Animal Care Clinic Tips

Nov 23, 2009 5:24 PM by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP

Neutraceuticals

Many of us use supplements to help us with nutrition or to try to prevent or treat certain ailments. Supplements that have not gone through the FDA drug approval process are called Neutraceuticals. This includes things like gingko, milk thistle, fish oil and glucosamine.

As we focus on orthopedics this month, I thought I would mention a few Neutraceuticals we recommend at Animal Care Clinic.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in high amounts in flax seed oil and marine oils. Omega-3's are less inflammatory than other types of fatty acids and we see benefits in animals with skin disease, gastrointestinal disease and joint disease. It is currently thought that the omega-3's in fish oil and Krill are most therapeutic for dogs and cats. Glucosamine and chondroitin appear to help maintain the health of joint fluid and cartilage and may be anti-inflammatory also.

The biggest drawback to most neutraceuticals is that there is no governing body assuring the quality of the product or accuracy of labels. When consumer watchdog groups test these products, they find that a bottle of 500mg glucosamine capsules will contain capsules with no glucosamine in them and others with 2000mg in them. Quite often labels are misleading - a bottle that says 500mg of fish oil may only have 50mg of omega-3 fatty acids.

Of course there are reputable and reliable suppliers and you need to get a recommendation from your veterinarian or physician before using any products.

Come by and visit us at Animal Care Clinic. We are available M-F 7:30-6, Sat 9-3 and Mondays until 8 p.m.

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