Good news - chondroitin and glucosamine as a combination outperformed not only placebo, but also Celebrex in the recently released GAIT study for those suffering from moderate to severe pain due to osteoarthritis.
And the coverage in general has been more positive than negative. "Supplements May Help Knee Arthritis" reads WebMD, "Natural Pain Duo Beats Celebrex" calls out ABCNews. (and the article in this case points to the justifiable and supportable conclusion from study leader Danial Clegg that "patients might want to discuss treatment options with their physicians".
As an industry we should be ecstatic with validation of this supplement combination. But as I return home from the Supplyside West ingredient event, I'm a bit fearful about this emerging enthusiasm. You see, we still haven't dealt with one of the biggest issues we face - the 'how do you know' question. How do consumers know which supplement is the highest quality, which less so. We can certainly read the Consumerlab.com report on the category, and those in 'the know' will quickly tell you that all chondroitin and glucasmine products are not equal. Whether it's commercial adulteration, low-cost sourcing or 'fairy dusting', there are some poor products out there that will cause some reluctance on the part of the emdical community to readily suggest supplements as an osteoarthritis pain relief treatment - and that's a shame.