Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are two oral compounds that many people with arthritis are taking today. Glucosamine stimulates the repair and regeneration of articular cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate inhibits the enzymes that break down components of cartilage. Both are found naturally in the body, and it has been hypothesized that their administration may inhibit cartilage degeneration in osteoarthritis, or even stimulate regrowth.
Short-term randomized controlled studies have shown that both relieve pain, but there have been no studies that show they prevent cartilage degeneration or stimulation of growth. Currently, a long-term randomized controlled study is underway, and this theory will be examined.