Understanding joint structure, function, and health is a crucial part of keeping equine athletes performing at their best. Within joints the ends of bones are coated with articular cartilage so they slide smoothly over one another during movement. Joints are encapsulated in a fluid-filled sac called the joint capsule that protects the joint. The nutrient-rich synovial fluid is a vital component that fills the joint capsule to aid in smooth passage of one bone over another and to absorb shock from high-impact work.
To minimize wear and tear on joints and to prolong a useful and active life, extranutritional joint support is recommended. Support of optimal joint health should be undertaken prophylactically, prior to evidence of damage, through the use of preparations developed to counteract inflammation, reduce cartilage damage, and stimulate cartilage repair. Well-known joint support compounds include glucosamine, chondroitin, and sodium hyaluronate.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are common compounds with a long history of use in joint supplements. Evidence suggests that using these two compounds together provides greater benefit than using either individually. Glucosamine is a natural compound that is found in healthy cartilage.
Sodium hyaluronate is a glycosaminoglycan that is an important structural component of joint fluid and is responsible for its viscosity or thickness. When fed orally, the molecular weight of the sodium hyaluronate preparation is important for both digestive absorption and promotion of synovial fluid viscosity.
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA and EPA, are receiving increased focus for their role as precursors for local hormones and inflammatory compounds. Researchers have found that elevating omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in mammalian diets has been shown to decrease inflammatory processes in the joint. Specifically, horses supplemented with fish oil were reported to have lower levels of the inflammatory compound prostaglandin E2, a potent inflammatory compound.
Which solution is right for your horse?
Synovate HA®Liquid sodium hyaluronate. Synovate HA provides horses with a safe, highly digestible form of sodium hyaluronate for the support of healthy joint function in horses. Choose Synovate HA to promote healthy cartilage and optimal synovial fluid viscosity for proactive management of joint health.
KER-Flex®Oral joint supplement. KER-Flex contains a synergistic blend of glucosamine HCl and chondroitin sulfate to provide broad-spectrum support of joint health in a palatable powder. Choose KER-Flex when support of healthy joint cartilage for performance longevity is the primary goal.
EO-3™Omega-3 supplement. EO-3 is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, compounds found to optimize the well-being of all horses, regardless of age or use. Specifically DHA and EPA supplementation has been shown to reduce inflammation with osteoarthritis. Choose EO-3 to promote a more natural balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in the body and the benefits this can confer on joint health.