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Boning Up on Joint Care

Stacy Mantle//January 5, 2015//

Boning Up on Joint Care

Stacy Mantle //January 5, 2015//

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Whether a product contains a naturally derived but synthesized ingredient like hyaluronic acid (which supports cushioning of the joints) or something as simple as the green-lipped mussel (which contains protein, glucosamine and eicosatetraenoic acids to reduce pain and increase mobility), the industry has rapidly evolved into an abundance of choices for consumers.

“People think that animal supplement industry is an unregulated industry, but that is not true,” said Bill Bookout, president of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC).

“It’s regulated at the federal level from the FDA and at the state level by the Department of Agriculture or other regulatory authority responsible for those products. There are very specific things that a manufacturer cannot say. For example, you can’t claim that something will cure arthritis. To cure a disease, you need a drug, not a supplement. Making claims that are not true is illegal and NASC makes sure that companies making claims are doing so responsibly.”

Understanding Ingredients and Formulas

“Everyone is so familiar with glucosamine as the key to joint health but glucosamine is only half the molecule that makes up hyaluronic acid (HA) so when you supplement with glucosamine you are only giving your system half of what it is ultimately needing,” said Jason Falbo, director of sales for Hyalogic. “It’s all about joint lubrication and HA should be your first step when it comes to joint health.”

The way a product is formulated and its delivery system also impacts its effectiveness.

“We have been trading ingredients for 10 years,” said Oscar Tenorio, product line manager of PureLife 4PETS.  “We gained a lot of knowledge and access to newest ingredients and how to use them. Formulating is a science in and of itself. Some companies put ingredients together to put on label. We study how the ingredients act together.”

“That’s why we only use krill oil instead of salmon (fish) oil,” said Tenorio. “Our formula for both dogs and cats is carried in phospholipid form (for super-absorbency) and, together with astaxanthin, is co-absorbed and delivered directly to the body’s cells. We add the astaxanthin as it is a powerful antioxidant that protects EPA and DHA from oxidative and free radical damage.”

Innovation in delivery systems is also a key focus of the supplement industry.

Amy Paris, founder of LICKS Pill-Free Solutions leveraged the recent technological advances in packaging that enable liquids to have a shelf life without refrigeration or preservatives and spent years developing and sourcing high quality, traceable ingredients to create LICKS LiquiPaks.

“LICKS LiquiPaks provides two main benefits: a 98-percent absorption rate and high palatability,” said Paris.

Identify Alternative Solutions

Supplements are not limited to internal use. There are a great number of external remedies that can provide relief to pets who experience joint pain. Everything from laser treatments and hydrotherapy to mud treatments and essential oils are being used to successfully alleviate pain in pets.

“Our mud treatments are massaged into the skin to help propel the functional ingredients, for a true canine spa touch and body treatment,” said Jacqueline Hynes, president of Madra Mór Mud. “Mobility Mud, our first formula, is infused with peppermint and menthol, provides a cool sensation that naturally stimulates circulation to help relieve blocked energy all while nourishing and hydrating the skin.”

Senior Joint Care

“One in five dogs in America suffers from some form of mobility issue,” said Mark Peltonen, managing director, RxMobility. “Those 16 million reasons motivated RxMobility to develop a 100 percent natural solution that addresses not only the source of the problem but has wider ranging health benefits for every canine’s bone, muscle and joint functions.”

The fact that pets are living much longer lives results in joint care being at the top of the list for many who seek out supplements. There is increasing interest in approaching supplements from a whole-body, systemic-support perspective.

“Joint Ease is a unique product because it contains adaptogenic plant and marine compounds, which seek out damage to joints and cartilage and work to accelerate DNA repair, helps to limit pain and inflammation, potentially stimulating the animal body to heal from the inside out, without synthetic additives,” said Heidi Nevala, president of Natura Petz.

With more than 2,000 peer-reviewed basic science and clinical research studies at major universities, Revitamal utilizes cellular anti-aging science with a wide therapeutic range.

“Revitamal restores cellular energy and the most powerful antioxidant function available, protecting your pet where they need it the most, the vulnerable cells and tissues where aging has the deepest effects.” said Jonathan Griffith, CEO of Revitamal.