An antioxidant is any compound, whether vitamin, mineral, nutraceutical, or herb that protects against cellular damage from reactive oxygen species, including free radicals, single oxygen atoms and hydrogen peroxide. Some of the more well-known antioxidants include ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E), beta-carotene, and enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase.
This is a broad topic that includes a variety of therapeutic options including herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, nutraceuticals and supplements. There are few controlled studies to show that any of these treatments are effective in pets.
Bilberry is an herb whose fruit has been used in human herbal medicine for centuries. Bilberry, related to blueberry, has antioxidant properties, and is most commonly taken internally in people to help with disorders of the eyes including macular degeneration (deterioration of part of the retina or back of the eye) and cataract formation.
There are receptors coating the surface of every cell with a nucleus that help to facilitate communication between cells. Biological response modifiers are large sugar molecules (immune polysaccharides), or sugar and protein molecules (glycoproteins) that interact with receptors on the surface of immune system cells.
Calcium is a major structural component of bones and teeth, and is an essential dietary mineral. Various forms of calcium are available for supplementation.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis), or pot marigold, is very commonly used in herbal medicine as a topical anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. Its soothing effect is due to its ability to scavenge free radicals (which are products of inflammation), preventing them from causing further inflammation, and to its ability to inhibit lymphocyte proliferation (a white blood cell associated with the immune system).
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is commonly used in human herbal medicine as a mild sedative, and as an antispasmodic to relieve menstrual cramps. Both of these effects are contributed by one of its constituents, apigenin, which is one of the more well studied active ingredients in plant medicine.