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Many people with osteoarthritis have knee pain. They often try over-the-counter treatments to help the pain, and to avoid knee surgery. The supplements, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, are very popular. In 2012, Americans spent $813 million on these supplements, according to the Nutrition Business Journal.

The knee pain is caused by the breakdown of the cartilage. This is the tough flexible tissue that covers the ends of the knee and other joints. Glucosamine and chondroitin are building blocks of cartilage. But they are not good for pain relief. Here’s why:

These popular supplements don’t work.

Many studies have shown that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate do not help to relieve arthritic knees.

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