The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Chondroitin does not reduce joint pain in osteoarthritis

    Others have reported benefit with chondroitin in patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis, but this reanalysis of published studies came to a different conclusion.

    Although 20 studies were reviewed, based largely on a reanalysis of the data (meta-analysis) from 3 large studies, Dr. Stephan Reichenbach from the University of Bern in Switzerland and colleagues found that “chondroitin had minimal or no effect on joint pain.” And “effects on joint space were inconclusive.”

    They believe that the “difference in results [from earlier reports] ? should not be viewed as contradictory but rather as a trend over time, which resulted from the accumulation of higher-quality evidence.”

    They conclude,

    • “For patients with advanced osteoarthritis, a clinically relevant benefit is unlikely and the use of chondroitin should be discouraged.”

    OK, but Dr. David Felson from Boston University and Boston Medical Center in Massachusetts has a more circumspect point of view.

    • “Some patients are convinced that it helps.”
    • Furthermore, “because no frequent or severe adverse effects have been reported, chondroitin sulfate should not be considered dangerous.”
    • “If patients say that they benefit from chondroitin, I see no harm in encouraging them to continue taking it as long as they perceive a benefit.”

    4/17/07 13:08 JR

    Comments are closed.