Doing my small bit for science!

A letter sent to the San Antonio Zoo:

Good evening.

I recently visited your zoo while in San Antonio. It’s a fine institution, one of the better zoos I have seen. It’s clear that, more than most zoos, you take your educational mission seriously and try to have each exhibit teach the viewer something. As a former science teacher, I can only applaud you.

However … I attended one of your keeper-led talks at the elephant exhibit. The keep mentioned that the elephant on display was receiving “the elephant equivalent of glucosamine.” I hope not–because glucosamine does not work to prevent or treat joint pain. Here is Dr. Steven Novella of Yale Medical School on the subject:

Here’s a recent meta-analysis of research in the field, showing that good studies with large patient groups show no benefit from glucosamine, via PubMed:

I’m sure you would not want your educational activities to promote the use of valueless treatments for arthritis, so please ask your keeper(s) to avoid endorsing glucosamine.

Thank you,
Carl Fink

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