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Glucosamine for horses

Glucosamine is a substance commonly found is supplements for horses. It is an important raw material of your horse’s cartilage. But glucosamine has more functions.

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What is glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a substance in the body that consists of a combination of sugars with amino acids. Glucosamine is an important substance in the joints. To explain how glucosamine works, you need to know how a joint is put together.

All joints in the body are covered with cartilage. Cartilage consists of 2 parts, namely the chondroblasts (cartilage cells) and the intercellular substance, or extracellular matrix. The extracellular matrix is composed of collagen and proteoglycans. Collagen is important for the stability and elasticity of cartilage. Proteoglycans give cartilage strength and provide shock absorption. Proteoglycans consist of a protein core with glycosaminoglycans bound to it.

Joint fluid consists of hyaluronic acid, glucuronic acid and glucosamine. The function of synovial fluid is to lubricate the joints and nourish joint cartilage.

Glucosamine is thus a component of synovial fluid. In addition, it is a building block for glycosaminoglycans in the proteoglycans and necessary for building hyaluronic acid. So for healthy cartilage, glucosamine is very important.

How does glucosamine work in horses?

Glucosamine is often used to prevent or inhibit joint wear. Joint wear, or osteoarthritis, involves cartilage damage. As a result, the bone, synovial fluid and ligaments are also affected. This wear and tear increases over time.

Research has shown that glucosamine can help slow down wear in osteoarthritis and reduce pain in several ways:

  • Glucosamine can help inhibit the breakdown of the cartilage’s extracellular matrix. As a result, it can therefore slow down the process of wear and tear.
  • Glucosamine affects the amount of glucosaminoglycans.
  • More glucosamine increases hyaluronic acid in the synovial fluid.
  • Glucosamine reduces collagen breakdown.

So plenty of reasons to give your horse extra glucosamine.

What supplements with Glucosamine for horses are there?

There are many different supplements with glucosamine for horses. Most supplements contain a combination of glucosamine with other joint support substances.

For example, a common combination is:

  • Glucosamine with chondroitin sulphate, as in Puur Glucosamine
  • Glucosamine with MSM
  • Glucosamine with chondroitin sulphate and MSM

Other combinations include hyaluronic acid, collagen, Vitamin C and herbs like Boswellia Serrata.

Glucosamine and MSM for horses

As mentioned, Glucosamine can be combined with several other joint-supporting substances. The combination of Glucosamine with MSM is perhaps the most commonly used, as this combination is known to give a stronger effect than these substances separately. Together, glucosamine and MSM provide a stronger reduction of swelling and pain in joints with osteoarthritis symptoms. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect improves joint functionality.

Different forms of Glucosamine for horses

Glucosamine is usually added as a powder. It is also offered as a liquid supplement.