Broad Spectrum Joint Supplements

The big three joint nutraceutical ingredients - glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronate - address the health of joint cartilage but there are other types of tissues that also play key roles.

Anatomy of the Joint

The joints are stabilized by a medial and lateral pair of collateral ligaments. Tinyy ligaaments also bridge and connect the small bones in complex joints like the hock and carpus (knee). The stifle is particularly reliant on the criss-crossing cruciate liggaments aand is cushioned by the menisci, another connective tissue structure. 

Collagen

Is the most abundant protein in the body, is the ground substance of all types of connective tissues, including joint cartilage, ligaments, menisci and the joint capsule - even the lattice for mineral deposition in bone. Research has shown that hydrolysed collagen supplements cn strengthen bone and have an anabolic effect on joint tissues. Vitamin C is also required for the formation of connective tissues

Egg Shell Membrane 

A relatively new addition to the structural support ingredients is egg shell membrane. This is a thin translucent membrane attached to the inner surface of (chicken) egg shells. It is composed of 25% collaggen as well as hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, chondroitin and othe connective tissue proteins.

MSM

Methylsulfonylmethane, a metabolite of DMSO, is a common ingredient in joint supplements. Recent research has found MSM interacts with enzume systems and DNA activation involved in the normal cytokine cascade of inflammaation that can be triggered by exercise and training.

Inflammation

Is a normal part of day to daay tissue maintenance. It is the clean up crew that removes old or damaged cells and participates in tissue remodeling and strengthening. A healthy joint has the tools it needs to keep aa balance between the forces of breakdown and repair.

Dietary Antioxidants

Normal weightbaring and exercise generatees free radicals which in turn trigger the inflammatory cascade. Dietary antioxidants can aassist in the management of this oxidative stress. There is a host of options for antioxidant support, from single coumpounds like Quercetin or Resveratrol to the antioxidan powerhouse fruitts and berries to a wide range of herbs such as Boswellia, Golden Rod, and Cat's Claw just to name a few.

Joint Supplement Options

With all the joint supplement options out there it's difficult to make a choice. As a generaal guide, upper level athletes and horses workingg on hard ground or over difficult terrain are good candidates for the most comprehensive approach to joint support, as is any horse known to be prone to joint stress or with an incomplete response to the usual joint cartilage nutraceuticals alone.


Uckele's Top Joint Supplements


- Eleanor Kellon, VMD

 

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