Researchers Test Joint Supplement's Impact on Old Horses
Most equestrians agree that a good equine schoolmaster is nothing short of sacred. Their experience and maturity make them trusted teachers, valuable competitive partners, and hands-down barn favorites. But by the time a horse is 15 to 20 years old, the natural aging process makes them vulnerable to stiffness and lameness due to arthritis development.

But senior horse owners might have something to celebrate: Findings from a recent study showed that a supplement containing resveratrol and hyaluronic acid (Equithrive Joint) appears to have anti-inflammatory effects and could potentially lower glucose levels in older horses.

“This type of supplement reduces inflammation and has antioxidant effects where it might reduce muscle leakage caused by oxidative stress,” said Mary U. Ememe, DVM, of the Ahmadu Bello University Department of Veterinary Medicine, in Nigeria.

Oxidative stress results from the production of free radicals, which are produced through normal metabolism and environmental pressures such as radiation, toxins in the air, food, water, medication, and exercise. As a horse ages, his ability to create an antioxidant defense decreases, making it more difficult for a horse to cope with oxidative stress over time.

“The anti-inflammatory property of this type of supplement compensates for an older horse’s ability to cope with oxidative stress,” Ememe added. “We looked at blood samples and found that the supplement reduced serum creatine kinase (CK). “

The team collected blood samples before the supplement was given and then weekly during the experiment. The blood samples showed a reduction in the value of CK and indicates that the supplement acted as an antioxidant.

Ememe and colleagues also found that the supplements appeared to reduce serum glucose levels. After collecting blood samples from 16 horses aged 15 to 22 years, they found that horses consuming the supplement had lower serum creatine kinase (used to diagnose and evaluate muscle damage) levels and glucose concentrations compared to horses receiving a control “supplement.”

“A reduction in glucose concentration in supplemented horses shows that the supplement is anti-hyperglycemic, because resveratrol enhances glucose transport to skeletal muscle,” she added.

Ememe said further research is needed to determine whether these effects are long-lasting or if longer treatment periods and higher doses will provide long-term success.

The study, “Effects of a joint supplement whose main components are resveratrol and hyaluronic acid on some biochemical parameters in aged lame horses,” was published in the Journal of Equine Science.