Triple action joint health product launched

Related tags Glucosamine Osteoarthritis Knee Chondroitin sulfate

Salt Lake City based Weider Nutrition has launched a new
Schiff-branded joint care supplement that combines an antioxidant,
hyaluronic acid (HA) and glucosamine for faster-acting relief.

The supplement to be marketed as Lubriflex​ is a triple action formula combining Uniflex, an antioxidant designed to protect cartilage and joints, HA or joint fluid, a compound found in synovial joint fluid where it is vital for lubricating and cushioning, and glucosamine, an ingredient widely claimed to support joint cartilage and help maintain healthy joint function.

This combination is unique in providing relief from joint discomfort and improving flexibility and joint function in just a few days, claims Schiff, noting that patients must generally wait weeks before they feel the benefit of a glucosamine-only supplement.

The company said that in a recent study 80 percent of users said their joints felt more comfortable, worked better, and they were able to function better in life after taking the supplement, while eighty-six percent said they had less stiffness and were more flexible.

A group of researchers in Canada set the cat among the pigeons last month when they suggested that glucosamine had no long-term beneficial effect.

Their study investigated whether the food supplement could prevent painful flare-ups in patients who had already been taking it for two years on average, with some signs of benefit.

The results showed that there was little difference with placebo: 42 percent of placebo patients experienced flare-ups in the six-month follow-up, compared with 45 percent in the glucosamine group.

In addition, subjects using glucosamine flared as quickly and as severely as those using a placebo, reported the researchers in Arthritis and Rheumatism (15;51(5), pp738-45).

The study, which used medicinal grade glucosamine, a purified derivative from shellfish, followed a series of conflicting results on the benefit of glucosamine for osteoarthritis.

Lead investigator Dr Jolanda Cibere, from the University of British Columbia, said: "Our study shows that even if the supplement was initially perceived by study participants to be helpful, it has no benefit for maintenance and continued use is not effective to control flare-ups"​.

However the supplement continues to see annual growth of around 10 percent in the joint health category, with consumption of between 4,000-6,000 tons annually.

A major US government-funded trial, called GAIT, investigating at a cost of $14 million the efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin as natural remedies for osteoarthritis, may help to clear up some of the confusion when it releases results next year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are among the most common chronic diseases, affecting 70 million adults in the US in 2001, and are the leading cause of disability among US adults.

Research by the CDC has shown that if arthritis prevalence rates remain stable, the number of affected persons aged 65 and under will nearly double by 2030, meaning that as many as 41 million people in this age group could be afflicted by arthritis or chronic joint symptoms (CJS).

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