This story does a good job putting a new study on chondroitin for knee pain in context of previous findings, informing readers that it adds to the mixed results, with some studies reporting positive results and others reporting no effect. Yet it doesn’t report on the specific findings, in quantitative terms, nor discuss potential side effects of the supplement.
Treatments that reduce pain are clearly of interest to health news consumers and alternatives to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are key, as long-term use of NSAIDs can be problematic, leading to gastrointestinal bleeding and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. This story wisely makes it clear that when it comes to chondroitin supplements, the jury is still out.
The article makes no mention of how much pharmaceutical-grade chondroitin costs.
Readers learn the qualitative benefits–better than placebo and on par with the analgesic drug Celebrex–but no quantitative data is cited.
The story says that chondroitin is not associated with the dangerous side effects seen with NSAIDs, but we were left wondering: What were the adverse events seen with this supplement?
Even though the article does not provide data about the study results, it does provide plenty of context for readers. Expert sources are quoted saying that the study was relatively small and short in duration, compared to previous similar studies. Further, sources note that findings with chondroitin and arthritic knee pain are a mixed bag, with some studies showing positive results, as this study did, and others showing no effect.
The story does not engage in fear-mongering.
The story quotes two American experts, neither of whom seem to be associated with this European study. We applaud the effort to get outside perspective, but wish the article made clear if these sources do or do not have conflicts of interest with pharmaceutical companies that make any kind of arthritis pain medication.
The story reports on a study that compared favorably with chondroitin with Celebrex, a prescription NSAID drug. The quoted sources also mention over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, with warning about side effects of these drugs.
The article makes clear that pharmaceutical-grade chondroitin is not the same as the labeled supplement one might buy over-the-counter, but makes no mention of how else to obtain it. Can doctors prescribe it? And do patients need a prescription to obtain it? Is there a brand name associated with the high-grade formulation?
With the help of one of the outside sources, the article makes clear that pain-relieving effects of chondroitin have been studied previously. This fact makes us wonder whether this study should have been covered at all. We might guess that pharmaceutical-grade aspect of the supplement is the novelty, but readers should not be left guessing.
The article does not appear to rely on a news release.