Researchers in Germany conducted the first study of this combination.

The aim was to see if the combination is more effective than glucosamine alone.

First, the details.

  • 177 patients with moderate-to-severe hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) were randomly assigned to a treatment for 26 weeks.
    • Group A: Glucosamine sulfate (1500 mg/day) + omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
    • Group B: Glucosamine sulfate alone
  • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.
  • Evaluation was performed using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthrosis index (WOMAC) score.

And, the results.

  • Based on the criterion of at least a 20% reduction in the WOMAC pain score there was no difference between treatments (92% Group A, 94% Group B).
  • Based on the criterion of at least an 80% reduction in the WOMAC pain score, glucosamine sulfate + omega-3 was significantly better than glucosamine alone (44% Group A, 32% Group B).
  • OA symptoms of 1) morning stiffness, and 2) pain in hips and knees at the end of the study were 49% vs 56% Group A, respectively; and 42% vs 55% Group B).
  • Both treatments well tolerated over 26 weeks.

The bottom line?

There’s support for each component individually. Now there’s support for the combination, which should be followed by more research.

4/14/10 21:18 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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.