Joint Supplements

It is a sad fact of life that as our animals age things start to wear out. One of the first tissues in the body to age and wear out is articular cartilage and this causes joint pain, stiffness and ultimately arthritis.

Articular cartilage is the super slippery material which protects the bony surfaces of the joints and, along with synovial fluid (joint oil) allows pain free, freedom of movement. Wherever two or more bones meet a joint is formed and every moveable joint in the body has articular cartilage as one of its main components.

Unfortunately not only does articular cartilage age relatively quickly it also has very poor powers of regeneration and is just not able to repair itself as efficiently as say a broken bone or torn muscle.
The reason is that articular cartilage relies on chondrocyte cells to repair it, and through trauma, age or excessive wear and tear the chondrocytes cannot keep pace with repairing damaged cartilage. Chondrocyte cells rely heavily on glucosamine to provide enough building blocks for them to repair damaged cartilage and glucosamine is synthesised in the body through a biochemical reaction.

In a normal young healthy animal, the body is able to synthesise enough glucosamine to keep cartilage healthy but with age and wear and tear there just isn’t enough building blocks to keep up to the ever increasing amount of repair needed… resulting in joint pain, stiffness and ultimately osteoarthritis.
Many dogs and horses suffer from some form of degeneration to some joints in the body whether or not they have any symptoms or “joint pain”.

What can you do?

Nutraceuticals, a form of dietary supplement can provide the answer and, in particular, research has shown that nutraceuticals can be of real benefit to horses and dogs suffering from joint pain, stiffness, general restricted mobility and common arthritic conditions.

Nutraceuticals are specifically designed to nutritionally support certain illnesses, improve metabolic processes, or correct biochemical imbalances. They are naturally occurring substances and have little or no side effects.

Nutraceuticals containing Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulphate are specially designed to provide more building blocks to aid the chondrocyte cells in their repair of articular cartilage.

There are many joint supplements on the market but research suggests that the products which have glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate combined, such as Cortaflex, are more effective than glucosamine alone. This is because chondroitin sulphate helps to neutralise the destructive enzymes that are present in the joint when it starts to degenerate and cause pain.

Although these Nutraceuticals are more expensive they are generally more effective and the old adage applies…You only get what you pay for!

How does Glucosamine work?

Most people know that glucosamine sulphate is “good for the joints” – the shelves of animal feed shops are filled with various glucosamine supplements but, how does glucosamine work?

There is a big problem with glucosamine because of the size of glucosamine molecules… a problem that means it doesn’t work as effectively as it could.

Glucosamine sulphate has a large and complex molecular structure and is too large to pass easily through the small pores in the capillary walls so its absorption by the body is pretty poor. It just doesn’t get to where it’s needed, it stays in the blood only to be filtered out by the body’s waste system.

Most glucosamine supplements do work, but only in a limited way. Most of the ingredients actually pass through the body… and out again. However, glucosamine is pretty cheap to produce, so ever increasing amounts are added to supplements in the hope that some will get through. i.e. throw enough mud at a wall and some will stick! This is just a waste and simply puts extra pressure on the digestive and waste systems of the body which is a shame – especially if you are seeking “natural” and “safe” remedies!

However, one manufacturer has produced a Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplement where these ingredients have already been broken down into the smaller molecular sized base compounds which are easily absorbed by the body and, when combined together, form glucosamine and chondroitin.

These base compounds are pure amino acids and aminosaccharides and are far more easily absorbed into the cells, which then triggers them to produce their own glucosamine and chondroitin in a form that the body recognises and can use easily.

The Brand is Cortaflex and it is made for Humans as well as Dogs, Cats and Horses (the original formulation).
Cortaflex is the number one selling joint supplement in the world – for horses, dogs, cats and humans. It is proven to be more effective than any other glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate supplement and IT WORKS!

Other Supplements for Dogs and Horses
Complementary Therapies for animals