A six-month study of chondroitin sulfate (800 mg once daily) versus placebo in patients with hand osteoarthritis showed a significantly greater decrease in hand pain and improvement in hand function among those taking chondroitin sulfate (Gabay, Arth & Rheum 2011). The duration of morning stiffness was also slightly reduced.
These benefits were not noticeable until after 3 months of treatment.
There was no significant difference in grip strength or the amount of analgesic used by patients.
The chondroitin tested in the study was a tablet containing highly purified (95% pure) chondroitin of fish origin and is marketed as Chondrosulf (IBSA, Switzerland) in Europe where it is approved as a “Symptomatic Slow Acting Drug for Osteoarthritis” (IBSA website – accessed 9/21/2011).
From consumerlab.com, a fine resource for those who want to check out independent testing of various vitamins, herbs, supplements.