Tag Archives: Immune support

Supplements for Pet Health

PetHealthJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

 

 

Similar to their human companions, pets are living longer and owners are seeking ways to pre-emptively support their pet’s health and bodily functions as they age. Whether you feed your pet good quality commercially prepared food, home cooked meals, or a combination of the two, pet dietary supplements can complement the diet and help maintain optimal health. A nutritionally balanced diet must take into account breed, age, weight, activity, general physiology and overall health. Even with high quality commercially prepared pet food, some worry that the processing, which keeps foods shelf-stable and bacteria-free, may reduce the nutrient value of the food. Though popular, preparing pet meals at home is a time consuming process that requires research and planning. It can be difficult to ensure your pet’s nutritional balance with a homemade diet, and nutritional imbalances can pose a threat to your pet’s health.

Video Supplements For Animals

Nearly one third of dogs in the U.S. take multivitamin supplements daily. A multivitamin and mineral supplement can benefit overall health and support the immune system. Additionally, pet dietary supplements can be useful in fortifying the health of a young pet and can target issues that arise as pets age. If your pet is not doing well on the food you are using, consider making a change, and make sure your pet gets the essential nutrients necessary to thrive. For pets that are growing, aging, active, overweight, competitive, picky eaters or that have health challenges, supplements can help to balance the diet and provide those essential nutrients. And just like a supplement a person might take, pet supplements should come from a reputable supplier and should be well tolerated, safe and effective. It’s best to purchase supplements that are specifically manufactured for pets in order to confirm that:

  • Ingredients are appropriate by age or condition
  • The supplement avoids any ingredients that may not be suitable for pets
  • The label provides the information to ensure accurate dosage

Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM for joint health –  Although both younger and older dogs can develop joint problems, size and weight is most definitely a factor. While pets often hide pain, eventually an owner will notice the pet is having difficulties with formerly common or enjoyable activities. Glucosamine supports overall joint cartilage health and is useful for joint disorders, such as osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. Chondroitin supplementation is useful for overall health support and is beneficial for older dogs with joint or mobility issues. MSM is well known for its joint health benefits, including decreased pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

Probiotics and fiber for digestive problemsProcessed pet foods may not contain the beneficial microorganisms that support digestive health. Like their humans, pets can experience an improper balance of intestinal microbes. Supplementation with probiotics can restore a healthy balance and relieve irritated stomachs or digestive upset. Fiber supplements may be appropriate for dogs who suffer from constipation, diarrhea or other GI problems.

Omega-3’s for skin, coat and overall health Essential fatty acids support healthy, shiny coats and help control inflammation and swelling resulting from itching, allergies or skin irritations.  Fatty acids help to maintain healthy skin, promote a healthy functioning immune system, and support joint flexibility, brain function and heart health.

Immune support –The immune system plays a major role in the defense against illness and disease. Carotenoids, antioxidants and phytonutrients stimulate immune defenses, reduce oxidative stress, and aid the fight against cancer causing free radicals.

Stress relief – When you pet is stressed, he or she may appear overly anxious or depressed. You may notice a decreased appetite, lethargy or gastrointestinal issues. When other medical causes are ruled out, you can help by paying more attention to your pet, creating a safe zone where your pet can retreat and relax, and providing a well-balanced diet.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements for dogs and cats to support their health and wellness and enhance their quality of life:

Dog Gone Pain (VETERINARY PRODUCT)

 

Dog Gone Pain by American Biosciences – Specifically formulated to help support joint mobility and flexibility this product provides a blend of quality ingredients, including marine collagen, botanicals and enzymes, to help ease aches, pains and discomfort.

Joint Maintenance for DogsJoint Maintenance for Dogs by Dancing Paws – This protective formula, designed for active breeds or breeds prone to developing joint degeneration and soreness, provides specific support for long term joint maintenance in an easy to administer chewable wafer.

 

Advanced Skin & Coat Support (VETERINARY PRODUCT)Advanced Skin & Coat Support by 3 Green Dogs – This premium dietary supplement was specially formulated to provide nutrients that support healthy skin, a beautiful hair coat and a healthy inflammatory response. Manufactured under strict federal cGMP guidelines, this superior formula is fortified with an enhanced, proprietary blend of green antioxidants, vitamins A, D, and E and EPA and DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids.

Formula V1 Vet-Zimes (VETERINARY PRODUCT)
Formula V1 Vet-Zimes by Ness Enzymes – This formula for dogs provides highly active, concentrated enzymes designed to promote optimal digestion and assimilation of protein, carbs, fats, fiber and other nutrients in support of overall wellness.

 

Formula V2 Vet-Zimes (VETERINARY PRODUCT)

Formula V2 Vet-Zimes by Ness Enzymes – This formula provides digestive enzymes, plus the amino acid taurine, in a formula that helps cats assimilate food and properly use proteins, carbs, fats and fibers.

 

Immugen (VETERINARY PRODUCT)Immugen by Thorne Vet – This exceptional, comprehensive immune support formula is designed to provide vitamins, minerals, botanicals, glandulars, and other key nutrients to optimize immune system function in both dogs and cats. Non-GMO, vegetarian formula.

