Should I be feeding a joint supplement?
An age old question in horse ownership, should I be feeding my horse or pony a joint supplement? And if I am to start supplementing my horse, which supplement should I try and how will I know it is working?
It has been demonstrated that Osteoarthritis is responsible for over 60% of lameness in both performance and pleasure horses. It’s true that supplementing for joint issues in horses is often overlooked before issues arise and unfortunately once issues occur, there is nothing that can be done to reverse the breakdown of cartilage and synovial fluid however there are ingredients you can feed which can slow down the degenerative process. Arthritis is still the top paid claim for industry leading insurer PetPlan in which they paid £631,848 in 2016 for Arthritis claims alone.
With modern day advances in scientific research in the equine sector; we can now see that there are arthritic changes found in the joints of all types of horses. This data was in response to youngsters, horses at rest and those in performance work.
Let’s meet the main Joint Supporting ingredients that we use in Blue Chip Feed Joint Supplements
Glucosamine is an Amino Sugar which is found in the exoskeletons of crustaceans and other arthropods. Since glucosamine is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans, and glycosaminoglycans are a major component of joint cartilage, it is used in many horse joint supplements. Glucosamine Supplementation supports healthy joint function when fed at recommended levels.
Methyl Sulphonyl Methane is a natural product long associated with Anti-Inflammatory properties. It’s a Bio Available source of Sulphur and is vital for healthy tissue growth. MSM is said to have the following properties.
- Reduce Inflammation and improve circulation
- Promote Muscle Relaxation
- Promote healthy hair and hoof growth
- Analgesic (pain killer)
- Reduces joint deterioration
Yucca is a root vegetable that grows in regions with subtropical climates such as Mexico and south America. It is rich in carbohydrates and a good source of fibre, folate, vitamin C and Potassium. Yucca is known to be a natural alternative to numerous medicines and contains naturally powerful antioxidants and saponins. Yucca is said to decrease arthritis symptoms and encourage soundness and mobility. It is also said to help with bloating and can promote healthy digestion and gut health.
Turmeric is fast becoming a firm favourite amongst horse and pony owners. This golden powder is said to have a variety of natural properties including being an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. The distinctive colour is due to the presence of curcuminoids, curcumin is the principle active ingredient in Turmeric. Despite little research being conducted in the equine research, scientific research in both humans and mice has shown Turmeric to have multiple benefits to both species.
In horses, it is recommended that it is fed alongside Black Pepper, which contains Piperine and Oil which works as a carrier for the Turmeric. These elements aid absorption and transportation in the body to maximise the benefit the turmeric has on your horse.
Present in many beauty products for its moisture locking properties for the skin, Hyaluronic Acid is found in skin, connective tissues and eyes. In osteoarthritis it works to help keep joints well lubricated, meaning the joints are less likely to rub against each other and cause discomfort.
Two studies have found that Hyaluronic Acid supplements can help to slow the rate of bone loss in rats with Osteopenia, the beginning stage of bone loss that precedes osteoporosis. It is also said to have a positive influence on the speed of wound healing by regulating inflammation levels!