The nutritional supplement chondroitin is more effective than a powerful drug in slowing the progress of osteoarthritis.
It outperformed Celebrex (celecoxib), a first-line treatment for the condition, when the therapies were tested on 194 people with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Researchers from the University of Montreal gave half the group 1200 mg of chondroitin, and the rest took 200mg of colecoxib, every day for two years.
At both the one-year and two-year review, those taking the chondroitin had suffered less cartilage loss, according to an MRI scan.
Both groups saw a reduction in swelling and fluid on the knee, but the drug was unable to slow cartilage loss.
(Source: Proceedings of the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting, San Francisco, November 7, 2015)