Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Discussion in 'Pet Herbal Remedies' started by Bob, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. Bob

    Bob Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 5, 1999
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    Uses of Glucosamine and Chondroitin

    Glucosamine and chondroitin have their main use in the treatment of joint disease but have also been used in the treatment of conditions as wide ranging as cystitis in cats, colitis and hip dysplasia in dogs and promotion of wound healing in horses.

    The main candidate for glucosamine and chondroitin products would be a middle to old aged medium to large breed of dog demonstrating symptoms of stiffness, loss of mobility or with a confirmed diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Many dogs of this age group and size often have such symptoms that are not appreciated by their owners as they come on slowly. It is not until an owner start to treat their dog with glucosamine and chondroitin and they see the dog return to normal function that they realise that it was stiff and suffering in the first place. See Arthritis in Dogs and Arthritis in the Cat

    Source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin

    Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally occurring substances found in animals, the greatest concentrations are in cartilage.

    Glucosamine is normally manufactured in the body from glucose. In older animals the body may not be able to produce sufficient glucosamine to maintain joint cartilage health. Similarly in disease processes such as osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia and osteochondritis desicans (OCD) the animal's body may not be able to produce sufficient glucosamine to repair the damaged cartilage. In these situations supplemental glucosamine will prove beneficial. Supplemental glucosamine is obtained from the shells of crustaceans which were often discarded. Crustacean shells contain high concentrations of chitin, a polysaccharide, that through a process of hydrolysis can produce glucosamine. There are two common forms of glucosamine that work equally well in the dog, glucosamine hydrochloride (HCl) and glucosamine sulphate. The hydrochloride form of glucosamine is probably the best as it provides more available glucosamine weight for weight compared to the sulphate form.

    Chondroitin is a naturally occurring glycosaminoglycan (GAG) that is found in cartilage. Supplemental chondroitin is derived from the cartilage of animals - but most commonly from the cartilage rings of cows tracheas. It is also derived from whale and shark cartilage. No source has better benefits than the other but bovine chondroitin may carry some risks relating to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and marine chondroitin may ultimately have some ecological impact if not managed sustainably. The lower molecular weight of the chondroitin molecules, the more easily they will be absorbed through the gut wall.


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