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Chondroitin sulfate "effective" knee treatment

Wednesday May 24th, 2017

Treatment of knee osteoarthritis with chondroitin sulfate is equally effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, researchers say today.

Professor Jean-Yves Reginster, of Liege State University, Belgium, say chondroitin sulfate, often sold as a dietary supplement, should be considered a first-line treatment for the condition.

The researchers carried out a six month clinical trial of 604 patients comparing placebo, celecoxib (200mg/day), and pharmaceutical grade chondroitin sulfate (800mg/day).

They report in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases today (24 May) that: "Chondroitin sulfate and celecoxib showed a greater significant reduction in pain than placebo. No difference was observed between chondroitin sulfate and celecoxib."

They add: "All treatments demonstrated excellent safety profiles. This formulation of chondroitin sulfate should be considered a first-line treatment in the medical management of knee osteoarthritis."

Separate findings published in the same journal suggest that a higher fibre intake is linked with less severe symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.

The findings are based on two long-term studies based in the US, one with 5,000 men and women with an average age of 61, and the other which follows the health of more than 1,200 adult children of the original Framingham Heart Study and their partners since 1971.

After four years, eating more fibre was linked to a lower risk of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, say the researchers. Those with the highest intake had a 30% lower risk in the first study, and a 61% lower risk in the second.

"These data demonstrate a consistent protective association between total fibre intake and symptom-related knee osteoarthritis in two study populations," the authors conclude.

Reginster, J-Y, et al. Pharmaceutical-grade chondroitin sulfate is as effective as celecoxib and superior to placebo in symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: the ChONdroitin versus CElecoxib versus Placebo Trial (CONCEPT). Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 23 May 2017 doi 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210860 [abstract]

Dai, Z. et al. Dietary intake of fibre and risk of knee osteoarthritis in two US prospective cohorts. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 23 May 2017; doi 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210810 [abstract]

Tags: Diet & Food | Europe | Pharmaceuticals | Rheumatology

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