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Physiological effects of oral glucosamine on joint health: current status and consensus on future research priorities

Yves Henrotin12*, Xavier Chevalier3, Gabriel Herrero-Beaumont4, Timothy McAlindon5, Ali Mobasheri6, Karel Pavelka7, Christiane Schön8, Harrie Weinans9, Hans Biesalski10 and Participants at the Hohenheim Consensus Conference in August 29th 2011

Author Affiliations

1 Bone and Cartilage Research Unit, University of Liège, Institute of Pathology, Level +5, CHU Sart-Tilman, Liège, 4000, Belgium

2 Princess Paola Hospital, Marche-en-Famenne, Belgium

3 Rheumatology Department, Mondor Hospital, Créteil, France

4 Bone and Joint Research Unit, Service of Rheumatology, Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain

5 Division of Rheumatology, Tufts Medical Center, 800 Washington Street, Box 406, Boston, MA, 02111, USA

6 Musculoskeletal Research Group, Division of Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, The University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Sutton Bonington, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD, United Kingdom

7 Institute of Rheumatology, Prague, Czech Republic

8 UMC Utrecht, Department of Orthopedics, Heidelberglaan 100, Utrecht, 3584 CX, The Netherlands

9 Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

10 Department of Biological Chemistry and Nutrition, Garbenstrasse 30, Stuttgart, D 70593, Germany

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BMC Research Notes 2013, 6:115  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-115

Published: 26 March 2013


The aim of this paper was to provide an overview of the current knowledge and understanding of the potential beneficial physiological effects of glucosamine (GlcN) on joint health. The objective was to reach a consensus on four critical questions and to provide recommendations for future research priorities. To this end, nine scientists from Europe and the United States were selected according to their expertise in this particular field and were invited to participate in the Hohenheim conference held in August 2011. Each expert was asked to address a question that had previously been posed by the chairman of the conference. Based on a systematic review of the literature and the collection of recent data, the experts documented the effects of GlcN on cartilage ageing, metabolic/kinetic and maintenance of joint health as well as reduction of risk of OA development. After extensive debate and discussion the expert panel addressed each question and a general consensus statement was developed, agreeing on the current state-of-the-art and future areas for basic and clinical studies. This paper summarizes the available evidence for beneficial effects of GlcN on joint health and proposes new insight into the design of future clinical trials aimed at identifying beneficial physiological effect of GlcN on joint tissues.

Glucosamine; Osteoarthritis; Treatment; Prevention