Ever wonder what ingredients make up the perfect joint supplement for your horse?
At any supply and tack store there is a hodgepodge of products that tout the ability to support joint health for horses. With so many options and so many bold claims, it’s difficult to know what works and what doesn’t. When seasoned horse people need advice on how to ensure that their equine companions are happy and comfortable, they turn to their veterinarians and their peers in the equestrian community.
Here’s what those equine experts list as the top 5 joint health ingredients…
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in plants, animals, and humans. MSM is believed to support healthy joints when taken as a supplement.* People can get dietary MSM from a variety of plant sources, including various fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; however, MSM can be taken as a supplements.
Approximately one third of MSM is sulfur, and MSM delivers an absorbable form of sulfur that the body needs for the production of cartilage. Glycosaminoglycans are the building blocks of joint cartilage, and these molecules are connected with disulfide bonds (the bonding of two sulfur atoms). Sulfur is also vital to the production and function of glutathione, an important intracellular antioxidant and detoxifier in the body. It is believed that people and animals are not getting as much natural sulfur in their diets as they once were, as the result of food processing and soil depletion.
Glucosamine is an amino sugar produced by the body for use in tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and the fluid around the body’s joints. Glucosamine can be helpful for joint health (e.g., as a supplement) to people, dogs, and horses to support healthy joints because it provides building blocks for synovial fluid, cartilage and connective tissues.
Glucosamine is one of the most commonly used dietary supplements in the United States. Commercial glucosamine is typically extracted from shellfish. Because it is taken from the shell rather than the flesh of shellfish, glucosamine supplements are generally safe for those with shellfish allergies; however, it is best to consult a doctor first if you have a shellfish allergy before consuming glucosamine.
Glucosamine comes in three forms: glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetyl glucosamine. Glucosamine is one of the essential components of cartilage and it is made by the combination of glucose and the amino acid glutamine by the enzyme glucosamine synthetase. Human and animal studies suggest that glucosamine supports healthy cartilage production and maintenance. Although it is a stand-alone supplement, glucosamine for joint health is reported to be more effective when combined with chondroitin sulfate.
The University of Utah School of Medicine coordinated a large-scale, multicenter clinical trial. The study found that glucosamine combined with chondroitin sulfate provided significant joint health benefits 79% of a study group.For more info on the study, visit http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/gait/qa.htm
#3: Ahiflower Oil®
Ahiflower Oil is a new omega fatty acid supplement that comes from seeds of theBuglossoides arvensis, an obscure plant that is about to become famous due to its uniquely potent omega 3, 6, and 9 composition.
Horses evolved to get their daily omegas through fresh pasture grazing, not fish sources. Ahiflower Oil is a safe, balanced, and superior plant-seed omega 3, 6, and 9 supplement oil, backed by clinical trial data in performance horses. Grown entirely from non-GMO crops, Ahiflower Oil supports exercise recovery, joint and ligament health, luster, and stress responsiveness.
Many active and retired horses experiencing post-exercise stiffness, joint/muscle strain, respiratory allergies, and skin challenges are recommended to try omega-3 supplementation. In horses and humans alike, omega-3 deficiency prolongs exercise recovery time and suppresses a healthy immune response. Ahiflower Oil has been shown to convert to omega-3 EPA and DHA in horses far more efficiently than flaxseed oil. Ahiflower Oil for Horses supports your horse’s natural post-exercise response for improved mobility and suppleness, while also supporting wonderful skin health and luster.
Boswellia (also known as frankincense) is an herbal supplement with potent health properties made from the resin of the boswellia serrata tree. For thousands of years, boswellia has been prized for its health properties, including support of a healthy inflammatory response.*
Studies have shown that boswellic acid supports a normal inflammatory response by blocking the enzyme 5-lipoxygenase which then inhibits the synthesis of leukotrienes. It has also been shown to support healthy cartilage.
#1: Chondroitin Sulfate
Chondroitin sulfate is a naturally occurring molecule found in the cartilage and connective tissues of people and animals. Chondroitin is the substance that enables cartilage to provide cushion to healthy joints, and it is what the body uses to make new cartilage. Chondroitin also serves a vital role in the maintenance of healthy skin. Chondroitin can be taken as a supplement to help maintain healthy cartilage, joint lubrication, and healthy skin, nails, and hair.*
The chondroitin used in dietary supplements is extracted from the cartilage and connective tissues of animals. The most common animal sources are cow, pig, chicken, and shark. Chondroitin varies depending on the source, and scientists have separated it into three distinct classes: A, B, and C. This is important because chondroitin A has greater health benefits than B or C, and some animal sources have more chondroitin A than others. For instance, beef trachea cartilage has among the highest concentrations of chondroitin A. Conversely, some products on the market are labeled as 100% chondroitin but contain little to no chondroitin A, rendering them woefully ineffective.
Chondroitin sulfate is one of six related substances called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are also referred to as mucopolysaccharides. Adequate amounts of chondroitin are vital for normal joint function and maintenance as well as many of the body’s normal self-healing mechanisms.
Make sure to check out Springtime Supplements to find all your equine supplement needs.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.