Where Does Glucosamine for Dogs Come From?
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring amino sugar, and is used to construct bones and cartilage. Because of this, it is found in animals and fish. Glucosamine is also used in some basic cellular structures that help cells maintain their shape. This means it can also be found in plants and fungi.
One of the most concentrated sources of glucosamine is in the shells of shellfish. This is where most glucosamine products come from. The shellfish (often shrimp shells) are ground up and put in an acidic solution. The glucosamine is then isolated, concentrated, and cleaned. Through this process, pure glucosamine is derived, and the solution is dried.
Glucosamine can also be derived from grains such as corn. A fermentation process with corn allows the extraction of the glucosamine.
It has been suggested that cooking meats with the bone would cause glucosamine to move from bones to the meat, and thereby be ingested and absorbed. There is little to no evidence for this, so the claim is suspect at this time.
Because most glucosamine is manufactured from shellfish, individuals with a shellfish allergy should use caution. The production process that separates and refines glucosamine is designed to remove all other components, including the proteins that trigger the shellfish allergic reaction. Despite this, glucosamine is manufactured in facilities with shellfish. Any cross contamination between the raw materials and the finished product, however unlikely, would pose a risk to a person with a shellfish allergy.
How is Glucosamine Produced, Live Strong (accessed 8/2011)