Arthritis and Joint Care in Your Pet; Glucosamine Alone Can't Cut it!


Original post: September 14, 2010




Daily supplementation with glucosamine is known to support proper performance of our pet’s built-in joint maintenance systems, preserving a youthful predisposition from the inside out but experience tells us that glucosamine can work to improve quality of life for some of our pets but for others it doesn’t work at all.

Explaining the inconsistent results. Research today is confirming that the underlying cause of joint degeneration as we and our companion animals age is the slow decline in activity of the chondrocyte, the cell responsible for using glucosamine to build collagen for cartilage reconstruction. If this worker cell of the body is not functional, even shovelfuls of oral glucosamine won’t result in new cartilage tissue. The supplement may deliver a mild anti-inflammatory effect but this only frees our companions from pain getting them active enough to run around wearing off more cartilage tissue in an already damaged joint.

Young animals having experienced cartilage damage through traumatic injury are more likely to experiencing recovery from incomplete glucosamine supplementation since these worker cells, the chondrocytes, may still be in functional form. However, even in these cases the facilitative activity of chondrocyte activators will enhance and even protect the resulting tissue.

How do we build new cartilage tissue? Research demonstrates that various nutrients in concentrations high enough to penetrate the oxidative sludge that we have created for ourselves and our animal companions can penetrate to the genetic level of the chondrocyte and literally turn it on. This complex science is further discussed with therapeutic examples for human and companion wellness applications in Potential Within, A Guide to Nutritional Empowerment (ISBN 0-9731701-0-7). It is also discussed more briefly in Potential Within YOUR DOGS HEALTH (ISBN 978-0-9731701-01-5

Activating cartilage reconstruction. It now appears that vitamin C also plays a role in gene activity, especially cartilage synthesis. A recent 2002 journal article in Matrix Biology (21(2): 175-84 ) presents a study which demonstrates one of vitamin C’s roles in the synthesis of cartilage, confirming, as well, how the vitamin is involved in gene activation. This study shows that vitamin C actually enters the chondrocyte (the cell responsible for the production of collagen and cartilage) to stimulate the genes responsible for collagen synthesis. Vitamin C deficiency can cause delayed gene response for tissue maintenance resulting in accumulated premature wear. These findings justify supplementation with levels of vitamin C, for example, that far exceed the recommended allowances, especially in the case of osteo and even rheumatoid arthritis.

But even more profound is chondroitin sulfate’s role in the process. The recently discovered method of activity for this controversial joint nutrient demonstrates that it is absolutely crucial to complete cartilage recovery and joint disease prevention. In the past we thought chondroitin performed as a glucosamine source, a dense supply of glucosamine. Now we know it delivers its own pharmacological activity; it literally frees the genes involved in collagen synthesis from inhibitory factors such as elevated nitric oxide and peroxy nitrite, allowing cells to use glucosamine for cartilage tissue regeneration. On its own, glucosamine supplementation delivers extremely limited results but in combination with chondroitin sulfate, vitamin C, and grapeseed extract, which supports vitamin C activity, recuperation is more complete and more immediate.

Not all chondroitin is the same. One of the crucial characteristics of functional chondrotin is that it must be small enough to pass the mucosal walls of our intestines and then make it to the cells in need of support. The key to its activity is its molecular weight or more simply, the size of the chondroitin molecule. Low molecular weight (smaller bits of the compound) can seep in to the worker cells to activate the process which uses glucosamine to build cartilage. Conventional chondroitin cannot make its way to the activation site and more crude forms such as shark cartilage are even less effective activators. The right types and combination of these nutrients presents potency at the level of nutrient-based medicine.

Manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin C, sulphur (MSM), and vitamin E also play central roles in cartilage synthesis and integrity. The demand for all nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, increases significantly when assailed by the chemical scalding our environmental toxicity imposes and this increases again if physical activity is above average. Manganese, zinc, and copper are important co-factors for the powerful activity of antioxidants which we and our companion animals can produce internally. Without these minerals, antioxidants such as SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase can’t do their jobs to neutralize free radicals and tissues degrade more quickly. This is especially the case with seniors where such supplementation is even more critical for tissue and youth preservation.


Minerals are important for general hormone balance and tissue integrity, and their status can decline significantly with age. Daily supplementation to maximize health potential is far more logical and a lot more economical than the regular veterinary visits which become more frequent as the years pass your companion by.

Prevention is the most powerful cure. Prevention of disease by maintaining optimal nutrient status of the body before disease infiltrates is the most logical cure. Supplying the aforementioned minerals and collagen building blocks such as glucosamine, low molecular weight chondroitin, grapeseed extract and vitamin C on a daily basis in requisite quantities will likely reduce the risk for premature degeneration of tissues. Singularly these nutrients deliver very limited results. All together and in the right forms and proportions results are incredible. The doses needed for prevention are low and less costly. The requirement for these nutrient-based recovery agents at the higher, more costly therapeutic doses is simply a result of a slow but ongoing degenerative process which progresses slowly, in most cases, due to a lack of these essential building blocks in the first place. Daily preventive supplementation with these essential nutrients keeps us all vital and envigorated; youthful and happy.


