7 Questions To Ask When Picking a Joint Supplement

Rebecca Rose, InClover Research 

When I founded InClover I had just completed a global research project we called the holy grail of women’s health. We discovered a type of bacteria that could keep women healthy, if only we could get them to grow in the body. Sounds easy, right? Of course, it was hard. The body is complex and unique. I learned that we must understand the physiology (noun: the way in which a living organism or bodily part functions) of the body we are trying to get healthy in order to develop an effective solution. This nugget of knowledge is the foundation of InClover and how all our products, including Connectin, are developed.  

Joint supplements are the largest segment of the $1 Billion supplement market. Over 25% of dogs and 25% of cats would benefit from joint supplementation. These big numbers attract many companies to the joint supplement market. Helping those animals is tricky. To have a complete joint supplement, one that works and provides just what the body needs, you must develop the formulation using a holistic approach with an understanding of how the animal’s physiology is impacting the joint. This is a very different approach from contracting with a outside manufacturer to come up with a product or worse, googling what ingredients are selling and mixing them together.  These approaches yield products that are on the market right now. It is tough to know what to look for in a quality joint supplement. Skip to the end to get a list of the 7 important questions to ask. Continue reading to learn more about how Connectin was developed.  

For Connectin Joint Supplement we took this holistic and physiological approach. Let’s look at our 5-year journey to creating Connectin. We first researched the physiology of an animal’s joint, how their body converts nutrients into the joint building blocks that keep the joint comfortable and moving smoothly. And, what is preventing those building blocks from being delivered into the joint. In looking at herbs that are both powerful and gentle to create a delivery system we only considered GRAS herbs, those that have met Generally Recognized as Safe standards. Once satisfied that the formulation is natural to the body and GRAS, we started our Proof of Concept studies with Connectin. These trials invited pet parents to bring their animals to veterinarians and be a part of a study to compare Connectin to a placebo. The veterinarians and the pet parents observed the animals and answered a variety of questions including changes in range of motion, crepitus and mobility. Neither the pet parent nor the veterinarian knew if the animal was getting Connectin or a placebo. This allowed them to answer honestly with no expectation of results. Connectin significantly showed positive results compared to the placebo. We also analyzed blood work from each group of animals and confirmed no change in kidney and liver function. We then worked with the global leader in veterinary clinical testing, Massey University, to invite pet parents to bring their animals to research veterinarians for a longer and more quantitative test of Connectin compared to a placebo. All pets accepted into the study were diagnosed with joint disorder through radiographic testing. The researchers used gold standard force plate testing to measure how much force, or weight, the animal was able to put on each joint before and after being included in the trial. Additionally, all animals received full blood chemistry analyses. At the end of 60 days the results were sent to Colorado State University and unblinded. The statisticians determined that the animals on Connectin showed statistically significant improvement in the ability to bear weight and range of motion as compared to the placebo.  The blood chemistry safety testing showed no difference when compared with a placebo.  

Through clinical trials we learned that Connectin works fast, in average 15 days. We also discovered that improvement was seen in the contralateral joint- the one across from the one that was diagnosed with joint disorder. And, we discovered that Connectin did not cause any issues in blood chemistry results as compared to the placebo. Connectin is so unique we have three issued patents on the product; Connectin Patent. 

The combination of joint physiology, GRAS ingredients, complete formulation, product testing and blood testing allowed us to develop a one of a kind joint supplement that you can feel good about using and recommending.

 

7 Questions To Ask When Picking a Joint Supplement 

  1. Was the physiology of the animal used to develop the supplement, explain how?  
  2. Is the supplement complete, explain how?  
  3. Are the ingredients GRAS?  
  4. Did the supplement undergo Proof of Concept Testing? What results were seen compared with a placebo?  
  5. Did the supplement undergo Force Plate Testing? What results were seen compared with a placebo? 
  6. Did blood chemistry results show no change compared with a placebo?   
  7. Is the supplement shown to work fast? What do the results show compared with a placebo?

 

 

Which would you feed your cat? 3 tips for a healthy urinary tract

Supporting a healthy urinary tract system is critical for our feline fur babies. You probably have or know of a cat with an unhealthy urinary tract right now. We want to do the right thing but it can be confusing. Some urinary tract foods contain salt. That can’t be good, right? Right! Keeping your cat healthy should not be this difficult. We have made it easy. If you are the sort of person who just wants to cut to the chase, scroll down for the 3 easy tips. If you want to understand what makes a healthy urinary tract, read on!

There are four major goals to a healthy urinary tract system.

