Arthritis pill

Just a few years ago even the idea of jogging caused Jana Tomajkova to wince. She started suffering from a very common problem in her mid-forties, osteoarthritis in her knees.

That was until she discovered a little known supplement called condrosulf and says she hasn't looked back since.

It's the same for Lorna Howieson from Aldinga beach; she started taking it 11 years ago when she was told she might need a hip replacement. Her hip ached constantly but not anymore. "Well I have no pain in my hip, which is amazing really because people my age are going in and having their hips replacements done and I'm no nearer now than I was in 2004"

Australian supplier of Condrosulf Andrew Mowbray introduced us to Jana and Lorna he says the main ingredient is called chondroitin and comes from shark cartledge. Andrew says "when sharks are caught, this is commercial species commercial non endangered species are caught and taken to shore for processing for their flesh. What's left over is their bones or shark cartilage and that is used as a raw material for pharmaceutical extraction."

It's been available in Australia as a supplement for some time, but has recently received therapeutic goods administration approval as a medicine. Andrew says "we'll actually be changing the primary claim on the pack to refer to condrosulf's ability to arrest the progression of osteo arthritis."

"So I would think that you would use it as an adjunct, you know an extra thing onto your usual medications, rather than to replace those medications." Associate Professor of Rheumatology Dr Catherine Hill from Arthritis Australia says patients who use the medicine shouldn't expect miracles. "I've looked at the studies that have been done and there are some randomised controlled studies of this drug that have been performed. They didn't show much improvement in pain but they did show perhaps a reduction in the progression of the osteo arthritis." She says the science behind condrosulf appears to be sound. "We think it helps by reducing the loss of cartilage as part of the osteo arthritis process" but it's certainly not a quick fix. Catherine says "those studies show that you need to take it for at least two years, so I think patients need to keep that in mind" and naturally, you should seek your own medical advice before deciding whether to take condrosulf or any medication or supplement.