Taking Glucosamine?

For well over ten years, I took glucosamine pills daily to help relieve/prevent joint pain.  Was it worth it or a waste of money?  A new study sheds some light.

Dummy Pills?

Thanks to tennis friend Dr. Michael Fenster for sharing an article that says, “Oral glucosamine, a natural supplement often marketed for joint pain, has no more effect than a dummy pill, according to a new review of available research.

“The analysis of randomized controlled trials from which data have been made public found that at both three-month and 24-month follow-up points, the supplement had no effect on either hip or knee pain from arthritis.

“Overall, the effects of glucosamine and the placebo on pain and physical functioning didn’t differ, either in the short-term or one or two years later. The supplement was also no better than placebo among subgroups based on pain severity, severity of osteoarthritis, age, body mass index, gender or signs of inflammation.”

For the full article, click:


For my experience, I have not taken the pills for several years now and notice no real difference in any joint pain.  How about you??

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14 thoughts on “Taking Glucosamine?

  1. Took glucosamine about 15 years ago and did not notice any reduction in knee pain. When I stopped taking these pills my pain seemed to go away and has not returned. I do wear a brace when playing tennis due to an ACL injury which seems to work.

    Ralph, same as me! thanks, george

  2. Hello! I beg to differ and wonder about the quality of ingredients you have tried.
    For many years I have taken a researched based product from Life Extension called ArthroMax with
    Theaflavins and ApresFlex to promote healthy joint function and mobility. Glucosamine
    sulfate and Methylsulfonylmethane-MSM- are the main ingredients.
    When I experimented by going off for about six months, my knees sounded
    differently. No, I have not had joint pain, but the experiment convinced me that
    the supplement mattered for me. I am 71 years young. comments please…..

    Barbara, one of the commenters said, “it may work for some and not others.” thanks, george

  3. I don’t take glucosamine but hurt my inner miniscus a year last July and recently started drinking bone broth after reading much about its benefits.
    My knee pain had gone within 3 days and hasn’t returned I now drink it most days or at least every other day
    Worth trying. it has lots of collagen good for the gutt and others related ailments

    Gail, see Marc’s comments and sites on this. thanks, george

  4. George,,
    Science and research NOT behind this one at all.

    However, good research behind Collagen ( There’s a reason so many cultures drink Soups made from and with bones…chicken feet and oxtail have so much collagen they literally become jello when cooled in the fridge )

    There’s a good brand out there called Great Lakes, they have several varieties. Easy to add to just a cup of hot water and drink like tea. You can add into smoothies and also sauces as a thickener.


    Is the site for some additional useful info.

    I figure it’s good little extra insurance for those of us that use the body a little harder than others…

    Marc, always on the cutting edge. thanks, george

  5. BOTH of my parents had BOTH hips replaced by my current age, 76. I consulted with an orthopedist 30 years ago and asked what I could do to avoid this outcome. He suggested glucosamine, though he cautioned that it only seems to help a modest percentage of those who take it.

    I’ve taken glucosamine daily ever since. I have no significant hip arthritis. Glucosamine? Tennis? Something else?

    Also, as I understood it, glucosamine was intended to slow/prevent the loss of cartilage (and perhaps promote the growth of new cartilage), NOT to quickly reduce pain.

    Keith, you can’t argue with success! thanks, george

  6. I started taking it several years ago for knee “twinges” and I haven’t had any since.

    George, another vote in favor. thanks, george

  7. I’ve been taking Cosamin DS for 20+ years (included chondroitin and glucosamine), and it’s made a big difference in my pain level.
    My orthopedist in NYC, who performed my first hip replacement, said the University of Texas study showed that in some people it made a marked difference, and he suggested that Cosamin should be used. However, there is so much unregulated junk on the market that you have to use a reliable manufacturer. Cosamin was the product used in the UT study.
    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned this study?