 

Calming For Small DogsCalming For Small Dogs by Pet Naturals of Vermont – This advanced formula is designed to alleviate stress related behavior by supporting neurotransmitter balance and relaxation. Recommended for separation anxiety, vet or grooming appointments, boredom, traveling or fear related to loud noises.

References:
10 Myths and Misperceptions About Homemade Dog Food. http://thebark.com/content/10-myths-and-misperceptions-about-homemade-dog-food?page=3
Essential Nutrients for Dogs and Cats. http://www.banfield.com/pet-health-resources/preventive-care/nutrition/essential-nutrients-for-dogs-and-cats-minerals

Super Shrooms

MagicMusroomJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

While lacking the color found in many brightly hued fruits and vegetables, mushrooms have been revered since ancient times for their powerful health promoting benefits and their unique nutritional characteristics.  Often categorized as a vegetable, mushrooms are neither plant nor animal but are actually part of their own distinctive fungi kingdom.  Mushrooms provide many of the nutritional elements of vegetables, as well as proteins and amino acids commonly found in meat, beans and grains.  Mushrooms offer immunomodulating and anti-inflammatory properties.  Research shows that mushrooms have a positive impact on blood lipids, blood glucose, immunity and weight control.  Along with powerful antioxidants and important vitamins and minerals, mushrooms contain so many good for you nutrients you may want to consider consuming them daily along with your 5-a-day vegetable servings.

  • Low in calories and sodium, mushrooms are fat-free and gluten-free and have a very low glycemic index, which helps keep blood sugar stable.    
  • Mushrooms are a great source of B vitamins including riboflavin, which helps to maintain healthy blood cells; niacin, which promotes healthy skin and aids the digestive and nervous systems; and pantothenic acid, which aids hormone production and also aids the nervous system.  Mushrooms also contain folate, biotin, and bioavailable vitamin B12, similar to the B12 found in beef liver and fish. 
  • Mushrooms are rich in the essential antioxidant selenium and in ergothioneine, a naturally occurring antioxidant. 
  • Mushrooms contain copper, which provides bone and nerve support and aids oxygen transport.  Additional minerals include phosphorus, necessary for energy metabolism, and chromium, which increases insulin effectiveness and aids blood glucose control in diabetics.
  • Mushrooms contain high levels of potassium, a mineral that helps control blood pressure and helps maintain normal fluid and mineral balance. 
  • Beta-glucans found in many mushroom species have strong immunity-boosting effects. 
  • Like humans, mushrooms generate naturally occurring vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. 
  • The truly unique proteins found in mushrooms, including lectins, are believed to have  anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties. 

Health benefits of mushrooms include:

  • Heart health – Australian research has shown that mushrooms contain a type of fiber that has a statin-like effect, lowering blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels and improving lipid metabolism.  The first generations of statins, cholesterol lowering drugs, were made from fungi. The combination of potassium and low sodium helps to lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of high blood pressure. 
  • Weight control – Research from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health showed that dietary fibers contained in mushrooms have a positive effect on weight by increasing the feeling of satiety.  The study also concluded that people who included mushrooms in their daily meals actually consumed fewer calories overall.  Their rich savory flavor, known as umami, comes primarily from natural free glutamates, which may help to control appetite. 
  • Immune support – Naturally high in antioxidant content, mushrooms help to stimulate the immune system by enhancing the natural killer T-cells’ immune response and by protecting blood cells and other cells from free radical damage.  Ergothioneine appears to function as an intra-mitochondrial antioxidant, acting as a DNA protectant and slowing down oxidation and the cell aging process. 

There are approximately 140,000 species of mushroom-forming fungi, and about 100 species are currently being studied for their health benefits, especially their anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties.  As humans, we are closely related to fungi as we share the same pathogens. As a result, fungi have developed strong antibiotics, which work well against human pathogens.  Antibiotics such as penicillin, streptomycin and tetracycline are made from fungal extracts.  Fungi have also made important contributions to western medicine as the source of immunosuppressant and antifungal medications. 

As each mushroom species has its own unique health promoting benefits, blends of synergistic organic mushrooms, such as Shiitake, Reishi, Cordyceps and Turkey Tail, are valued as Mother Nature’s little medicinal powerhouses in traditional Asian, Japanese and Tibetan medicine.  Medicinal mushrooms are an excellent adjunct to a healthy diet and lifestyle in support of vitality, immune health and overall wellness.  

Here are some products I recommend:

ImmunoKinoko AHCC
ImmunoKinoko AHCC by Quality of Life Labs – This patented extract of hybridized medicinal mushrooms is uniquely rich in alpha-glucans.  Backed by over 20 clinical studies, AHCC provides one of the world’s most researched natural immunomodulators in support of immune function. 
 
 
 M/R/S Mushroom Formula
 M/R/S Mushroom Formula by Pure Encapsulations
Provides a dynamic combination of maitake, reishi, and shiitake for promoting optimal immune system health and exceptional broad-spectrum physiological support.
 
 
 
Mycotaki
 
 Mycotaki by Metagenics – This powerful formula for enhanced health features a proprietary concentrated extract of 7 nourishing mushrooms including Turkey Tail, Reishi, Shiitake, Cordyceps and Maitake.