Could Adding Beta-Glucan to Glucosamine Improve the Treatment Effectiveness for Knee Osteoarthritis?

AIM: The aim of the present study was to examine the efficacy and safety of Polycan, a β-glucan produced from the black yeast Aureobasidium pullulans SM-2001, in combination with glucosamine in reducing knee osteoarthritis-associated symptoms. 

METHODS: This was a double-blind, randomized controlled trial of a formulated product composed of 16.7 mg of Polycan and 250 mg of glucosamine (Group A), 16.7 mg of Polycan and 500 mg of glucosamine (Group B), or 500 mg of glucosamine (control group) per capsule, administered as three capsules once per day over a period of 12 weeks, conducted with 100 osteoarthritis patients, aged 35–80 years. The primary outcome measure was osteoarthritis symptoms assessed by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) questionnaire. The secondary outcome measures included rescue medication use (according to data from a patient-reported diary) and other safety indices (body weight, blood pressure, hematological, and biochemistry markers). 

RESULTS: Compared with the control group, Group B demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in the total WOMAC score after 12 weeks of treatment (p < 0.05). There was a significant reduction in the frequency of rescue medication used in Groups A and B compared with the control group (p < 0.05). There were no significant changes in hematology and biochemistry parameters or health indices between the active and the control group. 

CONCLUSION: Among patients with mild or moderate osteoarthritis, a daily oral dose of Polycan (50 mg) in combination with glucosamine (750 mg or 1500 mg; Group A or B, respectively) resulted in a better treatment outcome than treatment with glucosamine (1500 mg) alone.

Truong TTT, et al. A Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled 12-Week Follow-Up Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Polycan in Combination with Glucosamine for the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, 2019, 2019 | added to CENTRAL: 31 August 2019 | 2019 Issue 08.