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How to choose a supplement for your patient - with Dr Leilani Alvarez

Dr Leilani Alvarez, Director of Integrative and Rehabilitative Medicine Department at The Animal Medical Centre in NYC, explains the 4 steps to choosing the best joint supplement for your patients.

By Antinol Team

Choosing supplements for your patients can be confusing—the industry is flooded with options, all claiming to be the best. So, how do you know which to pick?

Dr Leilani Alvarez is the Director of Integrative and Rehabilitative Medicine Department at The Animal Medical Centre in NYC. The center is the largest non-profit veterinary hospital in the world, and Dr Alvarez’s team provides state-of-the-art therapy to support the functional mobility of dogs, cats and other pets—improving their quality of life.

Dr Alvarez uses a multitude of modalities, tools and techniques in her practice. She regularly reaches for Antinol as her joint supplement of choice to support her patient’s long-term mobility and joint health.

Today, she gives us the low-down on the 4 steps you should take when choosing a joint supplement.

4 steps to choosing a joint supplement

3rd party laboratory verification.

Check the brand uses external laboratories to ensure their claims and study results are accurate. You cannot rely on the company producing the supplement to give you authenticated lab results if they are generating those results themselves.

Is it safe?

Before using a supplement, Dr Alzarez submits it to the same rigour as she does pharmaceutical drugs. Numerous studies have shown that often what is on the label is not what is actually in the product, as regulations allow for some variation. Make sure your supplement states exactly what is in it and that it is regularly tested to ensure its safety.


This looks at how the supplement works in the body and what dose is appropriate in order to have an effect. For example, turmeric (or curcumin) has a very low bioavailability, meaning that even if your clients are spending a lot of money on the supplement, very little of it is actually absorbed into their pet’s body. Check your supplement’s bioavailability—the higher, the better.

Efficacy studies

This is Dr Alvarez's most vital criteria for choosing a good joint supplement for your pet. High-quality efficacy studies. Does it actually work?
Is the supplement tested in the species you intend to use it for, for the condition that you intend to use it? And is it tested in live patients that have a naturally occurring disease? Without valid efficacy tests, there is no way of telling if it actually works. Many brands do not have published or peer-reviewed studies, or they hold the data on file. If the information is not freely available, Dr Alvarez would question its validity.

When choosing a supplement for your patient, be sure to ask the questions you need to confirm each of these four steps. The manufacturers should be open and honest—happy to provide you with information and answer any of your questions.
If you can’t answer each of these 4 points satisfactorily, then Dr Alvarez would recommend that you need to keep looking for a more suitable supplement.

Want to learn more about Antinol and our efficacy studies? Visit or to read our research.

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