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Keys to Healthy Joints in Dogs: Plant-Based Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Keys to Healthy Joints in Dogs: Plant-Based Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Glucosamine and chondroitin are two complementary nutrients found ubiquitously in joint supplements, but what are they, where do they come from, and what do they do?

Both nutrients are typically derived from animal products, and as such run the risk of causing allergic responses in sensitized individuals. However, plant-based alternatives are available – read on!


Glucosamine is an amino sugar precursor for glycoprotein and glycosaminoclygan production. It is considered to be chondroprotective, meaning it may help support articular cartilage in joints by stimulating chondrocytes, incorporating sulfur into cartilage and altering gene expression, and is a component of hyaluronic acid, found in articular cartilage and synovial fluid within joints. Sadly, glucosamine is often derived from the exoskeletons of crustaceans or shellfish, however, vegetable sources do exist! GreenGrown® Glucosamine uses the process of fermentation to produce glucosamine from plant tissues, and the product is so identical to glucosamine obtained from animals that standard testing methods can’t even tell them apart! This means GreenGrown® Glucosamine provides the same potential benefits of conventional animal-derived glucosamine without the loss of life.


Chondroitin is a polysaccharide found in articular cartilage, ligaments and connective tissues and is commonly derived from cartilage collected from sharks or cattle, though also obtainable from the tissues of other fish, crustaceans, squid, whales, pigs and chickens. Often, chondroitin is dosed in conjunction with glucosamine in joint health products, with the intention of providing the nutritional precursors for cartilage synthesis and joint lubrication. Though plants do not synthesize chondroitin, there are sea vegetables that do produce its components, thus making the creation of a plant-based chondroitin analogue possible! PhytodroitinTM is a blend of seaweed extracts providing the same mucopolysaccharide and glucuronic acid components as animal-derived chondroitin. Sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca) contains a sulfated polysaccharide named ulvan, a source of glucuronic acid, one of the key components of chondroitin, while rockweed (Fucaceae fucus vesiculosus) provides the sulfated polysaccharide fucoidan.Together, these components constitute the building blocks of chondroitin without any animal-derived ingredients. Furthermore, both ulvan and fucoidan have their additional potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anticoagulant, anti hyperlipidemic, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, antibiotic and antiviral activities.

Together, plant-based glucosamine and chondroitin may provide benefits not only to canine joints, but in their general health as well. Vivus Pets' Joint and Mobility Support Supplement contains both plant-based glucosamine and chondroitin and other beneficial nutrients that help to alleviate joint pain and discomfort and support joint and cartilage mobility. The natural and plant-powered active ingredients provide functional support without the risk of adverse side effects.

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