Nutrients ease symptoms of osteoarthritis

Vitamin D preserved knee cartilage and hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, chondroitin and quercetin eased pain in osteoarthritis, three new studies reveal.

Doctors in a vitamin D study measured knee cartilage and vitamin D levels in about 350 men and women, average age 61, and followed up three years later. Those with sufficient vitamin D levels at the start and end of the study had lost 1.5 percent less knee cartilage per year and had less pain than those who were deficient in vitamin D.

In a knee osteoarthritis (OA) study, doctors explained that hyaluronic acid (HA) occurs naturally in the body and is part of synovial fluid, the clear liquid that protects and lubricates joints and tendons, nourishes cartilage and eases movement. Twenty men and women, aged at least 40, with knee OA took an 80 mg HA supplement that contained 60 percent HA per day or a placebo. In order to qualify for the study, participants had to have knee pain for 15 of the last 30 days and to have OA symptoms for at least six months.

After eight weeks, compared to placebo, those in the HA group had less pain, better movement, improved quality of life and needed to take about half the amount of the pain reliever acetaminophen.

In another OA study, 46 men and women with OA of the knee took 1,200 mg of glucosamine, 90 mg of chondroitin and 45 mg of quercetin per day. After three months, researchers found that the quality of the synovial fluid had improved, and that all participants had less pain, and could walk, climb stairs and perform other daily physical tasks better.

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