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Omega-3 plus Glucosamine Improves Effectiveness for Joint Health

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Combining omega-3 fatty acids with glucosamine achieves better improvements in joint health than glucosamine alone, reports a new study from Germany.

The study, published in the Journal Advances in Therapy, is said to be the first clinical trial to employ the combination of glucosamine omega-3 fatty acids in people suffering from osteoarthritis.

Approximately seven million people in the UK alone are reported to have long-term health problems associated with arthritis. Experts report it affects the economy worldwide with millions of lost working days and reduced productivity.

In a randomized controlled clinical trial with 177 patients suffering with osteoarthritis, researchers proved that the combination of glucosamine sulfate and omega -3-fatty acid is superior to glucosamine alone.this difference was statistically significant.”

The joint health market is dominated by glucosamine, which is extracted from the shell of crabs, lobster and shrimps. Glucosamine is often used in combination with chondroitin sulphate, extracted from animal cartilage, such as sharks.

The research team recruited 177 people with moderate-to-severe hip or knee osteoarthritis and randomly assigned them to receive either a glucosamine sulfate supplement or glucosamine plus omega-3 fatty acids (concentrated fish oil, of which 200 mg were omega-3-fatty acids).

After 26 weeks of supplementation, the researchers tested pain levels using the established Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthrosis index (WOMAC) score.

While there was no significant difference between the number of responders in each group when a minimal pain reduction of at least
20 per cent was used, significant differences were observed when
a higher responder criterion of at least 80 pain reduction was used.

Most importantly, the combination product reduced morning stiffness
and pain in the hips and knees by between 48.5 and 55.6 per cent,
compared to 41.7 to 55.3 per cent in the glucosamine only group.

Explaining the potential mechanism, the researchers noted that the
ingredient combination probably acted in a synergistic way. “Omega-3
fatty acids inhibit the inflammation process in Osteo Arthritis, whereas glucosamine sulfate further supports the rebuilding of lost cartilage substance,” they stated.

Source: Advances in Therapy Volume 26, Issue 9, Pages 858-871

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