Science or snake oil: Is glucosamine good for joints?

Pharmaceutical companies have been promoting glucosamine supplements as a treatment for osteoarthritis for many years. Taking glucosamine for osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of complementary medicine in western societies.

Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage lining the surfaces of the joints wears thin due to the bones rubbing on each other for a long period. It’s also caused by reduced production of proteoglycan, an essential component of cartilage, as we age. This