Well it depends on the ingredients and the dose!
Yes joint supplements can help your horse and prevent arthritis from developing or getting worse BUT… the dose needs to be correct or you may be wasting your money!
Unfortunately, one of the main ingredients in most joint supplements, Chondroitin, is VERY expensive! For this reason, there are many joint supplements on the market that may not be hitting effective dose levels.
Research has clearly identified Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM as being beneficial for joint health and repair. These ingredients are known to have healing, protective and preventative effects for horses suffering or at risk of suffering from joint arthritis, pain and inflammation. Not only can these ingredients repair damage but they also have a preventative effect on joint wear and tear, so not just useful for your older horses, they are indicated in young horses who are in work too!
Glucosamine has an important role in the metabolism of all connective tissues, including joint cartilage. In joint health it supports cartilage, controls joint pain and inflammation. Also it is a precursor in the synthesis of chondroitin sulfate so is best used in combination with chondroitin.
Chondroitin sulfate is the major structure in components called proteoglycans. Proteoglycans help cartilage to resist compression, primarily by holding water within the cartilage. Chondroitin Sulfate is primarily used for support of joint cartilage and control of joint inflammation.
As an interesting side note, at higher doses of 2500 to 5000 mg twice daily, it can be very effective for the control of skin allergy symptoms.
MSM - Methylsulfonylmethane a form of natural sulfur that can support joint health and movement. As a natural antioxidant it supports the reduction of free radical formation and oxidative stress that can contribute to Joint wear and tear. It is also required for the production of Collagen, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin, all of which are building blocks of cartilage. MSM works as a natural anti-inflammatory and is particularly useful in Joint health and repair.
These three ingredients have been heavily researched over the years and have been proven to have beneficial effects however it has also been shown that they must be present in adequate amounts to have any beneficial effects.
The therapeutic dose for an average sized horse per day is;
I’ve been getting some fantastic feedback from my Joint FX formula; it is simply these three ingredients at their therapeutic daily dose. If you’re not confident in your joint supplement or would like to try another strategy, then give it a go!
If a joint supplement is going to work, you should notice a difference in the horse’s level of comfort within two weeks.