  1. Flushing the UT system.
  2. Decreasing the pH.
  3. Eliminating bladder irritation.
  4. Increasing UT health.

Urinary tract health starts with your cat getting enough water and, this is important, flushing their systems. This is why salt is not a good answer, it will make your cat thirsty but they will retain the water and make the problem of a stagnant system worse. A stagnant urinary tract allows dangerous bacteria to incubate and grow, fast. Once their system gets plugged with bad bacteria, 50-75% of these cats will have the same problem over and over again. You can solve this problem with dandelion root, a powerful diuretic. Your cat will drink and flush frequently. And, dandelion is an excellent source of potassium, naturally resupplying the loss of this important mineral. The next thing you want for your cat’s system is a decrease in pH. Cranberry acidifies the urine which helps control bacteria and acts as a barrier to keep bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall. Never use sweetened cranberry as the sugar will exacerbate the bacterial growth. Now that we have addressed acidification and flushing, let’s look at bladder irritation. Bladder irritation can cause a nerve reaction that leads to spastic contractions and pooling of the urine which is an environment for an unhealthy urinary tract and stone formation. Demulcent (soothing) herbs such as marshmallow root contain a high percentage of mucilage which forms a protective film over the mucous membrane of the urinary tract. Another powerful herb, yucca root sends in saponins. This soothing film stops irritation and creates a healthy environment in the urinary tract. The next step is increasing urinary tract health by providing support with organic prebiotics. Prebiotics, such as organic inulin from the agave root, selectively feed the beneficial native bacteria and starve out the bacteria that lead to an unhealthy urinary tract.

Flow is a unique product for feline urinary tract health that works with the cat’s physiology to combine dandelion root, cranberry extract, marshmallow root, yucca root and organic prebiotics to naturally support UT health. After formulating Flow, we spent 14-months in palatability tests to get the perfect flavor and consistency that makes even the most discerning feline run to you when you shake the bag.

The 3 easy daily tips to support your cat’s UT health:

  1. Provide fresh water.
  2. Keep a clean litter box.
  3. Give Flow daily.

Who’s my lucky ducky sweetie boy?

By: Rebecca Rose, InClover founder & product developer

Who feels stupid now for talking baby talk to the dog? Not me! An article published in this week’s Science Journal showed what you probably already realized: Your dog loves when you say nice things in that high-pitched voice. Through MRI scanning, scientists in Hungary proved that dogs process language like us, using both sides of the brain. Like humans, dogs use the left sides of their brains to process words and the right sides to process intonation.

Scientists found that dogs’ reward centers responded to praise, but only true praise that was given with a positive intonation. “It shows that for dogs, a nice praise can very well work as a reward, but it works best if both words and intonation match,” Attila Andics said in a release. “So dogs not only tell apart what we say and how we say it, but they can also combine the two, for a correct interpretation of what those words really meant.”

Read more about the study here.

Question: Should I rotate my pet’s joint supplement?

Some pet parents have indicated they rotate their pets’ joint supplements because the supplements appear to “stop working.” While there may be some benefit to swapping out incomplete or inferior joint support products, In Clover supplements are mindfully developed to be fed for the lifetime of the animal.

There are many joint support products on the market that feature incomplete formulations. A complete joint supplement will include all three of the critical joint building blocks: glucosamine (for joint cushion), chondroitin (for flexibility) and hyaluronic acid (for joint lubrication).

Even if these ingredients are present, attention must be paid to the source and quality. Specifically with glucosamine, look at the ingredient’s source, purity and carrier.

  • Source: Some glucosamine is derived from corn (labeled as “vegetable source”) while others are sourced from shellfish.
  • Purity: The ingredient should list the purity content. In Clover’s glucosamine is 99+% pure, pharmaceutical grade glucosamine.
  • Carrier: All glucosamine requires a carrier to be delivered into the body. The hydrochloride (HCl) carrier will deliver 28% more glucosamine than the sulfate carrier (SO4). So, if two products feature 500 mg of glucosamine but use different carriers, the one with the HCl carrier will deliver the highest percentage of the active ingredient.

At In Clover, we know joint support doesn’t end with the supplying the joint building blocks. An effective supplement will feature a holistic approach, addressing the joint, surrounding structures and related issues.

  • Regulating normal inflammatory response: Inflammation may occur due to exercise, the normal aging process or regular, daily activity. If a product does not regulate this response, you will likely see diminished results.
  • Antioxidants: Free radicals will build up around the joint and impede the effectiveness of the joint building blocks. If this is not addressed, even a supplement with all three building blocks may become less effective in the animal over time.

When formulating Connectin, our company’s founder and biochemist Rebecca Rose took all factors into consideration. That’s why we’ve included all three building blocks — using the highest quality and most effective ingredients — as well as an herbal blend to support comfort, encourage healthy circulation and produce lasting results.

