What SAMe Is And How It Relates To The Liver
The liver, a life-essential organ, performs many important functions in the animal body,
including detoxification (removal of harmful waste products), and, production of
essential hormones, enzymes, proteins and other
substances vital to overall health. The nutritional liver supplements Denosyl SD4,
Zentonil and similar non-prescription products such as S-Adenosyl contain
also known by the acronym SAMe, a name you may recognize
from the label on human liver supplements as well. SAMe is a natural biochemical
produced in the body by the amino acid Methionine. SAMe supplements can be beneficial
because SAMe works as a valuable compound
to enhance the production of beneficial phospholipids in the liver cell membranes which
promote better bile flow through the liver cell membranes. SAMe's contribution
involves biochemically donating part of its chemical structure to another cell -
in the above case, to the phospholipids. This process eventually converts the SAMe to the
beneficial compound glutathione, a potent antioxidant and liver detoxification tool that helps
protect liver cells from deterioration.
Antioxidants help protect healthy cells from harmful
biochemicals and free radicals, a particularly important function in the liver because the
liver itself serves as a detoxification organ in a pet's body, and, is therefore at a greater
risk of accumulating harmful biochemicals.
How Denosyl, Zentonil And Other SAMe Meds Provide Support
As much as 45% of liver disorders in dogs and cats today
are represented by low levels of glutathione.
liver support supplements and pet meds such as Denosyl SD4, Zentonil and Denestra
are designed to improve hepatic glutathione levels in
dogs and cats in order to help support better liver function.
In addition, SAMe products such as Denosyl and Zentonil,
are often prescribed by veterinarians to help counterbalance the negative
side effects of steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and anticonvulsant pet medications.
On occasion, the biochemical SAMe may be converted to methylthioadenosine, a compound
with anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects that is also suspected to
help support cartilage matrix production in the joints as well. Consequently,
SAMe supplements are sometimes prescribed to treat joint and arthritis symptoms in pets.
In people, SAMe supplements are believed to raise dopamine levels, a mood regulator, and it
is sometimes prescribed to treat depression in humans.
In pets, including some of our own, observed results from high quality SAMe supplements given to dogs and cats have included
improved liver function, as well as, an improvement in the appetite, activity, and attitude of the animal or pet.
Important Information About Giving SAMe Liver Supplements
Side effects are few to none with high quality SAMe supplements, however,
vomiting can occur in rare instances. Just the same too much SAMe medication can be harmful,
always consult your veterinarian about all meds, food and supplements your pet takes,
follow their advice and contact them immediately should an accidental over dose occur.
If your veterinarian has diagnosed a liver issue in your pet they may very well prescribe a SAMe supplement
as part of a liver support treatment regimen to help support your pet's essential liver functions.
Selection of specific medications, food, supplements, goals and
treatment regimen will vary depending upon your veterinarians opinion and your pet's specific health issues.
Liver issues in dogs and cats can be complicated, hard to manage and difficult to diagnose.
SAMe supplements may also take a little while to take effect, as a matter of fact,
even high quality products like Denosyl, Zentonil and S-Adenosyl may take as long as thirty days
to show their full beneficial impact. After a trial period, a blood test can also be helpful,
indicating whether or not there has been an improvement in your pet's liver enzyme values. From our
own personal experience, our standard poodle showed positive signs of improvement on S-Adenosyl in as
little as ten days evidenced by clearer eyes and an increase in energy level.
In addition, there are some important things to note
about the administration of SAMe supplements.
SAMe pet meds work best when given
on an empty stomach, at least one hour before mealtime. Otherwise,
the presence of food in the stomach will decrease the absorption of the
SAMe and the effectiveness of the medications in general. They can
also be given three hours after your pet has eaten, however, it is believed that
a fasting period of 8-12 hours before giving this product is optimal.
To make things simple we give our dog one in the morning right after we get up and then feed her
one hour later. In the evening, when we get home, ten hours after the morning dose, we give her one
again, wait an hour, and then feed her an evening dinner.
In addition, most high quality SAMe products are enteric coated
to prevent premature destruction from
stomach acids before it can be adequately absorbed. Consequently, broken tablets will have problems with proper
absorption and utilization, and products such as Denosyl, Zentonil and S-Adenosyl should always be given whole,
not broken in half. The good news is that SAMe medications can be wrapped in a small bite of moist food such
as a pill pocket
for easier pilling.
Before and after water intake is not a problem either, your pet can drink water without affecting
the effectiveness of SAMe supplements. As a matter of fact, in some instances, especially for cats,
a drink of water afterwards is recommended in order to keep the pill from sticking in or irritating the throat.
SAMe pet meds are sensitive to air and moisture and broken tablets should be discarded. Consequently,
many SAMe products such as Denosyl SD4 come in a foil wrapper blister pack container.
Human SAMe Medications Should Never Be Given To Pets:
Supplements for people can vary greatly in product quality, dosage, makeup and effect on the physiology. They can
vary greatly from those specifically produced for dogs and cats, consequently, human SAMe products
may not actually be as safe as ones produced for animals. This is why "Human" SAMe should never be given to your pet.
High quality pet medication brands like Denosyl have been tested with proven, published safety results. Denosyl's
manufacturer Nutramax has also made their high quality manufacturing process public, even though not
required to do so - making it a popular choice among veterinarians.
High Quality SAMe Meds
Careful consideration should be given to which SAMe supplement you choose for your pet.
Liver issues in dogs and cats can be complicated and hard to control so some drug
companies have chosen to require prescriptions and others have not. It is very important to know that
SAMe pet products are considered a supplement by the FDA rather than a medication,
consequently, manufacturing is not as strictly monitored, controlled, structured or
tested as it would be for licensed meds.
This means product quality may suffer and vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer.
For this reason, the Denosyl brand pet meds from Nutramax, a manufacturer know for it's quality
control and published veterinary research studies on all their products, is a popular choice
of veterinarians, pet owners and pharmacies. Proven brand name products may be a little more expensive
but personally we like the peace of mind of knowing we are getting a high quality produced medication.
Saving money by shopping online has always been helpful to us when it comes to making brand name meds
a possible choice.
Chewables can be an easy, low stress way to give medication to a pet.
However, it is important to remember how dangerous the situation could become should your pet get a hold
of a bottle leading to a potential overdose. If you choose a chewable SAMe supplement
such as Denosyl or Denamarin chewables, do keep them in a safe place where pets cannot get to them.
Also, avoid spilling them where too many
could be quickly consumed.
Caution About Methionine Supplements
SAMe is produced by the amino acid methionine. Although SAMe supplements are believed to be beneficial,
it is not recommended to give your pet methionine directly in an attempt to
increase SAMe production within the body. As a matter of fact, administering high levels of methionine may actually
compromise the production of the SAMe in your pet's liver, and potentially increase liver damage.
When searching for a way to improve production of SAMe in the liver, it is recommended to supplement your pet's
nutrition with supplements that contain already produced SAMe, rather than the amino acid methionine itself.
In other words, it's better to supplement with an already completed SAMe compound,
rather than the individual amino acid methionine that produces it.
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