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Arthritis sufferers should keep taking glucosamine after 'bad science' report
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If you suffer from arthritic pain, keep taking the glucosamine and chondroitin supplements

If you suffer from arthritic pain, keep taking the glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. Although a recent, well-publicized study has concluded the popular supplements are useless at fighting arthritis, other experts say it's another case of bad science.
The study, by researchers at the University of Bern, Switzerland, says the supplements do not reduce joint pain in sufferers of arthritis of the hip and knee. They suggest that health authorities and insurers should not cover the cost of the dietary supplements.
Their findings, published in the British Medical Journal, fly in the face of many previous studies that had demonstrated that the supplements - singly or in combination - were effective against the condition.
So, what has happened? Dr Robert Verkerk, scientific director of the Alliance for Natural Health, is convinced it's yet another example of bad science. The Bern study is a meta-analysis - which means it is a review of previous studies - but, says Verkerk, the researchers have not taken into account the differences in the studies they have chosen. Some deal with different dosages, some with different severities of the disease, some with varying periods when people took the supplements.
The researchers also ignore a previous meta-analysis, conducted in 2003, that demonstrated the supplements were very effective against arthritis.
(Source: Alliance for Natural Health, September 20, 2010).


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