Is Glucosamine for Dogs Natural?
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring amino sugar critical to the construction of bones and cartilage. It is also used to help cells maintain their structure. As a result, it is found in virtually every food, including meat, fish, shellfish, plants and fungi. In most foods, the amount of glucosamine is extremely low and bound to other molecules that make it difficult or impossible to absorb. There are a few concentrated sources of glucosamine where the glucosamine can be extracted through manufacturing processes and supplied in a form that dogs can absorb.
The shells of shellfish are one of the most concentrated sources of glucosamine. The glucosamine is bound in the chitin that makes up the shell, making the glucosamine difficult or impossible to absorb. Because of this, eating shrimp with the shell on will not provide glucosamine in a form that is usable. Manufacturing processes extract, refine and prepare glucosamine so that it can be easily ingested and absorbed.
Some grains, such as corn, contain sufficient amounts of glucosamine for it to be extracted through a fermentation process.
Bones and cartilage contain high concentrations of glucosamine, as this is a critical building block. Because of this, some have suggested that cooking meat with the bone may allow glucosamine to be absorbed by the meat, and in turn, the person or animal eating the meat, but there is no evidence supporting this.
Where Does Glucosamine Come From? eHow (accessed 8/2011)