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Joint Health is not as simple as Glucosamine and Chondroitin: 4 Proper steps to better joint health

As seen in Tonic Magazine

Original post: August 31, 2011

Your dog’s metabolism is a bustling reflection of the lifestyle you’ve chosen for him. And that involves the food and supplements you choose, the amount of physical activity you offer and the environment you create. All of these factors mold your dog’s metabolism into a unique force.

These same factors mold your own metabolism. Since you make the lifestyle choices for your pet based on philosophies that you, yourself live by, more often than not you’ll be vulnerable to the same disorders that ail your pet sooner or later.

Joint pain and degeneration can be unique to the individual too; from the type of injury or degeneration to the influence that this metabolism has on the joints. This metabolic influence can dictate how long it takes to gain results from common joint supplements just as much as the condition of the joint can. And it plays a huge role in why one individual can easily gain pain relief in just days while another might take several weeks.

Whether this underlying influence is protective or degenerative depends largely on the body’s ability to manage antioxidants and oxidation. It also depends on cellular balance of those Omega-type fatty acids that the body uses to manufacture prostaglandins; the hormones involved in the inflammatory response.

Each of these nutritional factors can be addressed at the same time that common glucosamine supplementation is used for joint pain relief by following four easy steps to be detailed below.

By treating the degenerative condition in this comprehensive manner we can take the therapy beyond just pain relief and to the point of spontaneous regeneration of cartilage tissue. In fact, supporting the metabolism through antioxidant and omega or polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation can support more than just joint health to include better immunity, emotional stability, skin health and hair luster setting the stage for overall better life quality.

Our cells and those of our companion animals’ have the ability to manufacture internal antioxidants that protect and guide activities from the genes and onward throughout the body. In the joint, for example, these antioxidants protect genes responsible for using glucosamine to ultimately build collagen. In young animals these internal or endogenous antioxidants are manufactured abundantly, preserving these genetic codes and the tissues they restore day in and day out. As our we all age this antioxidant production declines and so does the protective shield they take part in.

As this antioxidant protection declines the specialized worker cells in the cartilage tissue, chondrocytes, begin to show signs of sluggishness. Research demonstrates that this laziness is, in fact, a function of oxidation that may escalate due to that age-related decline in antioxidant production. By supplying sufficient levels of these antioxidants from the diet to compensate for this decline, we can help maintain the cartilage-building activity of the specialized worker cells. By doing so, we facilitate the use of glucosamine and other connective tissue building blocks to regenerate cartilage in addition to the expected pain relief.

If these cells are not jumpstarted, any amount of supplemented glucosamine cannot be used for cartilage regeneration. And with pain relief only, the new found pain-free activity will further degrade cartilage status making matters worse in short order. Your joint health and that of your dog’s is not only a function of time or age; it’s also a reflection of biological health. Despite age, we can keep these cells healthy and working fastidiously to maintain cartilage day in and day out to keep up with daily wear.

Supplementing Omega-3 DHA and Omega-6 linoleic acid fatty acids in the right ratio can help establish proper balance of those Omega fats in the body. This, in turn, dictates the related hormone balance needed to restore healthy inflammatory control from yet another pathway that is different from the way glucosamine works; and in a different way, again, from how antioxidants can help. All of these safe and health-promoting synergies result in improved long term success for the therapy. Applying any one of them can help improve a condition, but all at the same time provide the best results and in difficult cases may, in fact, be the only natural way to get relief.

Steps to take in order to relieve your pet’s joint pain?

The solution is to choose remedies that cover all the bases by empowering the body to spontaneously neutralize toxins, oxidation and activate hormone balance and cartilage restoration.

Step 1) Select a joint supplement that combines glucosamine with chondroitin; and make certain that the form of chondroitin used is low molecular weight so the digestive system is able to absorb and use it most efficiently.

Step 2) Look for a broad spectrum enzyme supplement to be included in the formula to further enhance the bioavailability and activity of these specialized supplemental building blocks and others supplied by food.

Step 3) This joint supplement must supply an appropriate antioxidant load to compensate for the natural age-related decline in antioxidant production; and to combat inflammation and any unknown toxins that may be contributing to joint degeneration. The supplement must include effective levels of ingredients like grape seed extract, boswellia serrata, vitamin C and vitamin D. If these are not all included add a Vitamin/Mineral supplement to the regimen. This additional supplement should cover these vitamin cofactors but may not supply the herbal antioxidants. The herbal antioxidants are usually part of a properly formulated joint formula.

Step 4) Use a properly proportioned Omega-3, Omega-6 supplement that supplies the common cold water fish or marine sourced polyunsaturated fats like DHA and EPA but also supplies the true essential fat that fish oils cannot deliver – omega-6 linoleic acid. Supplement daily with this fatty acid supplement to help lower inflammation, improve skin and support healthy immunity. The supplement designed for human fatty acid needs is not the best choice for the metabolism of your dog. A species specific formula must be used for each of you – two different products – appropriately designed to meet your different essential fatty acid needs.

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