Flex Well EQ Joint Supplement

Equine Joint Supplements: Food for Better Connections

There are so many equine joint supplements available, that it’s hard to figure out which one to choose. But if you are seeking a whole food alternative for joint health, there are very specific foods that support the whole joint itself: bone, connective tissue, cartilage, and reduction of inflammation. I’d like to share some of these, along with some of the science and ingredient decisions that went into the development of BioStar’s Flex Well EQ.

Glucosamine sulfate was first discovered by it’s presence in the body; that is, the body makes glucosamine sulfate from a sugar molecule, the amino acid glutamine, and sulfur. We can supply the body what it needs to make it’s own glucosamine by providing cabbage (potent source of glutamine), and kale (a potent source of sulfur). Since the equine body has generally plenty of sugar molecules available, additional sugar is not needed. Because the glutamine and the sulfur are in their bioavailable forms from food, the body can utilize these nutrients to make glucosamine sulfate.

The nutraceutical form of glucosamine sulfate is derived from the exoskeletons of shellfish, although some non-shellfish forms are now being used. The challenge with the exoskeleton variety of glucosamine sulfate is that it is extremely unstable, and must be stabilized by sodium or potassium chloride. These stabilizers can make up 30% of the weight of the glucosamine sulfate. So 5,000 mgs of glucosamine sulfate is actually 3,500 mgs of actual glucosamine.

Chia seeds turn out to be excellent equine joint supplements.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds prove to be fantastic joint supplements because chia is high in the amino acids Proline and Lysine. Proline is needed for the production of collagen and cartilage. Proline and Lysine are both needed to make hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine, which form collagen. Collagen helps to heal cartilage and to cushion the joints and vertebrae.

Chia seeds from Ecuador and Bolivia are very high in the trace minerals boron and strontium. These trace minerals have been leached from the soils in North America. Boron has been shown to reduce the excretion of calcium, and to increase the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Strontium’s bone-strengthening effect is believed to be increased bone formation, which increases bone mass, microarchitecture, and strength.

Another benefit of chia seeds are their high amount of omega 3′s. These fatty acids decrease the pro-inflammatory prostaglandins (PG-2).

Pomegranates and strawberries are among the phytonutrient foods that provide anti inflammatory action in the body. A study of the inflammatory benefits of pomegranates, published in 2009, highlights that pomegranate reduces the production of two key pro-inflammatory cytokines: interleukin-6 and interleukin-8. These particular cytokines contribute to painful joint damage and chronic inflammation.

Strawberries, due to their unique phenol and flavonoid content, lessen the activity of the COX-2 enzyme. It is interesting that foods like strawberries do not block or reduce the activity of COX-1 enzymes, which are important enzymes in the day to day cellular and metabolic activities of the body, including maintaining stomach lining integrity and balancing platelet function. NSAIDS block both COX enzymes and can contribute to GI tract distress.

Why MSM Is Not A Food: MSM is natural substance made from phytoplankton in the oceans, whose decomposition makes a compound called dimthylsulfide (DMS). This compound is taken up by our atmosphere. Both oxygen and sunlight react with DMS; this causes DMS to go through a series of oxidation steps that include the formation of DMSO, and MSM. Plants and animals take in sulfur by using the MSM and other sulfur compounds that come from the atmosphere.

MSM that is available in human and horse joint supplements is not a product of phytoplankton decomposition. It is a product of the petro-chemical industry. Petroleum waste and methane gas are used to create the dietary forms of MSM.

An alternative to this petrochemical creation is to feed kale, a nutritive vegetable that is one of the highest sources of sulfur in the plant kingdom. One to two ounces per day of kale provides therapeutic levels of bioavailable sulfur. Specific whole foods can act as effective joint supplements in addition to Adequan and Legend, regular use of ice boots and cold therapies, and other modalities. The advantages of whole food supplementation for joints is the bioavailability of nutrients within the food, along with the essential co-factors of enzymes, free amino acids, and minerals.


* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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