A recent analysis conducted by ConsumerLab.com found that some supplements containing glucosamine, chondroitin, boswellia and MSM used in treating symptoms of osteoarthritis don't contain listed ingredients, are contaminated with lead or do not break apart properly. Overall, 17 percent of 18 supplements for people failed testing as did all four tested products for dogs and cats. Additional products that passed testing, including two pet products, were identified through ConsumerLab.com's quality certification program.
According to the latest ConsumerLab.com consumer survey, 29 percent of people taking dietary supplements take a joint health supplement. Clinical studies suggest that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin can reduce moderate to severe knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Chondroitin may also significantly decrease pain due to osteoarthritis of the hands. boswellia, sold as a proprietary extract such as 5-Loxin, has been shown to reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis, as well as ulcerative colitis. The evidence for MSM in treating osteoarthritis in people remains preliminary.
Only 15 products for people of 18 selected by ConsumerLab.com met quality standards and labeling requirements. One product contained 51.6 percent of boswellia promised on the label, baled on its boswellic acid content. Another product exceeded limits for lead in a daily serving.
The Product Review of Joint Supplements (for people) is available online and covers 33 supplements. The Product Review of Joint Supplements for Dogs and Cats is also available in a separate report and covers six products.
ConsumerLab.com is a provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products for health and nutrition.