Many of us today have used dietary supplements to treat our own health concerns, and have experienced the benefits that these supplements provide in dealing with everything from arthritis to dry skin. So it’s easy to understand why pet owners are interested to know if there are any supplements that can be of benefit to their pets. So we asked Dr. Beedle to explain more about the supplements that Frontier’s Veterinarians commonly recommend for their patients.
The term “nutraceutical” combines the word “nutrient” (a nourishing food or food component) with “pharmaceutical” (a medical drug). The North American Veterinary Council has defined a nutraceutical as: ” a [non-drug] substance which is produced in a purified or extracted form and administered orally to a patient to provide agents required for normal body structure and function and administered with the intent of improving the health and wellbeing of animals.” Nutraceuticals are not regulated by the FDA.
A dietary supplement is defined as a preparation intended to supplement the diet and provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, or amino acids, which may be missing or may not be consumed in sufficient quantities in a diet.
The main reason for using nutraceuticals and supplements in veterinary medicine is to help certain chronic diseases. Some nutraceuticals and supplements also have additive effects on medications. The benefit is that we can use less medications, reducing harmful side effects, if any.
The nutraceuticals and supplements that we offer at Frontier are:
Omega 3 fatty acids: These have been shown to reduce the body’s inflammatory response, which has shown to be most effective at reducing the itching/inflammation of the skin. They may also reduce inflammation within the joints as well for arthritis patients, and beneficial effects on the heart.
SAMe (s-adenyl-L-methione): antioxidant – found in normal liver cells to help with vital liver functions . Helps to form certain amino acids that help with oxidative injury.
Vitamin E: antioxidant – protects against cell membrane oxidative injury
Milk Thistle: antioxidant – increases enzyme within body that acts against oxidative damage
Glucosamine: an essential component of glyclosaminoglycans, which is found in tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Glucosamine helps to decrease the destruction of cartilage in joints. It suppresses free radicals that damage cartilage, and inhibits an enzyme that normally degrades the cartilage in the body.
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane): an organic compound that provides sulfur, a vital building block of joints, cartilage, skin, hair and nails. Also methyl groups, which support many vital biochemical processes in the body, including energy production.
Fortiflora is a powder containing non-pathogenic bacteria that when ingested exert a positive effect on the host’s health and/or physiology. The theory is that probiotics protect against other pathogenic bacteria and boost the immune system.
Viralys Powder or Lysine treats
Lysine: an amino acid that is thought to compete with arginine for incorporation into many herpes viruses. It is believed that arginine is required for producing infective viral particles, so when lysine is incorporated, the virus becomes less infective. In cats, the herpes virus is the most common cause of upper-respiratory illness, including sneezing and congestion.