Did you know that since nutritional supplement are not considered drugs, but rather are closer in definition to food, they are not strictly regulated by the the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? This effects veterinarians and pet owners because we often prescribe, or want to use nutritional supplements to help aid in disease. The truth is that "short changing" or improper processing of ingredients are unfortunately common occurences with nutritional supplements, so chosing a reputable manufacturer is important. Read more information on FDA nutritional supplement regulations here.
"Short Changing" is when there is actually less amount of the ingredient in the supplement then what the label claims. A study from the University of Maryland on glucosamine chondrotin nutritional supplements showed that 84% of the products tested did not meet label claims.
Read the full University of Maryland article here: Adebowale A, Cox D, Liang Z, Eddington N. Analysis of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate content in marketed products and the Caco-2 permeability of chondroitin sulfate raw materials. JANA 2000;3(1):37–44.
Improper or no processing of a raw material may also make that supplement ineffective. An example of this is with the nutritional supplement Milk Thistle, which is used to treat various liver diseases. The active ingredient in Milk Thistle is silymarin. This ingredient needs to be extracted from the raw Milk Thistle in order to be useful to the body. A label claim of simply "milk thistle" likely will be of no benefit to the patient.
consumerlab.com is another resource to help you evaluate nutritional supplements.
All of this information makes evaluating nutritional supplements is very confusing. At Westgate Pet Clinic, we wanted to offer supplements that we were confident were useful to your pet. This means that the ingedients claimed on the label are actually in the pill, and also that the supplement has been researched and proven effective in aiding whatever organ system we are trying to support.
After doing our reserach, we have chosen Nutramax Nutritional Supplements as the supplements we support and recommend. The research they have done on their products is outstanding, and they apply strigent product saftey and quality manufacturing standards into producing their supplements.
To learn more about Nutramax Laboratories, click here.
Click on the supplements listed below to learn more about how they work:
Proviable: Probiotics for Intestinal Health
Crananidin: To reduce E. Coli Urinary Tract Infections
Welactin: Essential Fatty Acids for Skin Health and as an Anti-inflammatory
Denamarin: Anti-oxidants for the Liver
Dasuquin For Joint Health