular consumption of water helps in joint issues.

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I swear by the stuff. Some brands have made some of my partners sick to their stomache. Take it consistently for a long time.

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I have arthritis, and when I take it, I don't *think* it make me feel better, but if I stop, I notice it.

 

I think that means it helps.

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Hey,

 

As the big 50 approaches my once invunerable knees are feeling 35 years of hiking and scrambling. Nothing wrong w/ them 'cept wear and tear. Word has it that glucosamine taken on a regular basis will help those old joints. C'est vrai?

 

Jonathan

 

#1: stay strong

about 15 years ago my knees started to hurt more than usual. i went to the Sports Med clinic at UBC, and the doc there examined me and basically said I wasn't keeping myself strong enuf to withstand the beating I was giving my joints. he set up an exercise program to build the supporting muscles in my thighs and calves. 6 weeks later I was out on a very strenuous winter climb, with a pretty big pack in tow, and suffered NO discomfort.

 

#2: take anti-inflammatories

of course, exercise bores me, so i go thru cycles where i don't keep it up, so my strength falls off, so my knees hurt again. anti-inflammatories are important to keep acute hurts from turning into chronic problems. i just use plain ASA (which works well for me and doesn't bother my stomach), but there are better drugs around - in fact, there is a current thread on the theme...

 

#3 glucosamine

no personal comment; never took the stuff. but one of my climbing buddies, David Jones, works in the office at UBC that commercializes research, and he's seen lots of data that has had him enthusiatic about the results (and safety) for many years. and my wife gets good results...

 

[as u can see from the comments, people are gong to vary in their responses...]

 

cheers,

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I know a 60-something guy who said he's been taking it. He says his doctor told him to take more than less. The guy, who is a climber, says the improvement has been amazing. So consider that an endorsement for it.

 

I took glucosamine for a while but can't report much of a difference, probably because I'm only in my 30s and don't have knee or joint problems. (I got the bottle for cheap with a coupon so said 'why not.')

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I'm 52 and it has made a lot of difference in an old rotator cuff injury and shoulders/elbow in general - little or no problems this past year and I've been climbing pretty hard the second half of the year. It does take about 3-4 weeks to kick in to a noticable state though...

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I have had 2 dogs with joint problems. After giving them Chondroitin/Glucosamine their symptoms went away, and they were up and running around. Dogs don't know they took anything so there is no placebo effect. I think that it is worth a shot if you have problems that warrant it. In my opinion, if it aint broke dont fix it. Me.....I'm broke.

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I'm yeah on the gluco, both for me, and my dog with hip dysplasia (I've had two vets recommend it for him).

Also, vit C helps rebuild damaged cells, e.g., cartilage, so I also take that and give it to the dog.

Hasn't hurt...might help.

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Been taking it for about 2 yrs. Im not sure how much it has really helped. Last year I bruised my tib/fib in a fall mainly because the lack of cartilage I have between the knee and the tib. Who knows, maybe the gluc helped me maintain enough to prevent the fracture?

 

I have a few friends who swear by it.

 

Ive also talked with a PT who said she hasnt read any research proving it helps.

 

Its really not that expensive if you dig for coupons (lots of buy one get one free around here, anyway). Might as well give it a shot. My understanding is that you have to be consistant with it and give it a fair amount of time before it starts working.

 

Kewl to hear so many people have had success!

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I get "joint juice" (gluco & chondro) at Costco and this formulation works well for me. I'm 64 and have had knee problems and I feel that the "juice" works the best of what I've tried. My knee problem is a tear of the medial medicus but not bad enough to require surgery. If the "juice" is what is making the difference, it is a lot cheaper than having surgery IMO. I still do lots of climbing, including Hood, Shasta, Adams and the like and I plan to still be doing this stuff another 20 years or so, so I'll be drinking a lot of "juice".

 

BTW, my physical therapist recommends taking it as well as doing the exercises that will strengthen the knee area.

Edited by Dean_Lowery

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Ive also talked with a PT who said she hasnt read any research proving it helps.

 

McAlindon TE and others. Glucosamine and chondroitin for treatment of osteoarthritis: A systematic quality assessment and meta-analysis JAMA 283:1469-1475, 2000. [Full-text version is accessible online for JAMA subscribers.]

 

Tanveer E, Anastassiades TP. Glucosamine and chondroitin for treating symptoms of osteoarthritis: Evidence is widely touted but incomplete. JAMA 283:1483-1484, 2000. [Full-text version is accessible online for JAMA subscribers.]

 

Reginster JY and others. Long-term effects of glucosamine sulfate on osteoarthritis progression: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet 357:251-256, 2001.

Update on glucosamine for osteoarthritis. Medical Letter 43:111-112, 2001.

 

Product review: GLUCOSAMINE and CHONDROITIN. ConsumerLab Web site, accessed Jan 22, 2002.

 

Joint remedies. Consumer Reports, Jan 2002.

Vital Nutrients recalls Joint Ease & Verified Quality Brand Joint Comfort Complex because of adverse health risk associated with aristolochic acid. News release, May 24, 2001.

 

Study of the efficacy of glucosamine and glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate in knee osteoarthritis. NIH Web site, accessed Jan 22, 2002.

 

The Puritan's Pride mail-order division, which has frequent "2-for-1" and "3-for-one" sales, sells products that cost only $4 to $5 per month (1,500 mg/day).

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