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Glucosamine as its chloride or sulphate salt is now in widespread over-the-counter use for the treatment of osteoarthritis, ostensibly by stimulating or stabilizing cartilage chondroitin sulphate. Clinical trials have, however, provided equivocal results concerning its effectiveness,1–3 and measurements of serum4 and plasma5 glucosamine levels after ingestion indicate that circulating glucosamine levels are probably too low to have any direct effect on cartilage.
Suggestions have been made that the sulphate of glucosamine sulphate might have a positive clinical effect on cartilage as a result of an increase in circulating levels after its ingestion.6 7 This may be particularly pertinent because we previously described8 a 9.3% mean decrease of sulphate levels after three …
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