Glucosamine is a natural chemical which can be found in all tissues of the human body. It is known to stimulate the production of glycosaminoglycan, proteoglycan, and hyaluronic acid in the body. Research has been done of glucosamine sulfate in patients for 4-6 weeks in two studies. In the studies patients who were given glucosamine sulfate were compared to patients given placebo. The patients who received glucosamine showed greater relief of their symptoms of osteoporosis.
In two 4 week studies, patients who received glucosamine sulfate showed improvement similar to ibuprofen. A smaller 8 week study showed better results with glucosamine than with ibuprofen.
A 3 year study of glucosamine in osteoporosis show that treated patients had less joint space narrowing than did untreated controls.
Glucosamine has been shown to produce fewer gastrointestinal effects than ibuprofen. Both glucosamine and ibuprofen can produce skin reactions, flushing, and fatigue.
CONCLUSION: Glucosamine has been shown to be of benefit in osteoarthritis as much or more than is ibuprofen. Glucosamine is better tolerated and has fewer side effects than ibuprofen. One three year study showed that glucosamine prevented the loss of joint space in osteoarthritis.
NOTE: This summary is based solely on the PubMed resume. The full article is not available at this time.