Glucosamine for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis: The Time Has Come for Higher-Dose Trials
ABSTRACTAlthough clinical trials with glucosamine in osteoarthritis have yielded mixed results, leading to doubts about its efficacy, the utility of glucosamine for preventing joint destruction and inflammation is well documented in rodent models of arthritis, including models of spontaneous osteoarthritis. The benefit of oral glucosamine in adjuvant arthritis is markedly dose dependent, likely reflecting a modulation of tissue levels of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine that in turn influences mucopolysaccharide synthesis and the extent of protein O-GlcNAcylation. Importantly, the minimal oral dose of glucosamine that exerts a detectible benefit in adjuvant arthritis achieves plasma glucosamine levels similar to those achieved when the standard clinical dose of glucosamine, 1.5 g daily, is administered as a bolus. The response of plasma glucosamine levels to an increase in glucosamine intake is nearly linear. Remarkably, every published clinical trial with glucosamine has employed the same 1.5 g dose that Rottapha...