Reduced Joint Inflammation Noted in Nutraceutical Study

A dietary nutraceutical composed of mussel, shark cartilage, abalone, and Biota orientalis lipid extract (trade name Epiitalis), reduced inflammatory responses similar to those experienced by a horse with arthritis, researchers reported in a new study.

"Arthritis is among the most common causes of wastage in performance horses," said Wendy Pearson, PhD, of the Ontario Agriculture College in Guelph, Canada. "It places a major economic and welfare cost upon the horse industry, and importantly, we have no drug 'cure' for arthritis. Thus, it is an ideal arena for investigation of natural interventions."

Pearson and her colleagues wanted to know if they could modify inflammation by feeding horses the nutraceutical two weeks before an injection and two weeks after.

Researchers fed the horses the nutraceutical (Sasha's EQ by Interpath Pty Ltd) every day for two weeks. They then injected one joint of each horse with interleukin-1 (IL-1), a substance that causes inflammation in the body, and another with saline as a control. The horses continued on the nutraceutical for two more weeks. Then researchers compared the joints, and found the horses that had received the nutracuetical had less inflammation in their joints.

"Sasha's EQ contains the full complement of different glycosaminoglycan (GAG) components and hexosamines present in cartilage, which theoretically provides a more complete anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective treatment than glucosamine alone," Pearson said.

The study was sponsored in part by a grant from Interpath, but the company did not participate in the study design, collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data.

The study, "Evaluation of inflammatory responses induced via intra-articular injection of interleukin-1 in horses receiving a dietary nutraceutical and assessment of the clinical effects of long-term nutraceutical administration," was published in the July issue of American Journal of Veterinary Research. The abstract is available on PubMed.

Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.

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