Why green lipped mussel extract is the best joint supplement for dogs?
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Why green lipped mussel extract is the best joint supplement for dogs?

What is Green Lipped Mussel Extract?

  • The New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel (GLM), a shellfish found off the coast of New Zealand seems to contain the therapeutic agents needed to treat one of the most debilitating diseases of our time.
  • Almost 92% of brands worldwide use GLME as one of the ingredients in their food supplement.
  • Green Lipped Mussel Extract (GLME) has now been subjected to more than forty years of quality scientific research and proven in laboratory and clinical trials, to be effective in treating both rheumatoid and osteo forms of arthritis.

 Composition of Green Lipped Mussel

  • GLME contains anti-inflammatory agents, immune modulators and many essential building blocks –
  • proteins, minerals, glycosaminoglycans and marine long chain fatty acids – all naturally occurring substantial therapeutic agents known to maintain joint mobility & well-being
  • They are needed to rebuild collagen, proteoglycans and synovial fluid found in the joints, ligaments and tendons.
  • It is important to note that GLME contains a natural content of glycosaminoglycans. This is the name for a group of polysaccharides which includes chondroitin sulphate, dermatan sulphate, hyaluronic acid etc.
  • These glycosaminoglycans are used by the body for the biosynthesis of compounds called proteoglycans. The proteoglycans have a very strong affinity for water molecules in the joints, to which they bind, and form very large, slippery, space filling molecules.
  • The function of these large combination molecules is to act as shock absorbers and also lubricants in the joints.

We have therefore, in GLME, anti-inflammatory activity which is necessary to relieve the inflammatory component of osteoarthritis coupled with chondroprotective activity which relieves the physical problem of degenerative joint condition (osteo arthritis).

There is one further point which is worthy of mention here and this relates to the increased rate of cartilage degeneration in the joints in arthritic disease and also in advanced age. In young animals and those not affected by arthritis, the rate of cartilage degeneration in the joints is equalled by that of regeneration. In the older animal and in arthritic disease states this balance is upset leading to a reduction in the padding and lubrication of the joints. Certain cytokine induced enzyme activity is known to accelerate the breakdown of cartilage process and the inhibition of this enzymic activity is thus very desirable. GLME has been shown in laboratory studies to inhibit cytokine activity which would lead to the production of cells responsible for this process.

Joint problem in dogs

Just as we are prone to body aches and hip joint pains, dogs often experience soreness and stiffness as they grow old and begin to suffer from degenerative joint conditions. Osteoarthritis is especially common among aging dogs, affecting 20% over the age of one. The tell-tale signs are there if you notice carefully, the dog has slowed down, has trouble getting up, moves stiffly and maybe even favours a leg. Though they can’t express it in words, the dog starts to feel his age.

How GLME works on a dog’s joint?

GLME has two distinct anti-inflammatory activities naturally present.

The principal anti-inflammatory activity is due to a carbohydrate complex which has the ability to inhibit the emigration of neutrophils from the blood vessels. What this means in everyday terms is that soldier cells (neutrophils) are inhibited from attacking our own cells when an inflammatory stimulus is present. This is an oversimplified explanation of neutrophil action but, hopefully explains why the inhibition of this activity helps to reduce inflammation. This same mechanism is performed by some anti-inflammatory drugs.

The second anti-inflammatory activity is due to the effect of the natural content of some long chain fatty acids on cyclo-oxygenase activities. These cyclo-oxygenase (COX) compounds are enzymes which the body uses to biosynthesise chemicals called prostaglandins. There are two forms of these COX enzymes. COX 1 is constitutive and a natural component of normal tissue. It performs important functions in our body. The other form (COX 2) is induced when an inflammatory state, such as arthritis is present and it produces pro-inflammatory prostaglandins. It is therefore desirable to inhibit this enzymic activity.

Anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin, Indomethacin and Phenylbutazone  perform this function effectively but, unfortunately, they  inhibit both COX 1 and COX 2 activities  thus inhibitng the production of the prostaglandins which are needed for the protection of the stomach lining, helping kidney function and also some blood characteristics.  GLME has the very desirable, and most important benefit, of inhibiting just the COX 2 activity which produces the damaging prostaglandins whilst not influencing the necessary ones.

Is Green Lipped Mussel Extract safe for your dog?

Green lipped mussel can be given to any animal as long as they don’t have any seafood allergy or gout that can worsen the condition and symptoms of the dogs. It is very essential to talk to a veterinarian before introducing any new foods and supplement in the dogs diet as it is very important to keep a look out for any strange reaction or behaviour in the pet. GLME is a natural food product so any negative reactions to this supplement can be very rare.

Dosage of GLME required for your arthritic dog

The age and weight of your pet must be considered when deciding the correct dosage of GLM. The best rule to follow is 15mg of powdered extract per 1 pound of your dogs body weight. Size and the severity of the disease in the dogs joints is very important. If you do not see any improvement in the first 2-4 weeks after starting the supplement you can increase the dosage a little but once your pets health starts to improve you can decrease the dosage back to the right calculation mentioned above. The easiest way to supplement the GLME into your dog’s diet is to add the powder directly on their food.

Points to remember

  • Always remember before buying any supplement research the product properly and find out if it has any long term side effects or is harmful to the dog in any way.
  • Joint supplements are more effective when started at a young age in dogs.
  • Many Supplements contain added vitamins and minerals always check to see if the amount of these ingredients contained per dosage is enough to show some benefits or not.
  • Mostly, the amount of fatty acids present in such joint supplements is fine for promoting healthy skin and shiny coats but it does not help in fighting the joint degeneration problem.
  • Always speak with the vet before starting any new supplement or medication.
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