Dexterity through Dextrose

For osteoarthritis sufferers, injections of a sugar solution could be much more than placebo, a new study suggests (K.D. Reeves et al., "Randomized prospective double-blind prolotherapy for knee osteoarthritis with or without ACL laxity," Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 6:68-80, March 2000). Prolotherapy, the injection of growth factors or their stimulators, is aimed at inducing an inflammatory response, to effect tissue repair or growth. A dextrose solution commonly is used to create temporary cellular stress, but in this study, the concentration of dextrose was only 10 percent, too low to cause inflammation. This not only protected double blinding, but also tested whether the elevation of extracellular glucose that is known to cause proliferation of growth factors in human cells would provide effective prolotherapy without an inflammatory mechanism. Sixty-eight of 77 patients with osteoarthritis in one or both knees, who were randomly assigned to either the...

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