If you are a regular reader of this column, you know that I am a strong advocate of safe approaches to dealing with your pet's arthritis. Certainly, I have made it clear that the use of a pharmaceutical quality liquid glucosamine is my preferred approach as opposed to prescription drugs that have the potential to cause serious side effects.
However, in the past 10 to 12 months, we have seen a couple of newcomers enter our industry making claims that are not supported by clinical evidence. I think this is an important issue and one that you should be aware of.
Pets vs. Humans
Liquid glucosamine is effective in handling arthritis in both pets and humans. The only difference is the amount of the product that a pet is given which is dictated by body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds and are taking 1/4 ounce of liquid glucosamine daily, the dosage for your 75-pound pet is 1/8 ounce. Since this is the case, is there any evidence that tells us how many milligrams of glucosamine your pet needs daily?
The correct dosage and who needs more?
The basic claim being made by these companies is that you must use a product that contains at least 1500 mg of glucosamine. To support that argument, they cite historical studies that have been conducted on humans. The question is do those studies support an argument that you have to use 1500 mg of liquid glucosamine?
Those companies are not presenting the facts correctly. Most of the clinical studies used a pill or capsule form of glucosamine; others used injections. Additional studies have clearly demonstrated that pills (or capsules) are not as absorbable as a liquid form and in fact, the liquid absorbs at four to eight times the rate.
That means that far less liquid glucosamine is needed than when a pill or capsule form is used. Any argument that your pet (or any human for that matter) needs 1500 mg daily is simply not true.
Let's just put it this way…
The bottom line is that when using a liquid glucosamine to handle your pet's arthritis, he or she is getting more than enough at around 800 mg a day. Given the evidence regarding the absorption of liquids vs. pills, a product that provides 1200 to 1250 mg of glucosamine is going to do the job very effectively.
Is there any evidence that "more is better?"
This is a pretty straight forward question. There is absolutely no clinical evidence to support a theory that using a liquid product that contains more glucosamine is going to provide better results--no evidence whatsoever.
As a pet owner and a consumer, you are entitled to the straight facts. Unfortunately, there are those who have used historical clinical findings to draw an incorrect conclusion; I would submit that it has been done to sway your purchase decision.
The only real answer you are looking for is to make your pet a healthier, happier one no matter how bad their arthritis problems may be. In making a purchase decision, you are entitled to the straight facts.
J.R. Rogers is the founder and President of Activex America, Inc. makers of Liquid Glucosamine Formula Syn-flex®