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Military Personnel At Increased Risk for Osteoarthritis.
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Supplements Fail To Relieve Joint Pain In Patients With Knee Or Hip Osteoarthritis.
The Associated Press reports, “Two popular supplements used to treat joint pain don’t work and health authorities should stop paying for them,” assert the authors of a new paper appearing in the British Medical Journal. After reviewing 10 trials, the researchers realized that they “failed to demonstrate a clinically significant benefit for patients with knee or hip osteoarthritis,” John Gever in Medpage Today reported. “The more objective measurement of joint space narrowing also was not significantly improved with glucosamine or chondroitin,” the authors explained.
“Moreover, when benefits were found, they tended to be in industry-funded trials as opposed to those without commercial sponsorship.” Nevertheless, “the supplements are safe, the study researchers write,” (9/16, Martin) reported. DeniseMann in WebMD reports,
Jason Theodosakis, MD, of the University of Arizona, said, “You have to ask yourself, would you take a supplement containing glucosamine and chondroitin, have about two-thirds of a chance of getting significant relief, with some evidence that you can slow your disease progression, or just numb your symptoms with acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory drugs and risk ulcers, allergies, kidney or liver damage, hypertension, heart attacks and possibly death.” He added, “The risk/benefit for glucosamine and chondroitin far outweighs that of the FDA-approved drugs for osteoarthritis.” I have to agree with Dr. Thodosakis. My wife and I both take these supplements. If it is placebo effect, I don’t care. All I know is I feel better when I take them and hurt when I don’t.
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Lead Exposure May Increase Risk For Knee Osteoarthritis.
Nancy Walsh writing in MedPage Today reported, “Increased whole blood levels of lead may be a risk factor for the development of knee osteoarthritis (OA),” according to a study in Arthritis Research & Therapy. For the study, ” a total of 1,669 participants each had blood drawn and x-rays of the knees taken and filled out questionnaires about the presence and severity of symptoms.” After adjusting for variables “including sex, race, and body mass index,” the researchers found that “not only was there a greater likelihood of having osteoarthritis seen on x-rays and having more severe disease, but the likelihood of having both knees involved was 32% higher for each unit increase in lead level.”
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