Nutritional Articles

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Hyaluronan & Healthy Joints (EQUUS)

Published: 2004-06-30

Brief content of the article
This practical article reviews the current “practical” knowledge regarding hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid/ sodium hyaluronate) which is one of the primary substances of synovial fluid. The article describes the chemical properties as well as applications of hyluronan in the equine practice. Intra-articular injection and oral supplementation are both discussed. Dr. McIlwraith of Colorado State University and veterinarian S. Pierce of Kinetic Technologis comment on the function of hyaluronan. In this article Pierce says that he has conducted a few studies that have yielded promising results. In one, 26 Thoroughbreds in race training were given daily oral doses of either a placebo gel or a gel containing 100 miligrams of sodium hyaluronate for 59 days. The horses’ trainers were asked to note the number of days the horses were worked, the number of days the horse were just walked, and whether they were referred to veterinarians for lameness exams or radiographs. According to Pierce, on avarage, the horses in the treated group were galopped on the tract for five extra days compared to horses given the placebo. Pierce also noted that in the placebo group 11 of 13 horses were examined for lameness as in the supplemented group only 4 horses were referred for lameness exam. In another study Pierce showed that oral administration can increase the levels of Hyaluronan in the blood. However, the therapeutic value of oral hyaluronan has not been proven. McIlwraith further comments on the efficacy of hyaluronan and in what cases it may be effective.
Keywords: hyaluronan; hyaluronic acid; joints; sodium hyaluronate; synovial fluid.

Bonner, L. 2004 Hyaluronan & Healthy Joints. Equus 320:61-67.

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