A Clinical Evaluation of Glucosamine Sulfate

"A Clinical Evaluation of Glucosamine Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and Methyl Sulfonyl Methane (M.S.M.) on Sixteen Patients"

James A. McHale, D.C., C.W.M.P. Director, Clinical Research Division, Atlantic Regional Osteoporosis Specialists, P.C. Chairman, Medical Advisory Board, The Institute of Weight Management and Health

Philip Pappas, B.S., M.S., PhD., C.W.M.P. Director, Abington Biofeedback Associates President, The Institute of Weight Management and Health

The purpose of this preliminary study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a liquid nutritional supplement product called Joint Relief PlusŪ. The product is manufactured in a G.M.P. certified facility by Tropical Oasis. Study participants were culled from a list of active patients in chiropractic, orthopedic, and rheumatology practices. The data obtained from this study is being made available so that consumers can determine if this dietary supplement may be of benefit to them. Neither author received financial support or monetary remuneration for performing the study.

The study participants ranged in age from twenty to seventy nine. Eleven females and five males were selected and instructed in the use of Joint Relief PlusŪ according to label instructions, and that found in support/marketing literature.

Each serving (one half ounce/one tablespoon) contained the following:

Glucosamine Sulfate 1000 mg Chondroitin Sulfate 800 mg Methyl Sulfonyl Methane (M.S.M.) 500 mg Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 250 mg

Glucosamine sulfate has been studied extensively in the veterinary and equine sciences since the 1950's. It has been used in humans for the alleviation of symptoms of arthritis in since the 1970's. Studies show that glucosamine may be involved in the production of cartilage; a key component of healthy joints.

Chondroitin Sulfate has been used in Europe for many years, with few reported side effects. It may have some anti-inflammatory effects that may account for pain relief.

Methyl Sulfonyl Methane supplies biologically active sulfur. MSM is a safe, non-toxic supplement that has been shown to decrease pain and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a powerful and time-proven antioxidant. Cellular degeneration results in oxidation-the losing of electrons. This cycle of cells breaking down causes the formation of free radicals. Vitamin C is an efficient electron donor (anti-oxidant) at the molecular level; thus, a crucial part of the prevention mode of joint degeneration.

The largest group of study participants consisted of those with osteoarthritis (10), rheumatoid arthritis (3), neuralgia (1), and fibromyalgia (1). One participant had pain of unknown origin.

All agreed to consume one half ounce per day (one tablespoon), and to record pertinent data on survey forms provided. Days 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 were designated as "feedback days". Participants were required to note reductions, improvements, or changes in pain severity and location. Statistically, 94% (all but one) of the participants responded favorably to the product (15/16).

After only three days, twenty five percent (four of sixteen) reported "less severe/less intense" quality to their pain.

Forty four percent (seven of sixteen) reported a significant reduction of pain/symptoms at the seven-day point.

Twenty five percent (four of sixteen) reported improvement at day fourteen.

One person responded favorably to the product at the 21-day mark.

One 29-year-old female failed to respond at all. She had been suffering from fibromyalgia for seven years.

Discussion

Study participants reported many additional benefits besides pain relief. With their medical physician's approval and direction, two participants were able to decrease and eventually stop taking pain medications by the end of this study. One had suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, the other from neuralgia, which was caused by a life-threatening trauma. An incredible 88% of participants (14 of 16) reported a significant improvement in range of motion and a decrease in their pain by the fourteen-day mark. Of the osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, most reported a return to activities that they enjoyed before pain affected their lives. (Snow skiing, working on cars, training for a tri-athlon, sleeping through the night, riding a motorcycle).

Dramatic results like these may be attributable to several conditions regarding the Joint Relief PlusŪ product:

A. Liquids have extremely high rates of absorption-up to 98 percent of the supplement ingredients are able to enter the bloodstream. Ultimately, more of the product is available for use in the body.

B. Facilities with G.M.P. status have demonstrated a profound commitment to producing safe, high quality products. It is one way to ensure that what is on the label is actually contained in the product.

C. Patients were compliant with the testing protocol for several possible reasons:

1. Physicians were responsible for introducing the patient to the product, there is likely to be a stronger commitment on the part of the participants.

2. Use of the product elicited a favorable response fairly early on (sixty nine percent of participants had experienced an improvement within seven days).

3. The product was easy to take and the taste was agreeable. (5 comments were recorded regarding taste-all decided to mix product in fruit juice to improve the flavor)

It is the authors position that liquid Joint Relief PlusŪ is extremely effective at reducing pain in a diverse population. Since the participants had been chosen from a list that included those with advanced disease states like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, neuralgia, and fibromyalgia, it may be encouraging to those in the early stages of these disorders. Future studies will focus on a wider population of individuals with fibromyalgia. Further testing on a larger scale needs to be done to encompass other pain inducing conditions. Based on the data gleaned during this study, Joint Relief PlusŪ has been shown to reduce pain quickly and effectively in ninety four percent of test participants.

Questions or Comments? mrmack2@yahoo.com