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Medical Evidence

Beneficial Effect of Dietary Chondroprotective Agents in a Rabbit Instability Model of Osteoarthritis John S. Woodward, M.D., Scottsdale, AZ; Louis Lippiello, Phoenix, AZ; Robert R. Karpman, MD, Phoenix, AZ. Moderator(s): Paul F Lachiewicz, MD, Chapel Hill, NC; Roger N. Levy, MD, New York, NY.

Summary: We investigated whether dietary supplements containing a mixture of glucosamine HCl and chondroitin sulfate were effective disease-modifying agents by monitoring the progression of cartilage lesions in a rabbit instability model of osteoarthrosis. Surgical instability (Hulth) was induced in 12 2-3 Kg NZW rabbits. Postoperatively, animals were exercised for 1 -hour daily. Six controls were fed a standard Harland-Teklad diet with the experimental group supplemented with 2% by weight Cosamin DS¨ (Nutramax Laboratories Inc., Baltimore, MD.) Dietary intake averaged 190 grams/day providing 0.38 grams glucosamine HCL and 0.304 grams sodium chondroitin sulfate/day/kg experimental rabbit. At 16 weeks tissue sections taken through the center of the medial condyle were evaluated quantitatively with a modified Mankin histological-histochemical grading system using Safranin-O stained slides. Scoring summed up the millimeter (at 1OX) of linear involvement of lesions grouped as mild (1 -3), moderate (4-7) or severe (> 8). Statistical analysis utilized the Student t-test and Wilcoxon rank sum test. Results:. Histologically, control rabbits had 2.5 mm of mild, 4.6 mm of moderate and 3.2 mm of severe lesions while animals fed Cosamin DS had scores of 3.2 mm mild, 0.4 mm moderate and 0.4 mm severe. Hence dietary supplements of Cosamin DSO decreased the extent of moderate and severe cartilage lesions (p < 0.02) suggesting that a mixture of glucosamine HCL and chondroitin sulfate has significant disease-modifying effects in this model of osteoarthrosis.

Source: Presented at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons 1999 Annual Meeting, Paper No: 048 Friday, February 5, 1999.

Dr. Theo's Comments: This is powerful, direct evidence of disease modification with glucosamine HCl and chondroitin sulfate. Also shows that glucosamine sulfate is not necessary. Hard to argue against this kind of data!


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