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Tag: national academy of sciences

Joint supplements often lacking, report says

Arthritis supplements for dogs, cats and horses sometimes skimp on the ingredients, an independent laboratory has found.

Four of the six joint supplements for animals tested by ConsumerLab.com lacked the amounts of glucosamine or chondroitin promised on their labels or had other flaws, according to a report by the Associated Press.

“There is and there always has been” a quality problem, although many companies do a good job, said Mark Blumenthal of the American Botanical Council, which tracks research on herbal products.

Even when these supplements contain what they claim, there is little evidence that they work, veterinary experts say.

“You can’t ask a dog or a cat to give you a subjective impression of how they’re feeling after taking the product for several days. They can’t say, ‘On a scale of 1 to 5, I feel better or worse,’” Blumenthal said.

Up to one-third of dogs and cats in the U.S. are given supplements, a government report estimates. Sales of pet supplements have roughly doubled since 2003, to nearly $1 billion a year in the United States.

Few high-quality studies have tested the effectiveness of animal supplements. The Food and Drug Administration says these products are not bound by quality rules for human ones.

“Many people presume that supplements are safer than drugs, but the reality is that there is very limited safety data on dietary supplements for horses, dogs, and cats,” the panel concluded.To see the National Academy of Sciences report on supplements for animals, click here.

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