Glucosamine and Chondroitin have been used to treat osteoarthritis in Europe for over twenty years. Recently, physicians and veterinarians in the United States have begun to prescribe this product for their patients and have been extremely happy with the results. These products are proving to be one of the safest and best treatments for the crippling effects of osteoarthritis that affects millions of aging dogs throughout the United States.
Despite the fact that the benefits of these glucosamine and chondroitin products have been known for over twenty years, many people question why these products are just now being used in the United States. The answer lies in the fact that glucosamine and chondroitin are not products that can be patented, and therefore, offer little incentive to the large pharmaceutical companies to develop a product. Pharmaceutical companies spend millions in research and development and need a patented product to guarantee sales and to recoup their investment.
Another issue is that glucosamine and chondroitin are considered nutraceuticals and are not strictly controlled by the FDA. They are naturally occurring substances in many food products and fall in the same class as vitamins. Despite the overwhelmingly positive studies done in Europe, American researchers still refused to perform controlled studies. In fact, literature searches show that there are hardly any North American studies done on these products. But all this is quickly changing. Because of the huge number of humans and pets suffering from osteoarthritis and the tremendous success in the treatment of this disease when using glucosamine and chondroitin, many companies are now producing a product line and several broad research studies are underway.