Bone & Cartilage

A statistical review analyzed 15 studies on the efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin for the treatment of osteoarthritis.1 These studies revealed that treatment with glucosamine and chrondroitin given together have moderate to large effects in relieving osteoarthritis.

Another study compared boswellia serrata extract to an NSAID medication (valdecoxib, a selective COX-2 inhibitor).2 Like the conventional NSAID medication, the boswellia serrata extract produced relief in pain, stiffness, and difficulty performing daily activities.


A randomized double-blind, placebo controlled trial tested vitamin supplementation in migraine sufferers for 6 months.3 The study found that vitamin supplementation with folic acid, vitamin B6 and B12 decreased both the frequency and severity of migraines.

A randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled trial tested the effects of coenzyme Q10 in 42 migraine sufferers.4 Coenzyme Q10 was found to be superior to placebo in reducing the frequency of attacks, including headaches and nausea.

Petasites extract, commonly known as butterbur, was compared to placebo in a randomized trial of 245 patients with migraine.5 Petasites extract was more effective than placebo at preventing migraine and was well tolerated.


Research has found that antidepressants are effective in treating fibromyalgia.6 A randomized controlled double blind non-inferiority trial found that St. John’s Wort was as effective in treating depression as paroxetine, a conventional antidepressant drug.7 Given the findings of antidepressant effects of St. John’s Wort, many doctors believe St. John’s Wort extract could be effective in treating fibromyalgia as well.

A double-blind placebo controlled clinical study assigned 101 patients suffering from fibromyalgia to receive either fluoxetine (an antidepressant) alone or a combination of fluoxetine and melatonin.8 The addition of melatonin led to greater reductions in fibromyalgia symptoms.

Patients suffering from fibromyalgia show deficiencies in coenzyme Q10 catalase levels.9 Some early evidence indicates that supplementation with coenzyme Q10 and Ginkgo biloba extract improves fibromyalgia symptoms.10

A Danish study of 44 patients randomly assigned patients to receive either 800 mg of S-adenosylmethionine  (SAMe) or placebo.11 This study found SAMe to have beneficial effects on primary fibromyalgia.


A statistical review analyzed 15 studies on the efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin for the treatment of osteoarthritis.1 These studies revealed that treatment with glucosamine and chrondroitin given together have moderate to large effects in relieving osteoarthritis.

A double-blind crossover clinical study compared S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) to a celecoxib (a COX-2 inhibitor) for patients with arthritis pain.12 Though the onset of action was somewhat slower, SAMe proved equally effective in treating arthritis symptoms.

A double-blinded study of 100 patients with osteoarthritis randomly assigned patients to receive either pine bark extract or a placebo for three months.13 Patients treated with pine bark extract reported significant reductions in pain, whereas patients receiving the placebo did not.


  1. McAlindon TE, LaValley MP, Gulin JP, Felson DT. Glucosamine and chondroitin treatment of osteoarthritis: A systematic quality assessment and meta-analysis. JAMA 2000;283:1469-1475. (view pdf)
  2. Sontakke S, Thawawni V, Pimpalkhute S, Kabra P, Babhulkar S, Hingorani L. Open, randomized, controlled clinical trial of Boswellia serrata extract as compared to valdecoxib in osteoarthritis of knee. Indian J Pharm 2007;39:27-29.;year=2007;volume=39;issue=1;spage=27;epage=29;aulast=Sontakke
  3. Lea R, Colson N, Quinlan S, Macmillan J, Griffiths L. The effects of vitamin supplementation and MTHFR (C677T) genotype on homocysteine-lowering and migraine disability. Pharmacogenet Genomics 2009;19:422-8. (view pdf)
  4. Sandor PS, Di Clemente L, Coppola G, Saenger U, Fumal A, Magis D, Seidel L, Agosti RM, Schoenen J. Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in migraine prophylaxis: A randomized controlled trial. Neurology 2005;64:713-715. (view pdf)
  5. Lipton RB, Gobel H, Einhaupl KM, Wilks K, Mauskop A. Petasites hybridus root (butterbur) is an effective preventive treatment for migraine. Neurology 2004;63:2240-2244. (view pdf)
  6. Arnold LM, Keck PE, Welge JA. Antidepressant treatment of fibromyalgia: A meta-analysis and review. Psychosomatics 2000;41:104-13. (view pdf)
  7. Szegedi A, Kohnen R, Dienel A, Kieser M. Acute treatment of moderate to severe depression with hypericum extract WS 5570 (St John’s wort): randomized controlled double blind non-inferiority trial versus paroxetine. BMJ 2005;333:503. Epub 2005 Feb 11. (view pdf)
  8. Hussain SAR, Al-Khalifa II, Jasim NA, Gorial FI. Adjuvant use of melatonin for treatment of fibromyalgia. J Pineal Res 2011;50:267-71. (view pdf)
  9. Cordero MD, Cano-Garcia FJ, Alcocer-Gomez E, De Miguel M, Sanchez-Alcazar JA. Oxidative stress correlates with headache symptoms in fibromyalgia: Coenzyme Q10 effect on clinical improvement.
  10. Lister RE. An open, pilot study to evaluate the potential benefits of coenzyme Q10 combined with Ginkgo biloba extract in fibromyalgia syndrome. J Int Med Res 2002;30:195-199. (view pdf)
  11. Jacobsen S, Danneskiold-samsoe B, Bach Andersen R. Oral S-adenosylmethionine in primary fibromyalgia: Double-blind clinical evaluation. Scand J Rheumatol 1991;20:294-302.
  12. Najm WI, Reinsch S, Hoehler F, Tobis JS, Harvey PW. S-adenosyl methione (SAMe) versus celecoxib for the treatment of osteoarthritis symptoms:  A double-blind cross-over trial. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2004;5:6. Epub 2004 Feb 26.
  13. Cisar P, Jany R, Waczulikova I, Sumegova K, Muchova J, Vojtassak J, Durackova Z, Lisy M, Rohdewald P. Effect of pine bark extract (Pycnogenol) on symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. Phytother Res 2008;22:1087-1092. (view pdf)