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A few questions on vitamins and supplements.
June 7, 2011 3:23 PM   Subscribe

I have a few questions about vitamins and supplements. Does anybody have any experience with Calcium/Magnesium/Vitamin D & B-Complex improving anxiety and mood? And, can anybody recommend a joint-health supplement for a puppy with a genetic tendency towards hip dysplaysia?

A friend told me that through the combination of a Calcium/Magnesium/Vitamin D supplement and a B-Complex, he's finally got his anxiety and adhd under control. Has anybody heard or tried this? He also said that without the B-Complex, he had terrible diarrhea from the magnesium. I can't really figure out how they're related.

I keep trying to find info on this but there's so much crap out there.

Also, my puppy's brother has just been diagnosed with hip dysplaysia and it seems like a problem in the family (shepherd mixes). I was wondering if it makes sense to start her on a supplement right away as preventative care. She is 6 months old, spayed, vaccinated, and healthy in every other way. If it is a good thing to do, can anybody recommend one?
posted by Raichle to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
My dog takes Dasuquin for joint issues as per our vet's recommendation. I don't know if it's good for puppies, though.
posted by Wordwoman at 3:44 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I started taking calcium-plus-D-&-magnesium for completely unrelated things (fear of osteoporosis, after a fall and winter of no dairy) and my brain-fog, anxiety, and lack of focus all but disappeared within a week. The change was too profound for me to dismiss it as coincidence. The anxiety was connected to the brain fog and lack-of-focus, though; they really stressed me out.

I don't know anything about B complex, though I try to take one when I've been eating too much sugar. If I get more energy afterwards, I figure I was maybe deficient, but it's never been anything as clear cut as the calcium thing.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:48 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


B Complex really helps my energy - it works well for waking up my brain, whereas caffeine really only wakes up my body. B vitamins are best taken with food, and if you find yourself itchy or breaking out in hives/rash, you need to cut back how much you're taking. I've got nothing on it influencing mood otherwise.
posted by yeloson at 4:01 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


B complex, D, and B12 make a big difference for me.
posted by jgirl at 4:03 PM on June 7, 2011


Are these somehow related? This looks like 2 totally separate questions.

Talk to your vet about cosequin for the hip dysplasia and rimadyl if things are really painful.

If your dog has really bad hips, it may require surgery. You should talk with a surgeon about it, but, yes, if there is any discomfort, start on meds.

Also, you may want to talk to your vet about hyalurinic acid.
posted by TheBones at 4:17 PM on June 7, 2011


They're related in that they're questions that I have about vitamins and supplements. As I stated: the dog doesn't have problems yet, I'm looking into preventative care.
posted by Raichle at 4:27 PM on June 7, 2011


The first couple of times I tried taking a magnesium supplement, I ended up spending a lot of time in bed, suffering from worsened fatigue. Turns out to be no more than a serious case of sleepiness as a side effect. Now I am fine with it as long as I take a non-time-release formula, and take it all at bedtime. Note that magnesium oxide is absorbed poorly, and therefore does not do nearly as much good as magnesium citrate.

Don't try to take 100% of the RDA of calcium in one daily dose. Your body can't absorb more than half of it at a time.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 5:21 PM on June 7, 2011


Levels of calcium and magnesium can easily be checked via blood test. If you suspect they're low, having them checked should be simple to arrange. Generally, the body seeks to maintain specific levels of the various electrolytes. Supplementation beyond that level will result in your kidneys flushing the excess out, in which case you are literally pissing away your investment.
posted by dephlogisticated at 5:31 PM on June 7, 2011


As a totally unsupported anecdote, taking vitamin D (+calcium, in a calcium citrate pill) seemed to improve my mood during the long Alaska winter.
posted by leahwrenn at 5:48 PM on June 7, 2011


Information is Beautiful has an interactive flash visualization comparing efficacies for vitamins and supplements.

Snake Oil? The scientific evidence for health supplements

I've been taking a fish oil supplement for a while now. I started due to a paper published a while back about its potential for mood stabilization. I am not sure how strong the claim is, but fish oil is good for other things and I've continued to take it.
posted by bleary at 10:05 PM on June 7, 2011


Subcutaneous Adequan is the best joint supplement by far - you can learn how to give subcutaneous injections easily. (Yes, the "official" method is intramuscular, but subcutaneous works just as well, it has been studied but it just hasn't been FDA approved yet so the package can't advise it).

Failing that, Dasuquin is the next best option. And many vets who are experts in arthritis think that the best of all is Adequan AND Dasuquin. You are wise to want to address this early, dogs have far less joint cartilage than humans do, and once it's gone, it's gone.

