Chondroitin

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In biochemistry, chondroitin is a "mucopolysaccharide constituent of chondrin."[1]

Clinical studies

Chondroitin has been studied as a treatment for osteoarthritis. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found no benefit.[2] This meta-analysis included the GAIT randomized controlled trial of Clegg et al that was sponsorered by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.[3] A longer followup of the GAIT show no benefit from sodium chondroitin on reduction in loss of joint space width.[4]

Two more recent trials are positive. A trial sponsored by the manufacturer reports less loss of joint space with chondroitins 4 and 6.[5] A trial by authors who have received fees from industry suggested benefit for patients with arthritis of the hand.[6]

Selected randomized controlled trials of chondroitin
Trial Patients Intervention Outcome Results
Chondroitin Placebo
GAIT[3]
2007
1583 patients with knee osteoarthritis 1200 mg of chondroitin sulfate daily Response of 20% decrease in WOMAC pain score[7] at 24 weeks All subjects: 65%
Mild OA: 67%
Moderate/severe OA: 61%‡
All subjects: 60%
Mild OA: 62%
Moderate/severe OA: 54%
GAIT[4]
2008
1583 patients with knee osteoarthritis 1200 mg of chondroitin sulfate daily Loss of joint space width at two years 0.107 mm 0.166 mm
Kahan[5]
2009
Sponsored by manufacturer and trial registration not provided
622 patients with knee osteoarthritis
32% dropped out
800 mg of chondroitin sulfate daily Loss at minimum joint space width
Used last observation carried forward for dropouts
0.07 mm† 0.31 mm
† p < 0.05
‡ All comparisons were insignificant and less than occurred with celecoxib; however, the combination of glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin gave significant 79% improvement among moderate/severe patients. However, longer follow-up of GAIT showed the combination group tended to have the most loss of joint space.[4]

References

  1. Anonymous (2015), Chondroitin (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. Reichenbach S, Sterchi R, Scherer M, et al (2007). "Meta-analysis: chondroitin for osteoarthritis of the knee or hip". Ann. Intern. Med. 146 (8): 580-90. PMID 17438317[e]
  3. 3.0 3.1 Clegg DO, Reda DJ, Harris CL, et al (February 2006). "Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and the two in combination for painful knee osteoarthritis". N. Engl. J. Med. 354 (8): 795–808. DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa052771. PMID 16495392. Research Blogging.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Sawitzke AD, Shi H, Finco MF, et al (October 2008). "The effect of glucosamine and/or chondroitin sulfate on the progression of knee osteoarthritis: a report from the glucosamine/chondroitin arthritis intervention trial". Arthritis Rheum. 58 (10): 3183–91. DOI:10.1002/art.23973. PMID 18821708. Research Blogging.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kahan A, Uebelhart D, De Vathaire F, Delmas PD, Reginster JY (February 2009). "Long-term effects of chondroitins 4 and 6 sulfate on knee osteoarthritis: The study on osteoarthritis progression prevention, a two-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial". Arthritis Rheum. 60 (2): 524–33. DOI:10.1002/art.24255. PMID 19180484. Research Blogging. Trial registration not provided. Summary at JournalWatch.org
  6. Gabay C, Medinger-Sadowski C, Gascon D, Kolo F, Finckh A (2011). "Symptomatic effects of chondroitin 4 and chondroitin 6 sulfate on hand osteoarthritis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial at a single center.". Arthritis Rheum 63 (11): 3383-91. DOI:10.1002/art.30574. PMID 21898340. Research Blogging.
  7. Bellamy N, Buchanan WW, Goldsmith CH, Campbell J, Stitt LW (December 1988). "Validation study of WOMAC: a health status instrument for measuring clinically important patient relevant outcomes to antirheumatic drug therapy in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee". J. Rheumatol. 15 (12): 1833–40. PMID 3068365[e]