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Old 04-17-2007, 10:18 AM   #1
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Hardy09 HB User
Glucosamine and Media Bias

Though it happened about 15 months ago, here is a great example of media bias in the reporting of health news. This story from the Associated Press was reported on February 22, 2006, about glucosamine. It's a beaut:

Big Headlines:

Popular supplements fail to ease arthritis pain

Major study questions benefits of top-selling joint remedies

In the story itself, we have this:

[removed]

Note the bias toward glucosamine not working for mild pain, and the grudging acceptance of it working for severe pain, "although more research is needed." How about more research on mild pain? Isn't that needed too?

The actual facts are that the study showed that glucosamine works as well as Celebrex for moderate to severe pain of arthritis.

So the first headline tells you that the supplements don't work at all for pain, and its a lie!

The second headline is also a lie, but is misleading in another way because it assumes that pain relief could be the only possible benefit from taking glucosamine.

There are two issues with osteo-arthritis: Pain and the progression of the disease. Of the two, the progression of the disease over time is vastly the most important, as mild pain leads to further and increased pain, and ultimately to nasty health conditions like hip surgery, fractures, immobility, and premature death from complications.

If you are taking glucosamine, don't stop. Without it, over time, your knees will continue to deteriorate; but if you take glucosamine, it may likely slow or halt the further decline of your joints. That was the problem with the study, it only addressed pain. Why on earth did it ignore the issue of the progression of the disease????

About five years ago, a study was conducted in England where 300 people with knee arthritis were divided into two groups. One took glucosamine and the other did not. After three years, doctors x-rayed everyone's knees. The group that did not take glucosamine showed marked deterioration of their knees. The group that took glucosamine, showed almost no deterioration after three years. If you don't take glucosamine, your pain will get worse, and you will have to have knee surgery. Glucosamine will likely delay that for some time, unless it is already too late. Another thing, the doctors in the UK study reported that pain was not a good indicator of how well the glucosamine was working to halt the disease. Some people complained that they still felt pain, but their joints had hardly changed. Also, of course, if you don't take it, the pain will get worse, not just stay the same.

So there you have it. Our famous media and medical profession got together and delivered you a muddled story at best. It is an outrage!!! We are talking about disease here, and people suffering, but the reporting is so misleading!

Last edited by mod-anon; 04-17-2007 at 10:43 PM. Reason: Do not copy material directly from another website.

 
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:41 PM   #2
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Alagaesia HB User
Re: Glucosamine and Media Bias

Oh yeah, the media is definitely against vitamins and supplements. I just saw something like a month ago that said antioxidants don't help the aging process and that they're basically no good. The vitamin and supplement industry is booming because people are so sick and tired of their doctors not really doing anything for them.

 
Old 04-17-2007, 11:26 PM   #3
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Jennita HB User
Re: Glucosamine and Media Bias

Anyone know if taking glucosamine is ok if you don't actually have any pain? Maybe more for prevention?. Or would that be useless> I'm hitting the big 5-0 this year and although I weight train, drink milk, eat decently and take omega fish oils, I wonder if I should be doing more to prevent the problems of aging bones...

PS. I totally agree that drug co's are trying to undermine many of the proven benefits of certain supplements and even foods/teas. Too many well people without drugs certainly isn't good for their business.

Last edited by Jennita; 04-17-2007 at 11:28 PM.

 
Old 04-18-2007, 10:22 PM   #4
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Alagaesia HB User
Re: Glucosamine and Media Bias

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennita View Post
Anyone know if taking glucosamine is ok if you don't actually have any pain? Maybe more for prevention?. Or would that be useless> I'm hitting the big 5-0 this year and although I weight train, drink milk, eat decently and take omega fish oils, I wonder if I should be doing more to prevent the problems of aging bones...
Lots of people take it for prevention. Lots of people give it to their aging dogs as well.

 
Old 04-18-2007, 11:37 PM   #5
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Jennita HB User
Re: Glucosamine and Media Bias

Ok, but then no adverse effects to watch out for using it that way? I'm a bit cautious with even supplements since some are chemicals....

 
Old 04-19-2007, 04:30 PM   #6
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Hardy09 HB User
Re: Glucosamine and Media Bias

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennita View Post
Ok, but then no adverse effects to watch out for using it that way? I'm a bit cautious with even supplements since some are chemicals....
Glucosamine is produced naturally by the body, and then declines as you age. As the body makes it itself, there is no reported adverse effect (that I am aware of), and it has been studied quite a lot. Be sure to take it with plenty of water or food, and follow the directions on the bottle. 1500 mg was the amount that people took in the 3-year medical study, so medically that should be fine. Of course, everyone is an individual, so bear that in mind. Also, since glucosamine is not a drug but a natural compound, it takes anywhere from 3 weeks to two months before it begins to have noticeable benefits [and benefits may not be noticeable at all, just as some detrimental processes like cancer are not noticeable at all for years. (One of my pet peeves is that so many people decide to stop taking important nutrients because they haven't noticed any difference.)] The study in England (which looked at people who already had arthritis pain in the knees) reported that, after six weeks or so, glucosamine worked as well against the pain as ibuprophen.

 
Old 04-19-2007, 05:27 PM   #7
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Re: Glucosamine and Media Bias

Wow, thanks Alagaesia and Hardy for all the info!!! Sounds good...

Last edited by Jennita; 04-19-2007 at 05:28 PM.

 
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