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Using Glucosamine to Ease Arthritis Pain in Pets
07/12/04 J.R. Rogers
Information on how glucosamine actually works for easing arthritis pain in cats, the science backing glucosamine, and how to select the best glucosamine formula for dogs...
Healthy cartilage requires four things. These are:
1. Water for lubrication and nourishment
2. Proteoglycans to attract and hold water
3. Collagen to hold proteoglycans in place
4. Chondrocytes to clean away old proteoglycans and collagen and produce new ones.
When any one of these elements is missing, cartilage can deteriorate and osteoarthritis will begin to develop. However, there is a way to help your pet's cartilage.
The Info on Glucosamine
One of the most effective formulas for arthritis and hip dysplasia in cats is a compound called glucosamine. Glucosamine is an amino sugar produced from the shells of chitin (shellfish) and is a key component of cartilage. Glucosamine works to stimulate joint function and repair. It has been proven effective in numerous scientific trials for easing osteoarthritis pain, aiding in the rehabilitation of cartilage, renewing synovial fluid, and repairing joints that have been damaged from osteoarthritis.
Each animal produces a certain amount of glucosamine within their bodies. When animals grow older, their bodies lose the capacity to make enough glucosamine. Having ample glucosamine in your pet's body is essential to producing the nutrients needed to stimulate the production of synovial fluid, the fluid which lubricates your pet's cartilage and keeps your pet's joints healthy. Without enough glucosamine, the cartilage in their weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, knees, and hands deteriorates. The cartilage then hardens and forms bone spurs, deformed joints, and limited joint movement. This is how the debilitating disease of arthritis develops.
So How Does Glucosamine Figure Into Healthy Cartilage?
1. a major building block of proteoglycans
2. needed to make glycosaminoglycans, proteins that bind water in the cartilage matrix
3. a source of nutrients for the synthesis of proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans
4. a stimulant to chondrocytes
5. a key factor in determining how many proteoglycans are produced by the chondrocytes
6. needed to spur chondrocytes to produce more collagen and proteoglycans
7. a regulator of cartilage metabolism which helps to keep cartilage from breaking down.
In addition, glucosamine has been shown to reduce pain for cats with arthritis and improves the joint structure.
As you can see, glucosamine is a very important factor in maintaining healthy cartilage and rehabilitating cartilage that has deteriorated. It has been shown to be very beneficial for pets suffering from arthritis. However, glucosamine products can be very different.
When purchasing glucosamine, you must make sure you look for a product which:
1. is high quality - preferably pharmaceutical quality
2. is a liquid - for quicker and full absorption
3. contains other beneficial ingredients like chondroitin, boswellin, bromelain, manganese, yucca, etc.
Do remember, that while glucosamine is very effective and may be used as to protect cartilage from the damage caused by osteoarthritis, it can take between 1-4 weeks for an improvement to be noticed in your pet, and also that the quality, delivery system, and synergistic ingredients can make a huge difference on whether or not your pet receives relief.
If you have been putting off buying glucosamine for your cat, I encourage you to not wait any longer. If you've tried glucosamine in capsule form or are currently taking glucosamine in capsule form, I would very much recommend giving a liquid glucosamine product a try.