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Maximizing Your Pet's Joint Health 
01/13/05 J.R. Rogers

Anyone who reads these columns knows by now that I am a big fan of dealing with pet arthritis using liquid glucosamine. Without a doubt, it has changed the way that individuals and veterinarians are viewing safe and effective ways to help arthritic pets. 

Delivery and Synergy

A great many of you contact me asking questions about this business of "why" certain ingredients appear in a certain product and also about the effectiveness of those ingredients. Let's take a look at those factors again. 

Liquid vs. Pills or Capsules

This is easy to understand. There is scientific evidence that indicates that products such as nutritional supplements are significantly more absorbable and bioavailable when taken in liquid form rather than in pill or capsule form. That evidence appears to show that only about 10 to 20% of pills and capsules are absorbed while liquid absorption is over 80%. Absorption also appears to be faster when a liquid is used rather than a pill or capsule. Getting glucosamine and chondroitin delivered to your joints faster and in greater quantities through liquid products ought to produce faster, better results than taking pills or capsules. 

Other Active Ingredients

Going back to "why" humans use vitamin supplements is a starting point. Over the years, scientists have learned a great deal about supplements. One important discovery would be that the same principals apply to humans as to our pets. Exactly what their nutritional needs are can differ a little from ours but certain basic principles do apply. 

The Anti-Oxidants

We have talked about these before. As antioxidants, the "big three" vitamins are A, C and E. These vitamins play a major role in human and pet health. To maintain optimum cell health, pets have basically the same needs as you do. What may be even more important is that each of these vitamins is more effective when used together. This is called working together "synergistically." 

Joint Health in Pets (and, Humans)

Research has proven that antioxidants work better together. For example, taking each separately is not going to be as effective as taking them in a product that has all of them. In terms of viewing a liquid glucosamine product, it is essential that you have these antioxidants in the product. 

Insofar as joint health is concerned, antioxidants clear away the free radicals that cause joint damage, including proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans. Antioxidants are important components of cartilage health and without this antioxidant activity, the joint destruction this disease causes can increase. 

Putting It All Together

This is all a little more complicated than that but then, we are not all scientists. The point is that using a high-quality liquid glucosamine product is going to give your pet an advantage over pills and capsule forms. Equally important, when the major antioxidant vitamins are working together synergistically, you are going to get even better performance from the product you are using. It goes without saying, that it is a lot less expensive than trying to buy these ingredients separately.