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Changes in serum levels of glucosamine and sulphate after ingestion of glucosamine sulphate with and without simultaneous ingestion of glucose
  1. Beth A Biggee1,
  2. Christina M Blinn2,
  3. Melynn Nuite1,
  4. Timothy E McAlindon1,
  5. Jeremiah E Silbert2
  1. 1
    Division of Rheumatology, Tufts New England Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2
    Connective Tissue Research Laboratory, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Jeremiah E Silbert, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, 200 Springs Road, Bedford, MA 01730, USA; jesilbert{at}

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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,13 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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  • Support was provided by the Medical Research Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs, a grant to J.E.S. by the Arthritis Foundation, and by the Tufts University General Clinical Research Center, funded by the Division of Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under grant no. MO1-RR00054, US Department of Health and Human Services, NIH and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (T-32).