Do you know your HA from your ASU?

Taking steps to protect your horses joint health can not only speed up healing after injury but also help to combat general wear and tear. Over time supplementation can help preserve your horse’s  athleticism as well as improving his general quality of life. Picking the right supplement can be a bit of a mine field though so we have selected a few of the more common joint aid ingredients to look at in more detail.

1- Glucosamine is an amino sugar that the horse’s body uses to produce and repair cartilage. Often combined with chondroitin in oral supplements for horses, glucosamine is most commonly derived from the shells of shellfish but it can also be produced using Aspergillus niger fungus or from fermenting corn.

2- Hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid, HA) also known as sodium hyaluronate, HA binds to water to create a viscous, lubricating fluid. Found in connective tissue, cartilage and synovial fluid, HA can be injected directly into arthritic joints, administered as an intravenous injection or administered orally through feed supplements. HA has an anti-inflammatory effect and stimulates the production of more HA, which thickens the synovial fluid and increases its cushioning ability within the joint.

3- MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), derived from DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), is an organic compound containing sulfur, which is used in the production of collagen and connective tissue. MSM helps give collagen stability and strength and enhances the function of glucosamine.

4- Soybean and avocado extracts (avocado soybean unsaponifiables) ASU blocks inflammatory chemicals, prevents deterioration of cartilage and stimulates the repair of connective tissue. Simply feeding horses avocados and soybeans will not have a beneficial effect. Omega Equine do a great supplement that utilises this wonder Ingredient. Omega ASU Extra contains 6000mg of ASU and is fortified with Methyl Sulphonyl Methane (MSM) and Hyaluronic Acid (HA) for optimum joint care.