DANGEROUS INTERACTIONS USING DRUGS
The medical community understood that these over-the-counter drugs (called anti-inflammatory drugs and abbreviated as NSAIDs) did not address the cause of the problem and led to significant adverse reactions, and deaths. A 1999 review article from the New England Journal of Medicine (Wolfe MM, et. al. NEJM 1999;340(24):1888-99) revealed that NSAIDs caused over 16,500 deaths per year and billions of dollars annually from hospitalizations, surgeries and co-medications necessary to take along with these arthritis pain relievers. The deaths were mainly due to bleeding ulcers, kidney and liver damage, high blood pressure, and dangerous interactions with other medications.
The situation for arthritis drugs became even worse in 2004, when the FDA forced the drug maker Merck to remove Vioxx from the market. A similar anti-inflammatory drug made by Pfizer, called Bextra, was removed from the market in 2005.
As if the anti-inflammatory drugs for arthritis weren't bad enough, these newer versions of NSAIDs (commonly referred to as COX-2 inhibitors) appeared to cause even more deaths, mainly by increasing the incidence of heart attacks and strokes. One source (data from Dr. David Graham) estimated that Vioxx directly caused 88,000 to 139,000 heart attacks or strokes since its introduction into the marketplace.
GLUCOSAMINE & CHONDROITIN HAVE HISTORY
Glucosamine and chondroitin, along with another supplement called ASU, had a long history of use as medications in countries around the world. Like other medications, the effectiveness, long-term safety and cost benefits of using these supplements was well established. The vast majority of the studies on these supplements however were done in European countries.
About 40 different human, clinical trials on the individual supplements have been performed worldwide. In 2000, an animal study revealed that my theory was indeed correct -- glucosamine and chondroitin combined is much better than either one taken alone. Even though this animal study was well done, and allowed the researchers to look at the cartilage under the microscope, which is a more sensitive indicator of change then we can ethically perform on human subjects, a large clinical trial in humans needed to be performed.
The US wanted to call a major study its own and thus GAIT was born.