Q. What are lignans and how can they help a dog with Cushing’s disease?
A. As many pet parents choose to take a natural approach to manage Cushing’s disease, certain plant compounds can work to address the root cause of the disease. Many homeopathic remedies used to treat Cushing’s symptoms present only a band-aid to the symptoms and typical pharma treatments involve risky chemotherapy drugs to reduce corticosteroid production. Since Cushing’s is caused by an overproduction of these corticosteroids, it’s important to target the adrenal gland functions that cause these over-secretions. Lignans can do just that.
What are Lignans?
Lignans are a type of polyphenol, a naturally occurring micronutrient found in plants. These compounds work to block two enzymes needed to produce cortisol. Lignans are typically found naturally in seeds, legumes, whole grains, nuts, vegetables and tree bark but their most abundant source is found in flaxseed hulls. A study by the University of Tennessee’s veterinary program found that combining lignans with melatonin can work to lower concentrations of steroids. This is a direct benefit to Cushing’s dogs.
Lignans have been linked to reduced risk of certain hormone-related cancers in humans because of their phytoestrogen qualities. HMR lignans in particular, when used as a supplement can contribute to other health benefits with little to no side effects.
Lignans in CushAway
While many people utilize the lignans found in flaxseed hulls combined with melatonin to block steroid overproduction for dogs suffering with Cushing’s disease, Cush Away combines the superior HMR type lignans from Norwegian spruce knots with melatonin AND phosphatidylserine. These natural elements can be an effective alternative to the costly and side-effect heavy doses of traditional pharmaceuticals used to treat Cushing’s disease and are far more effective than traditional “folk remedies” that only address Cushing’s symptoms but not its cause. Known as a nutraceutical, CushAway uses these naturally-occurring HMR lignans, which provide higher bioavailability than flaxseed hull lignans, combined with melatonin, phosphatidylserine (a naturally-occurring phospholipid), and probiotics to counteract Cushing’s disease at its root cause—the overproduction of corticosteroids. These natural elements combined with a wholefood diet and exercise can work to increase a dog’s overall vitality without a risk of side effects.