Maintaining Liver Health in Cats & Dogs

Liver disease is deadly if left untreated in pets. Its progression to irreversible and terminal liver cirrhosis happens quickly, preceded by jaundice, anemia, brain dysfunction, and internal bleeding. However, if treated quickly it is possible to prevent liver disease from developing with supplemental nutrition. Two of the best medications for promoting healthy liver function are Denamarin and Denosyl.

Both medications are made by Nutramax Laboratories, a company based in the United States that produces supplements for both people and pets. Each medication contains the same central active ingredient, S-Adenosylmethionine (SAM-e), to prevent liver cell atrophy and facilitate cell regeneration.

The central difference between the two medications is a second ingredient that is found in Denamarin but not Denosyl. This ingredient, silybin, provides additional liver support and can work in conjunction with SAM-e to promote healthy liver function. This means that Denamarin is a stronger supplement for pets that need maximum liver support.

What is Silybin?

Sylibin, like SAMe, is a milk thistle extract that works to balance the oxidation of bile and nutrient absorption. The liver produces this bile to aid with digestion and to facilitate the absorption of nutrients. Sylibin naturally works to increase the bileís propensity for absorbing nutrients in both cats and dogs. In Denamarin, sylibin is also complexed with phosphatidylcholine to optimize absorption to an even greater extent.

Phosphatidylcholine enhances the absorption of the milk thistle compounds which further increases absorption of other nutrients. The fortified sylibin accomplishes this increased absorption by increasing the flow of bile in the liver. This increased flow allows for greater traffic of bile which translates to a greater amount of bile available for nutrient absorption.

How SAM-e Supports Healthy Liver Function

Denamarin and Denosyl both come in a variety of formulas which are balanced to be the perfect amounts for pets based on their weight. Despite the variances within each medication, both Denamarin and Denosyl contain equal amounts of SAM-e per corresponding dosage. SAM-e is a useful ingredient because it is known to increase glutathione, an essential compound that protects the liver.

This means that both supplements contain the same propensity for increasing glutathione in the liver. Though glutathione is produced throughout the body, it is particularly crucial for healthy liver function. In a study found in the 2007 volume of Hepatology researchers determined that when synthesis of glutathione in the liver was genetically halted in mice, the subjects would die within one month of birth.1

Though glutathione is essential, it is not an essential nutrient due to the bodyís natural production of the compound. However, in animals with damaged livers that are unable to produce glutathione, it must be provided as though it were an essential nutrient.

Thus, both Denamarin and Denosyl ensure that petís with liver maladies are taken care of at a basic level; however, there are a wide varieties of liver ailments that might afflict your pet. For most cases, Denosyl should be adequate to prevent the progression of possible liver problems. However, for special cases in which symptoms of liver distress are prevalent- it is imperative that pet owners use Denamarin for optimal liver support.

1http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hep.21635/abstract