BERN, Switzerland, April 17 (UPI) -- A European meta-analysis found that chondroitin, a dietary supplement used to treat osteoarthritis, is ineffective but not harmful.
Twenty studies that compared chondroitin to placebo or no treatment were examined, and the researchers found that chondroitin had little effect on knee or hip pain caused by arthritis, according to the meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Few adverse side effects were reported, and the authors concluded that chondroitin use should "be discouraged."
However, in an accompanying editorial in the same journal it said "chondroitin sulfate should not be considered dangerous. If patients say that they benefit from chondroitin, I see no harm in encouraging them to continue taking it as long as they perceive a benefit."
The authors said the supplement appeared to have some impact for those with low-grade osteoarthritis.