The following is quoted from Dr. Messonier's book The Arthritis Solution for Dogs in "The Natural Vet Series" of books published by Prima Pet.

Shark Cartilage

"Researchers have reported a link between blood vessel growth and the development of arthritis. In the joint fluid of arthritic pets, there is an increasing amount of a chemical called endothelial cell-stimulating angiogenic factor. This chemical encourages growth of new blood vessels in the arthritic joint. It is theorized that by inhibiting new blood vessel growth, further degeneration of cartilage might be prevented.

In the laboratory, shark cartilage has been shown to contain chemicals that inhibit blood vessel formation. Because arthritis is an inflammatory condition, and inflammation requires blood vessels, it has been suggested that shark cartilage can benefit arthritic pets by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels. And in fact, research has shown this to be the case. In studies in both people and in dogs, significant improvement is seen in patients suffering from arthritis. Arthritic pets and people taking shark cartilage supplements often experience increased mobility and decreased pain.

In one study, 8 of 10 dogs showed improvement when treated at a dosage of 750 mg per 5 kg of body weight for 3 weeks. Improvement was defined a no continuing lameness, lack of swelling and pain, and improved movement. When treatment was temporarily discontinued, pain and lameness returned.

....As a result of studies such as this one, many veterinarians feel it prudent to prescribe shark cartilage, as the supplement can be beneficial in some pets with arthritis and can substitute for therapy with medications liks NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) that have potential side effects."

In comparison to bovine cartilage, Dr. Messonnier points out:

"Like shark cartilage, bovine cartilage is high in glycosaminoglycans that can help the body repair damaged joints. Since shark cartilage was found to be 1,000 times more effective in preventing new blood vessel growth, it has replaced bovince cartilage as a supplement for many doctors."

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