Glucosamine is one of the building blocks of cartilage and other connective tissues throughout the horse’s body. It incorporates with glucosaminoglycans in order to lubricate and act as shock absorbers in joints. However, wear and tear takes its toll on joints, causing osteoarthritis to develop. Wear and tear can come from old age as well as high performance in young horses. As osteoarthritis progresses the naturally occurring glucosamine and glycoaminoglycans are degraded. The anti-inflammatory properties of oral glucosamine have been shown to stimulate the production of glycoaminoglycans, helping joints to better lubricate and absorb shock. This proves the importance of not only supplementing older horses but young horses as well.
Glucosamine has been shown in numerous studies to benefit arthritic horses. Research done by Forsyth et al.(2006) found that after 8 weeks of 5000mg of glucosamine supplementation, arthritic horses had increased joint motion and stride length. In a similar study, Carden et al. (2013) reported increased joint motion after 90 days of glucosamine supplementation. Increased motion and stride length indicate that the horses they studied had less inflammation in their joints, which would allow the horses to perform at a higher level and with less pain than the arthritic horses that weren’t supplemented. Glucosamine, MSM, and hyaluronic acid work synergistically together in your horse’s joints. The combination will ensure that you are helping your horse have fluid, comfortable joints.
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