The current body of evidence currently supports modest efficacy for glucosamine and chondroitin in the treatment of OA symptoms. The products are safe and could play a valuable role in the management of this disorder. Nevertheless, further independent studies are needed to confirm these findings and to determine the clinical applicability of these compounds. Physicians need to become involved in these treatment decisions but are confused by wide variability in the formulation and purity of the numerous preparations available to consumers. The notion that glucosamine and chondroitin might have disease-modifying effects in OA is highly appealing and supported by preliminary data. Research is needed to confirm these findings and to evaluate the impact of glucosamine and chondroitin on all aspects of OA progression.