    John, i am glad it is working for you. thanks, george

  8. Thank you George for posting this interesting and controversial topic.
    Collagen is not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, so when it is taken orally it is broken down into the amino acids, proline and lysine, which don’t magically migrate to the skin or joints.
    With regard to glucosamine, there are no truly scientific studies demonstrating it’s benefits for joint pain or inflammation. To be a valid study, it must be a double blinded study ( neither patient, nor doctor, is aware of whether the tested substance, or placebo, has been given.) The placebo effect is so strong that when patients were given a placebo for severe pain, and told it was morphine, they had significant pain relief.
    With that being said, I am all for anything, including placebo, which provides relief of symptoms. as long as it does no harm. The primary dictum of the Hippocratic oath is “primum non nocere” (first do no harm). I am not aware of any significant harm done by either collagen or glucosamine.

    Doctor Michael, as compared to the harm done by your effective lobs! Thanks for bringing up this topic. George

  9. When I complained to my Dr. about knee pain maybe 15 years ago, he suggested I try glucosamine. He said it worked for about 60% of the people, and if it worked I should keep using it and if it didn’t work to stop. Within a few weeks my pain was diminished so I kept it up. I’ve been on it ever since and have almost no knee pain now (but I’m sure that transitioning from hard courts to clay courts has helped in that regard as well). If the pain comes back, though, maybe I’ll give the placebo’s a try.

    Terry, the soft courts have done wonders for my hip pain. George

  10. George, I am a retired Family Doctor with a blog on health and nutrition http://www.BornToEatMeat.com and I think that Glocosamine type products are beneficial. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are both members of a family of polysaccarides (long chains of sugar molecules) called glycosaminglycans. They are used in structural tissue throughout the body and are especially rich in the cartilage, synovial (joint) fluid and the eye. There have been studies like this 6 year study showing they preserve the cartilage in the knee.

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/rheumatology/arthritis/56342 . As this article shows than can be directly absorbed in the upper intestines. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15212191

    Because of this I took a glucosamine supplement for many years. I stopped when I started a meat based diet 5 years ago as the connective tissue and cartilage in meat is full of glycosaminoglycans and I no longer need to supplement but for people with a grain and plant based diet supplementation would probably be a good idea.

    Dr. Paul, thanks for the added info! george

  11. Dr. Michael,
    Wait, isn’t Lysine an essential amino acid and a crucial building block of proteins?
    And don’t these proteins make up our collagen?

  12. George,
    Fifteen years ago I had shoulder surgery because of a torn tendon, and the surgeon told me I had no cartilage left. His prognosis was that if I continued playing tennis after the tendon healed I would not cause more physical damage, but the joint pain of bone-on-bone friction might eventually get too great to continue playing. He suggested that glucosamine/condroitin might help, but that there was no medical evidence to indicate that it actually would help. I’ve been taking it since then, and I have pain, but I have no idea if it has helped to prevent greater pain or if it has had no effect. So I continue to take it, assuming–as Michael Fenster indicated–that I might not gain by taking it, but that I surely can’t lose by taking it.

    Tom, and if your solid overhead is any indicator, something good happened! george

  13. I have arthritis in my fingers. About 12 years ago, I started taken glucosamine with msn and it has gotten rid of the pain in a few months.
    After about 5 years, I stopped to see if I really needed it and my pain returned in about 3 months. I started using it again and got relief but it took several month to take effect.
    About 2 years ago, I stopped again and I got the same results as the first time. I am back using glucosamine with msn again.
    My experience: There is about a 3 month lag time with both starting and stopping.

    Todd, great study of one! Thanks, george

  14. I was told years ago by an orthopedic surgeon that glucosamine/chondroitin works so I have been taking it ever since. I am 71, play a lot of tennis and have had no joint problems. Who knows for sure if the pills make a difference, but I figure at 20 cents per pill it’s well worth the gamble.

    DAve, and as Dr. Fenster says, if you think it works, that is good enough! thanks, george

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