What are the benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin?

I have a 13-year-old warmblood gelding. We compete on a regular basis in the adult equitation and hunters and I’ve been thinking of adding a joint supplement to his nutrition program. What are the benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin?

– Leslie M., Landrum, SC

Providing a joint supplement to your horse sounds like a wise investment to me! Research shows that the major ingredients found in oral joint supplements (like the glucosamine and chondroitin you mention) can promote cartilage production and slow cartilage breakdown. They can even protect joint tissues against the damaging effects of inflammation. In short, joint supplements can be an insurance policy for your horse’s career and welfare that you can’t afford to pass up. Here’s specific information on the most common joint supplement ingredients:

Glucosamine – stimulates production of Chondroitin Sulfate; inhibits free radicals and enzymes that break down cartilage Chondroitin Sulfate – stimulates production of Hyaluronic Acid and proteoglycans; also inhibits enzymes that break down cartilage

Hyaluronic Acid – integral component of joint fluid and articular cartilage; provides lubrication and shock absorption

MSM – source of sulfur for building and repairing cartilage; helps control discomfort and inflammation

[Ed. note: Originally printed in the May 2010 issue of Salt Block Gazette]

Lydia F. Gray, DVM, MA SmartPak Staff Veterinarian and Medical Director Dr. Lydia Gray has earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), and a Master of Arts focusing on interpersonal and organizational communication. After “retiring” from private practice, she put her experience and education to work as the American Association of Equine Practitioner’s first-ever Director of Owner Education. Dr. Gray continues to provide health and nutrition information to horse owners through her position at SmartPak, through publication in more than a dozen general and trade publications, and through presentations around the country. She is the very proud owner of a Trakehner named Newman that she actively competes with in dressage and combined driving. In addition to memberships in the USDF and USEF, Dr. Gray is also a member of the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association (IDCTA). She is a USDF “L” Program Graduate and is currently working on her Bronze Medal. Find Dr. Gray on Google+

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Posted in Ask the Vet, Lameness, SmartPak Features

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3 comments on “What are the benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin?
  1. Pam Thomas says:

    My vet just recommended this plus Fish oil for my one year old Boxer mix dog. It’s being sent with my smart pak order :)

  2. Darlene Anderson says:

    Have my 22 year old Belgian draft on senior flex for the past year and he acts like he is 12 years old. Plays hard with my 6 year old TWH. Thanks Smartpak.

  3. Kelsey says:

    Smartflex repair has saved both my event horses and ensured they will have long, pain free careers! Looking to rolex in the near future!!

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