A good OFA supplement like Eicosaderm is also very beneficial, but avoid any other supplements, just feed a high-quality food.

However the single most important thing is to keep the puppy lean, lean, lean (you want very slow growth, a somewhat scrawny-looking gangly puppy is a puppy who is growing at an appropriate rate as a general rule), and keep the muscles strong with regular slow exercise like walking (don't overdo it while the pup is growing, but at least a walk every day) and range of motion exercises (swimming is also helpful). A healthy lean body weight for a dog is MUCH leaner than most people think - you should be able to see the last couple of ribs, the rest of the ribs should feel pretty much like your knuckles feel when you make a fist, and you should easily feel 4-5 vertebrae in the lower back. Most people think a dog at a good lean weight is too skinny, because most pet dogs are overweight. Learn to adjust your dog's food regularly to keep her lean - I have competition agility dogs and I can tell you that I change how much they eat on a near-daily basis depending on how much exercise they're getting and how they feel and look to me. Do not feed what it says on the bag, feed what it takes to keep your dog lean (my dogs eat 1/4 of what it suggests on the bag, and they are very active dogs).
posted by biscotti at 5:31 AM on June 8, 2011


We have been using Canine Plus Missing Link powder. Our puppy doesn't have hip issues, but has knee issues, where her kneecap will pop out of place randomly. We were seeing this happen about 4-5 times/week - once we started feeding her this, it's much more rare. (may 1-2 times every couple of weeks to not at all) I can't say "we're feeding her this and it's curing it" but it doesn't seem to be hurting her, and something is making it happen less frequently!
posted by needlegrrl at 8:09 AM on June 8, 2011


Reiterating what someone else said, don't take your calcium all at once and take it after meals. It works way better. (Three times a day is best, after each meal, but that's too complicated for me to remember, so I take it at breakfast and dinner.)
posted by small_ruminant at 9:54 AM on June 8, 2011


Ok, I got some of the calcium/D/magnesium and it's really making my stomach uneasy (taken with food).

I went to my vet to pick up heartworm pills and asked the vet tech about supplements. She said that I shouldn't give her any until she shows symptoms... That's seems silly to me since it's supposed to be preventative. She also said to switch her to adult food so that she won't grow much more. I think I need a second opinion.
posted by Raichle at 12:34 PM on June 8, 2011


Large breed puppy food. GOOD QUALITY, not crap you buy in the supermarket. Switching to adult food won't change how much she grows (?!), that is genetically determined, what you feed and how much you feed merely determines how quickly your dog gets to her genetically determined final size (slower is better, I don't like a dog to look full grown until it's 2 or older, depending on breed).

And there is no reason not to supplement with a joint care supplement and an OFA - where I work we absolutely encourage people to start these asap if they have at-risk pets. All my dogs are on Eicosaderm (it has general anti-inflammatory properties just like it does in people, good for ears, skin and joints). Get a second opinion, there is often no CE required for vet techs (OR VETS) in some places, and unless you get someone who is particularly keen, you may well be getting bad advice.
posted by biscotti at 1:14 PM on June 8, 2011


Biscotti, can I assume you work at a vet clinic?

My puppy is currently eating Pro-Plan Large Breed Puppy but making the switch to the Kirkland brand food after reading some reviews that indicate it's better than most of the medium-priced pet store brands.

Eicosaderm seems to be an omega3 supplement. Is that really for joint-health? I couldn't figure out what an OFA is. Can you recommend a puppy-safe joint care supplement? That's what I'm having a hard time finding. I see tons for adult dogs, but nothing that explicitly says it's safe for growing puppies.

It sounded dumb to me to try to stunt her growth by giving her adult food. It was implied that she could get fat from the puppy food, but she's lean and gets a lot of exercise. I will absolutely keep an eye on her weight since I know that can make any joint issue much worse.
posted by Raichle at 10:39 AM on June 9, 2011


Research suggests that the 92 percent of Americans deficient in basic nutrients. As such, most of us should be taking a good multivitamin, omega-3, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, B-complex, digestive enzymes and probiotics for improving anxiety and brain.
posted by vorsta at 11:35 PM on June 17, 2011


OFA is Omega fatty acids. Fatty acids decrease inflammation, therefore they help with joint health (as well as skin, ear and all kinds of other things). Dasuquin is about the best joint health supplement for dogs, I don't know if it's labeled as safe for puppies (although I can't think why it wouldn't be), but you could certainly call the manufacturer, they are usually helpful about that kind of thing.

Some vets seem to think that puppy food causes problems - what causes problems is too-fast growth and overfeeding to the point of overweight. The only real way to stunt growth dietarily is by malnutrition of some kind or another.
posted by biscotti at 8:46 PM on June 19, 2011


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