Have read a lot about joint supplements and I think the real truth is that none of that glucosamine or chondroitin even gets through the intestines and to the joints. When a horse gets better it is just all that MSM in the joint formula? I also read that the Hyaluronic acid can be digested but then the liver gets most of it. Are people just wasting their money on all this stuff? So…..is MSM ok to give them every day as a precautionary measure when a horse is in training or is there no need? Barbara
I’m not sure what readings you are referring to, but I have collected research that confirms glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid, as well as MSM, are all absorbed by the horse when given orally (although at different rates) and can be found in the blood and various tissues. In addition, some work shows clear benefits to joint health from oral supplementation with these ingredients.
For example, in the last study below, the researchers report that within two weeks of giving a product containing glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to unsound horses, the lameness grade, flexion test and stride length were significantly improved. The 2002 study by Dr. Hilary Clayton and others showed that horses with tarsal (hock) degenerative joint disease showed a significant reduction in gait asymmetry after receiving oral supplements intended to support joint health orally for two weeks compared with a placebo treatment.
MSM has the highest absorption rate of all these ingredients at 55% yet the fewest in vivo (in the live horse) studies proving its benefits or exact mechanism of action. Lots of in vitro (in the laboratory) and human research though. I’ve included a research paper here that I think speaks to your question of whether there’s any advantage to giving MSM to a horse in training. The researchers concluded that jumping exercise could induce harmful effects on horses, probably due to an increase in oxidative damage and proinflammatory molecules and that MSM could exert some protective effect on oxidative and inflammatory exercise-induced injury. The antioxidant benefits of MSM apply to all tissues, including the joints.
I encourage you to check out the papers I’ve listed below and reconsider your opinion on the absorption of the various oral joint supplement ingredients with this new information.
The effect of methyl sulphonyl methane supplementation on biomarkers of oxidative stress in sport horses following jumping exercise
Acta Vet Scand. 2008 Nov 7;50:45
Marañón G, Muñoz-Escassi B, Manley W, García C, Cayado P, de la Muela MS, Olábarri B, León R, Vara E
Oral hyaluronan gel reduces post operative tarsocrural effusion in the yearling Thoroughbred.
Bergin BJ, Pierce SW, Bramlage LR, Stromberg A.
Equine Vet J. 2006 Jul;38(4):375-8
Effects of Oral Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfates Supplementation on Frequency of
Intra-articular Therapy of the Horse Tarsus
Intern J Appl Res Vet Med • Vol. 4, No. 2, 2006
Martha R. Rodgers, VMD
Evidence of the Oral Absorption of Chondroitin Sulfate as Determined by Total Disaccharide
Content After Oral and Intravenous Administration to Horses
Natalie D. Eddington, PhD; Jianping Du, PhD; Nathaniel White, DVM, Diplomate ACVS
2001 / Vol. 47 / AAEP PROCEEDINGS
Double-Blind Study of the Effects of an Oral Supplement Intended to Support Joint Health in Horses with Tarsal Degenerative Joint Disease
Hilary M. Clayton, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS; Patricia E. Almeida, MS, DVM; Marta Prades, DVM, Diplomate ACVS, Diplomate ECVS; Jennifer Brown, DVM; Caroline Tessier, DVM; and Joel L. Lanovaz, BS, MS
2002 /Vol. 48 /AAEP PROCEEDINGS
Oral Treatment With a Glucosamine-Chondroitin Sulfate Compound for Degenerative Joint Disease in Horses: 25 Cases
R. Reid Hanson, DVM, Lowell R. Smalley, DVM, Gerald K. Huff, DVM, S. White, DVM, Tarek A. Hammad, MD, PhD, Msc, MS
16 Equine Practice, VOL. 19. NO. 9, October 1997