TSI Group has taken many surveys that show consumers seriously consider sustainability and sourcing when choosing dietary supplements. These trends apply to both pet and human supplements. It is no surprise that these attitudes apply to choices about food, for both us and our pets.1
When it comes to sustainability, what should you know about glucosamine?
We make glucosamine, one of the most popular supplements taken to relieve joint pain. In fact we make more of it than anyone in the world. Today glucosamine is mostly produced from either one of two sources: extraction from shellfish shells or fermented from corn. In human nutrition, shellfish extraction means those with allergies or kosher diets should avoid this source. In animal nutrition, fermentation from corn sometimes raises concerns about the presence of glucose and the ability for animals (especially horses) to metabolize this sugar. There are also occasional questions about whether this should be a concern for people with diabetes.
To be clear, glucosamine is glucosamine regardless of the source, and glucosamine and glucose are distinctly different in structure and how they are metabolized. Studies have shown that glucosamine, when taken in recommended daily dosages does not create a diabetic reaction in people2. For both people and animals the fact that it is taken orally limits how much is actually absorbed into the bloodstream.
What does this have to do with sustainability?
Bringing us back to why consumers would choose one source over another: glucosamine that is fermented from corn (our GlucosaGreen®) checks some important boxes for consumers. It is plant based, and it is made from a process that can truly be called “green.” The waste generated per ton of GlucosaGreen® produced is about 2 percent of that generated from shellfish production. That’s not a typo and this is not “greenwashing.” GlucosaGreen® delivers the same glucosamine but from a source that appeals to what consumers want for both themselves and their pets. It can be taken with the same level of confidence as glucosamine produced from shellfish.
2Simon, R.R., V. Marks, A.R. Leeds, and J.W. Anderson. 2011. A comprehensive review of oral glucosamine use and effects on glucose metabolism in normal and diabetic individuals. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews 27:14-27.