There is another issue worth addressing here: Animals all have physical thresholds, which are highly dependent on current health status and history. Once a dog or cat meets his or her threshold, gains in mobility will slow and should hold steady, which should not be confused with decreased effectiveness. Think about it this way: If an obese person starts on a weight-loss program, he or she will see astonishing results within the first months, losing many pounds in a short period of time. But, eventually, the person will reach a healthy weight and will then start maintaining their fitness level and stop shedding pounds. In this scenario, the weight-loss program is maintaining its effectiveness, keeping the person feeling his or her best. On the other hand, if the person then started gaining back the weight, that would be a failure of the program.

Thanks to Connectin’s complete formulation, an animal will maximize his or her potential and will continue to work throughout the life of the pet, supporting and maintaining comfort and mobility — with no rotation necessary.

Caring for your pet in cold weather

By: Humane Society of Boulder Valley

The Humane Society of Boulder Valley and the City of Boulder Animal Control wants to remind you that your furry or feathered companions may also be feeling the chill. In addition to being vulnerable to the cold weather, many wintertime household products can be harmful to pets. Here are some tips to help ensure that your pets stay healthy and safe until spring:

Provide adequate shelter
Even if your pets are indoor/outdoor creatures, make sure their outdoor areas are well sheltered from the cold and wind. Dog houses should face South and filled with hay or straw as blankets freeze and do not help keep an animal warm. The shelter entryway should be protected by a self closing door, an offset door or a flexible flap made of windproof material. This will allow the animal to maintain its body heat in frigid temperatures. Keep animals inside during especially cold spells and inclement weather.

Supply plenty of potable water
Animals still need to drink plenty of water. Winter air can be very dry, leaving pets dehydrated, just as they are during the hot summer months. Make sure your pets have plenty of food and water. If your pet’s water bowl is kept outside, make sure the water hasn’t frozen during a cold snap.

Use caution when leaving your pet’s food outside, as wild animals may wander onto your property to graze if their usual food supply is suffering a shortage.

Monitor outdoor activity
When taking pets outside for exercise or play, keep them warm with a sweater or jacket made just for them, and only allow them to play for short periods of time. They can become cold quickly as they lose body heat from the large portions of their body that is exposed to the weather such as their feet and face. If your pet is playing off-leash in a snowy area, keep them in sight at all times. Snow makes it difficult for dogs to scent their way back to you and may become lost or confused.

Keep dangerous chemicals out of reach
While taking steps to prepare your car for the long winter, be on the lookout for any antifreeze or engine coolant spills that might occur. These products contain chemicals that are harmful and potentially fatal to animals. It is important that you remember to store any potentially harmful chemicals in clearly marked sealed containers stored in a location that is inaccessible to your pets.

Be careful of ice-melt products
We rely on ice melts to rid slippery sidewalks, roadways and driveways of the ice and snow during the winter months. But these products may contain ingredients such as calcium chloride and sodium chloride (table salt) that can irritate animal paws or skin. Pets may also accidentally ingest ice melt from their paws or from the ground. Depending on the amount ingested, ice melts can potentially produce a variety of effects such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and, in severe cases, cardiac abnormalities, seizures, and even death. If you suspect your pet may have accidentally ingested any harmful ingredients, please seek veterinary treatment immediately.

Check your vehicle
During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars for warmth and protection. But a car’s fan belt can kill or injure an animal when the motor starts. If you are aware that there are outdoor or feral cats in your neighborhood, please bang on the hood of the car and wait a few seconds before turning on the engine.

The In Clover Story

By: Rebecca Rose, In Clover founder and product developer

“In Clover” ~ an old English idiom: Living a carefree life of ease, comfort, or prosperity, having good fortune; in a very good situation. 

In Clover seemed the perfect name for the journey I was about to embark sixteen years ago to create a company around making dogs, cats and horses more comfortable.

After being immersed in researching and discovering why some women could have less-than-healthy lifestyles and stay healthy, I turned my attention and that same question to dogs and cats. Why are some dogs huge athletes with crazy jumps and rolls, yet their hips remain as healthy and flexible as a puppies?

Several years of research resulted in a one-of-a-kind mix of 9 herbs and the 3 joint building blocks that make Connectin joint supplement for dogs and cats. Connectin puts back what the body would make if it was healthy. A University clinical study with dogs and the humans they own showed that Connectin gives back better mobility and weight bearing in as little as 15 days.

In Clover answers the question of how we can make the body work better and has created a line of supplements to address the top health concerns of our furry kids.