To rebuild or not to rebuild?

The August issue was informative. But you said that glucosamine and chondroitin can “actually rebuild ailing joint cartilage” (“Strengthen Bones & Joints”). Well, not really, based on science from the Mayo Clinic, which says that glucosamine supplements may only help the body repair damaged cartilage.
Steve Taormina, Nederland, Colorado

This is a controversial subject. The Mayo Clinic's position is conservative, saying that little scientific evidence supports the claim that glucosamine or chondroitin can restore eroded joint cartilage resulting from degenerative arthritis. Meanwhile, the authors of a 2003 meta-analysis of glucosamine and chondroitin for osteoarthritic knee pain that appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine found “a highly significant efficacy of glucosamine on all outcomes, including joint space narrowing.” While not all glucosamine supplements are of the same quality, evidence shows that supplementation with a high-quality product indeed has an effect on some people.

Farming an answer to climate change

Mr. Kirschenmann's “Eating Fossil Fuels” (September 2007) poses an interesting question. A couple of months ago I read a study regarding energy use on “modern” farms versus energy use on Amish farms. The study demonstrated that it is more cost efficient to use draft horses for farm labor than it is to use mechanized labor. Thanks for raising the issue.
Beth Robertson, via e-mail

e-buzz -

Ring in 2008!
Freshen up your repertoire with new-to-you recipes and the latest health and natural-lifestyle news. Our favorite January staple? Sweet-savory squash. Check out our website for everything you need to know about this versatile winter veggie.

  • Squash and Pear Soup
  • Mashed Squash with Apples and Caramelized Onions
  • Stir-Fried Spaghetti Squash with Dairy-Free Pesto Sauce
  • Golden Butternut Bites
  • Pumpkin-Chardonnay-Mushroom Risotto


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