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bioavailability (<1%). A recent in vivo study in dogs with OA showed decreased gene expression for inflammatory mediators in dogs receiving curcumin compared to NSAIDs. In this study, the bioavailability of curcumin
was enhanced with a phytosome delivery (curcumin combined with phospholipids).
Boswellia serrata
Boswellia serrata is a large tree that grows in India, North Africa, and the Middle East. The resin of this tree, and other members of the Boswellia species, also known
as Indian frankincense and has been used for centuries to support joint health. One of the resin extracts, AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta boswellic acid), appears to
have the most potent anti-inflammatory effects and has been shown to support structural integrity of joints and connective tissues. In 2003, a randomized, double- blind, placebo-controlled study assessed the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of Boswellia serrata in human osteoarthritis. All patients in the group receiving the active drug reported increased knee flexion, increased walking distance, improvement in capacity to climb stairs and better kneeling, crossed-legged sitting, and squatting ability. In vitro studies have shown significant immunomodulatory and inflammation-modulating effects of Boswellia serrata. Possible modes of action for
AKBA include inhibition of the inflammatory mediator 5-lipoxygen-ase, cytokines (interleukins and TNF-α) and the complement system, as well as inhibition of NF-kB. In a prospective open multicenter study in dogs, statistically significant improvement was noted in lameness and pain in 71% of dogs. In a randomized, placebo controlled trial in naturally occurring OA in dogs, peak vertical force
and daily activity (measured via accelerometers) was in improved compared to baseline in groups receiving a supplement containing Boswellia.
Astaxanthin
This ingredient is naturally found in reddish-colored marine algae (Haematococcus pluvialis). It belongs to a group of compounds known as oxygenated carotenoids. Astaxanthin has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It scavenges free radicals and decreases
the development of nitric oxide. It is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants in nature. As comparison it is 6000 times stronger than Vitamin C, 800X stronger than CoQ10, 550X stronger than Vitamin E, 75X stronger
than α- Lipoic Acid, and 36X stronger than ß-Carotene. Astaxanthin reduces and prevents damage from free radicals by donating an electron. This will neutralize
the free radical without developing another. In a study, dogs that were fed astaxanthin showed enhanced immune response. Another prospective study in dogs showed astaxanthin alleviates age-related oxidative
and inflammatory damage and enhances mitochondrial function. This effect was greater in geriatric than young dogs. Also, in a study were exercise-conditioned dogs
were fed supplemental astaxanthin, they demonstrated increased plasma triglyceride levels pre-exercise and prevention of exercise-induced decreases in plasma glucose concentrations compared to controls. This shows astaxanthin may mitigate exercise-induced fatigue and improve exercise performance.
F. Velvet Antler
The underlying mechanisms of velvet antler (VA)
remain poorly understood. Molecules identified as having potentially important local roles in antlers include parathyroid hormone–related peptide and retinoic acid (RA). Both are present in the blastema and in the rapidly growing antler where they regulate the differentiation of fibroblasts, chondrocytes, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts in vitro. VA powder was evaluated on client-owned
dogs with osteoarthrosis in a clinical double-blind, and placebo-controlled study. Gait analysis measured with
a force plate, clinical signs assessed by an orthopedic surgeon, performances in daily life activities and vitality assessed by the owners, and complete blood analyses were obtained. Gait, performance in daily life activities, and vitality were significantly improved on VA. No clinical changes were revealed on blood analyses.
Moreau M, Dupuis J, Bonneau NH, Lécuyer M. Clinical evaluation of a powder of quality elk velvet antler for the treatment of osteoarthrosis in dogs. The Canadian Veterinary Journal. 2004;45(2):133-139.
G. Zeel
Zeel inhibit the metalloproteinases (MMPs), which
are enzymes such as hyaluronidase. It also has
inhibitor effects on the production of Leukotriene B4
by 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) and on the synthesis of prostaglandin PGE2 by COX-1 and 2 enzymes. In a study, dogs with moderate to severe OA receiving the HCP Zeel for 8 weeks had significantly less pain than their placebo peers.
H. Eggshell Membrane
Eggshell membrane (EM) is the thin, proteinaceous layer between the raw eggshell and the egg white is made primarily of proteins (>88%) and naturally rich in elastin, collagen and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). In vitro study has shown that eggshell membrane suppresses the release of TNF-α from stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. A recent prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed supplementation with EM, ~13.5 mg/kg (6 mg/lb) taken once daily, significantly reduced joint pain and improved joint function rapidly (CBPI 1 week) and demonstrated
a lasting improvement in joint pain (VCSA 6 weeks) leading to an improved quality of life (CBPI 6 weeks). Moreover, serum CTX-II (type II collagen) levels in EM- supplemented dogs was significantly improved versus
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