Take charge of your health and that of your companion animal’s. Choose supplementation and nutrient based medical care that incorporates precise synergy. The right nutrient combinations make for powerful therapy when challenged by disease. Prevention through lower dose daily supplementation, however, is the most powerful cure! our pet’s built-in joint maintenance systems, preserving a youthful predisposition from the inside out but experience tells us that glucosamine can work to improve quality of life for some of our pets but for others it doesn’t work at all.


Explaining the inconsistent results. Research today is confirming that the underlying cause of joint degeneration as we and our companion animals age is the slow decline in activity of the chondrocyte, the cell responsible for using glucosamine to build collagen for cartilage reconstruction. If this worker cell of the body is not functional, even shovelfuls of oral glucosamine won’t result in new cartilage tissue. The supplement may deliver a mild anti-inflammatory effect but this only frees our companions from pain getting them active enough to run around wearing off more cartilage tissue in an already damaged joint. Young animals having experienced cartilage damage through traumatic injury are more likely to experiencing recovery from incomplete glucosamine supplementation since these worker cells, the chondrocytes, may still be in functional form.


However, even in these cases the facilitative activity of chondrocyte activators will enhance and even protect the resulting tissue. How do we build new cartilage tissue? Research demonstrates that various nutrients in concentrations high enough to penetrate the oxidative sludge that we have created for ourselves and our animal companions can penetrate to the genetic level of the chondrocyte and literally turn it on. This complex science is further discussed with therapeutic examples for human and companion wellness applications in Potential Within, A Guide to Nutritional Empowerment (ISBN 0-9731701-0-7). It is also discussed more briefly in Potential Within YOUR DOGS HEALTH (ISBN 978-0-9731701-01-5Activating cartilage reconstruction. It now appears that vitamin C also plays a role in gene activity, especially cartilage synthesis. A recent 2002 journal article in Matrix Biology (21(2): 175-84 ) presents a study which demonstrates one of vitamin C’s roles in the synthesis of cartilage, confirming, as well, how the vitamin is involved in gene activation. This study shows that vitamin C actually enters the chondrocyte (the cell responsible for the production of collagen and cartilage) to stimulate the genes responsible for collagen synthesis.


Vitamin C deficiency can cause delayed gene response for tissue maintenance resulting in accumulated premature wear. These findings justify supplementation with levels of vitamin C, for example, that far exceed the recommended allowances, especially in the case of osteo and even rheumatoid arthritis. But even more profound is chondroitin sulfate’s role in the process. The recently discovered method of activity for this controversial joint nutrient demonstrates that it is absolutely crucial to complete cartilage recovery and joint disease prevention. In the past we thought chondroitin performed as a glucosamine source, a dense supply of glucosamine. Now we know it delivers its own pharmacological activity; it literally frees the genes involved in collagen synthesis from inhibitory factors such as elevated nitric oxide and peroxy nitrite, allowing cells to use glucosamine for cartilage tissue regeneration. On its own, glucosamine supplementation delivers extremely limited results but in combination with chondroitin sulfate, vitamin C, and grapeseed extract, which supports vitamin C activity, recuperation is more complete and more immediate. Not all chondroitin is the same.


One of the crucial characteristics of functional chondrotin is that it must be small enough to pass the mucosal walls of our intestines and then make it to the cells in need of support. The key to its activity is its molecular weight or more simply, the size of the chondroitin molecule. Low molecular weight (smaller bits of the compound) can seep in to the worker cells to activate the process which uses glucosamine to build cartilage. Conventional chondroitin cannot make its way to the activation site and more crude forms such as shark cartilage are even less effective activators.


The right types and combination of these nutrients presents potency at the level of nutrient-based medicine. Manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin C, sulphur (MSM), and vitamin E also play central roles in cartilage synthesis and integrity. The demand for all nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, increases significantly when assailed by the chemical scalding our environmental toxicity imposes and this increases again if physical activity is above average. Manganese, zinc, and copper are important co-factors for the powerful activity of antioxidants which we and our companion animals can produce internally. Without these minerals, antioxidants such as SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase can’t do their jobs to neutralize free radicals and tissues degrade more quickly. This is especially the case with seniors where such supplementation is even more critical for tissue and youth preservation. Minerals are important for general hormone balance and tissue integrity, and their status can decline significantly with age. Daily supplementation to maximize health potential is far more logical and a lot more economical than the regular veterinary visits which become more frequent as the years pass your companion by. Prevention is the most powerful cure. Prevention of disease by maintaining optimal nutrient status of the body before disease infiltrates is the most logical cure. Supplying the aforementioned minerals and collagen building blocks such as glucosamine, low molecular weight chondroitin, grapeseed extract and vitamin C on a daily basis in requisite quantities will likely reduce the risk for premature degeneration of tissues. Singularly these nutrients deliver very limited results. All together and in the right forms and proportions results are incredible. The doses needed for prevention are low and less costly. The requirement for these nutrient-based recovery agents at the higher, more costly therapeutic doses is simply a result of a slow but ongoing degenerative process which progresses slowly, in most cases, due to a lack of these essential building blocks in the first place. Daily preventive supplementation with these essential nutrients keeps us all vital and envigorated; youthful and happy. Take charge of your health and that of your companion animal’s. Choose supplementation and nutrient based medical care that incorporates precise synergy. The right nutrient combinations make for powerful therapy when challenged by disease. Prevention through lower dose daily supplementation, however, is the most powerful cure!


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