The first study of glucosamine sulfate in patients with early hip osteoarthritis (OA) has shown the supplement to be no better than placebo for pain, function, or for preventing disease progression. The study, carried out by Dutch researchers and known as the Glucosamine in Osteoarthritis: Long-Term Effectiveness (GOAL) trial, was reported in the February issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. The two-year trial involved 222 patients with early hip OA. Patients took either a placebo or 1,500 mg of oral glucosamine sulfate once a day. There were no significant differences in pain or function scores over the 24-month period, and progression of joint damage was similarly unaffected. The study shows that patients with early hip OA do not benefit from glucosamine, but it does not answer the question of the effect of glucosamine over a longer period in patients with more severe hip disease.