Natural Products Insider

NOV-DEC 2018

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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102 INSIDER November/December 2018 Fifty years ago, pet supplements were virtually unheard of except for the odd vitamin product. Today, poised to enter the third decade of the new millennium, that picture has changed dramatically. "Pet Supplements Market in the U.S., 6th edition" conservatively estimated sales topped the US$600 million mark in 2017. According to a Technavio market research report, the pet supplements market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 5 percent during the next four years. The Americas accounted for 42 percent of global sales. Canine products and the joint health category dominated. This fi ts with the major factors believed to be driving the market—shifting priorities leading to the humanization of pets, and a growing emphasis on being proactive about pet health with natural substances. Young people are marrying and having children later, if at all. This has contributed to the switch from seeing the family dog as a pet to a "fur baby." Owners are looking to protect their pet's mobility as it ages. Older owners are also aware of the effects of age on joint function and may themselves have experienced the benefi ts of joint supplements. Another plus is the high visibility of joint supplements. Since the publication of Jason Theodosakis' book, "The Arthritis Cure," in 1996, and countless articles and television features that followed, people have become familiar with the concept of joint nutraceuticals and the names of many of the more common ingredients. What they perceive as safe and trust for their own use carries over to what they will give to their animals. Ingredients The structure and function of mammalian joints is the same across species, and many ingredients used to support human joint function are also appropriate for a dog. Two important, time-honored and proven choices are glucosamine sulfate (or chloride) and chondroitin sulfate. Glucosamine, as the name suggests, is a glucose molecule with an amine (NH2) group attached. It is the precursor for chondroitin sulfate, which is a major constituent of joint cartilage and contributes to its resistance to compression by virtue of its ability to retain fl uid in the cartilage matrix. Supplementation with both glucosamine and chondroitin is documented to reduce systemic markers of infl ammation. 1 A proteonomic study demonstrated the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin synergistically worked to preserve cartilage and encourage production of hyaluronic acid (HA) and collagen. 2 A randomized, double-blind, positive- controlled multicentric study compared the response of arthritic dogs to either the anti-infl ammatory drug Carprofen or a combined glucosamine and chondroitin supplement. 3 Although response was slower, signifi cant improvement was noted in the glucosamine/chondroitin group. Response to type-II collagen, both alone and in combination with glucosamine and chondroitin, has been evaluated with dogs using force plate testing, which gives an arthritis pain specifi c evaluation in terms of the force of movement. 4 Type-II collagen was found to result in signifi cant improvements. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) has shown to offer both antioxidant 5 and anti-infl ammatory 6 properties. It has been documented as effective in relieving pain alone, as well as in combination with boswellic acid, and clinical results compare favorably to glucosamine. 7 Both MSM and boswellia are being utilized in canine joint products. Oral hyaluronate salt of HA is a relative newcomer to joint supplementation, with proven oral bioavailability in dogs. 8 It has also been evaluated, as part of a combination supplement, for prophylactic and therapeutic effect in canine elbow dysplasia. 9 That study concluded oral treatment "may have a potential cumulative action that provides protection against elbow dysplasia and signifi cantly improves symptoms of elbow dysplasia." Other support nutrients and botanicals appropriate for canine supplements include devil's claw, turmeric, superoxide dismutase, bromelain, phellodendron extract and eggshell membrane matrix. Delivery Traditionally, pet supplement delivery options were primarily hard tablets or powders for mixing into food. Tablets often had to be buried inside a palatable treat to get the dog to consume them. Even fl avored tablets were not an optimal vehicle since cat and dog dentition is not designed for masticating hard tablets. While there is still a place for these options, soft chews are coming into their own. Searching the online pet goods supplier brought up more than 600 soft and chewy dog treats, including offerings from the iconic Milk-Bone ® hard biscuit brand. Likewise, soft chew supplements are a natural outgrowth, with showing approximately 1,400 options for dogs. Uncooked soft chews are compatible with even fragile ingredients such as omega-3 fatty acids. They can accommodate generous dosages for large breeds or be scaled down for smaller animals. The consistency is readily, easily and effi ciently consumed, even by older dogs, which are the most likely to receive a joint support supplement. Animal-targeted fl avorings such as brewer's yeast and liver make supplements more like treats. Owners identify with providing their pets a pleasurable experience that parallels their own use of soft chew supplements. Eleanor Kellon, staff veterinar y specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition (, has been an established authority in the fi eld of equine nutrition for over 30 years, and a founding member and leader of the Equine Cushings and Insulin Resistance (ECIR, group, whose mission is to improve the welfare of horses with metabolic disorders via integration of research and real-life clinical experience. Prevention of laminitis is the ultimate goal. Ingredient Research Shows Benefits to Pets' Joints by Eleanor M. Kellon, D.V.M. Animal Nutrition For a list of references, email

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