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Alternative Therapies

  • An antioxidant is any compound, whether vitamin, mineral, nutraceutical, or herb that protects against cellular damage from reactive oxygen species, including free radicals, single oxygen atoms and hydrogen peroxide. Some of the more well-known antioxidants include ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E), beta-carotene, and enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase.

  • Azodyl is a nutritional supplement that may decrease azotemia, a condition in which there is too much nitrogen—in the form of urea, creatinine, and other waste products—in the blood. Azotemia occurs in cats that have chronic kidney disease (CKD). In theory, Azodyl works by adding nitrogen-consuming bacteria into the intestines. Azodyl should be considered an adjunct (secondary) treatment for CKD.

  • This is a broad topic that includes a variety of therapeutic options including herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, nutraceuticals and supplements. There are few controlled studies to show that any of these treatments are effective in pets.

  • There are receptors coating the surface of every cell with a nucleus that help to facilitate communication between cells. Biological response modifiers are large sugar molecules (immune polysaccharides), or sugar and protein molecules (glycoproteins) that interact with receptors on the surface of immune system cells.

  • Tea is second only to water as the most popular beverage in the world. Both black and green teas are made from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis.

  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis), or pot marigold, is very commonly used in herbal medicine as a topical anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. Its soothing effect is due to its ability to scavenge free radicals (which are products of inflammation), preventing them from causing further inflammation, and to its ability to inhibit lymphocyte proliferation (a white blood cell associated with the immune system).

  • Chondroitin sulfate is the major glycosaminoglycan (GAGS - see separate article found in this series) found in cartilage. It promotes water retention and elasticity in the cartilage, helping to ensure adequate shock absorption and adequate nourishment of the tissues that line the joint.

  • Colostrum is the antibody-rich fluid produced from the mother's mammary glands during the first day or two after birth. It contains a number of antibodies and growth factors, which young animals and humans can absorb intact for the first couple of days following birth.

  • Enzymes catalyze (enhance through increased rate of chemical reaction) virtually every function in the body, from digestion to tissue repair, and from hormone function to energy production. Without them, these same processes would occur much too slowly to be compatible with life.

  • The herb ephedra, known in Chinese medicine as Ma Huang, comes from the plant species Ephedra sinica and Ephedra equisetina. The active ingredients in herbal ephedra are bronchodilating alkaloids, including ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, norephedrine, and norpseudoephedrine.



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