Omega-3 fatty acids for relief of allergic skin disease and treatment of arthritis

Omega-3 supplementation for the health of skin and joints

Omega 3 fatty acids and skin diseaseWe are always looking for ways to enhance the health of our patients, your pets. Two of the conditions we face on a daily basis are allergies and arthritis. In fact, it is safe to say that collectively, we see pets affected by these chronic illnesses many times every week.
You (our clients) often express concerns about the cost and potential side effects of prescriptions that are frequently used to treat allergies and arthritis. We share your concerns.
Many non-prescription supplements are widely used in humans to alleviate allergies and arthritis. One of the supplements often taken is Omega-3 fatty acid. The source of Omega-3 FA is usually listed as “fish oil”. Who hasn’t seen displays of Omega-3 fatty acids in every retail pharmacy, warehouse store or grocery store? They must work, right, or why would they be so popular?

The answer to this is YES, they do work. There are scientific studies verifying the benefits of Omega-3 for both skin and arthritic conditions. If you are interested in reading one actual journal article verifying the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in dogs with arthritis, Multicenter assessment of effects of omega-3 fatty acids in osteoarthritis in dogs.

If Omega-3 fatty acids are known to be effective in preventing and treating allergic skin disease and arthritis, why not just buy a bottle of this product at the retail store and feed it to your dog?
That is a fair question. After all, if it is good enough for you, it is good enough for your dog. There must be some standard that nutraceutical products (dietary supplements or products not listed as drugs) are held to, right?
The answer depends on who you believe.  According to one source,

” Despite the international movement within the industry, professional organizations, academia, and health regulatory agencies to add specific legal and scientific criterion to the definition and standards for nutraceuticals, within the United States the term is not regulated by FDA. The FDA still uses a blanket term of “dietary supplement” for all substances without distinguishing their efficacy, manufacturing process, supporting scientific research, and increased health benefits.”

There are many cases where the standards used in production of dietary supplements or nutraceuticals have been shown to be very inadequate, allowing inferior or even adulterated products to be sold to the public.

Regarding Omega-3 dietary supplements, there are basically three forms in all retail products:
Ethyl Ester
Triglyceride
Free Fatty acid

Bioavailability
From the same source cited above it states:
“Bioavailability – Bioavailability, which can be thought of as the “absorption rate” of a supplement product, is one of the main challenges in finding effective nutraceutical products. Among unprocessed foods, not all foods are broken down and digested as effectively. Nutraceuticals with poor absorption rates results in nutrients being disposed from the body without providing any nutritional or medicinal benefit.”

In the case of omega-3 fatty acids, studies have shown that if a person or pet were to consume 100 mg of omega-3 FA, the absorption would vary as follows:
Ethyl Ester – 20%
Triglyceride – 70%
Free form – 90%

What does this mean for my pet?
We carry a product, “Free form Snip tips” which is manufactured in a facility that is held to FDA standards for purity and consistency. In other words, what it says on the bottle is what is actually in each capsule. The form of omega-3 FA is the “free form” meaning that this has the highest possible bioavailability.
We offer a few diets that have been proven to improve dog’s ability to rise, walk and play after 6-12 weeks.
We also offer Free Form snip tips for pets suffering with allergic skin disease as well as those with pain from osteoarthritis.
The recommended dose of Omega-3 fatty acids is higher for the prevention and treatment of arthritis compared to skin disease.

Please call the clinic for more information.

Additional resources:

http://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/article/function-follows-form-5-8249

Hill’s JD diet

http://www.hillspet.com/products/pd-canine-jd-canine-mobility-dry.html

Purina JM diet

http://www.purinaveterinarydiets.com/Product/JMJointMobilityDogFood.aspx