Recovery and Comfort for Horses: An East-Meets-West Approach
Horses are incredible athletes. Just like humans, however, their muscles can become sore and stiff after a training session or a day of competition. As horses age they can also develop chronic joint issues related to inflammatory response, such as osteoarthritis, requiring supplementation and medication for ease of movement.
Exercise and Physiological Stress
Exercise increases physiological stress. The biological result is an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS), and inflammatory mediators such as cytokines and eicosanoids. Both oxidative stress and inflammation can lead to damage of tissues, protein, and cells.
The inflammatory response can be transient. Several studies have shown that inflammatory markers in horses after high-intensity exercise begins 30 minutes after exercise and lasts two hours. However, other inflammatory factors such as prostaglandin 2 and catabolism of proteoglycan in connective tissue don’t become elevated until 8 hours after exercise.1
We know inflammation plays a role in onset muscle soreness. One study 2 showed that 24 hours of rest after exercise brought the inflammatory markers of the horses back to homeostasis.
Particularly during competition, when class schedules are not always 24 hours apart, providing 24 hours of rest to a horse can be challenging. On top of this, a competition environment may not provide as much of a relaxing atmosphere as the home barn.
NSAIDs for Muscle Soreness
Bute (phenylbutazone) and Banamine® (flunixin meglumine) are the most widely used NSAIDs in the equine industry. These are very important drugs for pain and inflammation management; however, they are not without side effects, particularly gastric ulceration and right dorsal colitis.
NSAIDs might not be the best choice for short-term muscle soreness in horses. Luckily, there are other choices for supporting comfort and maintaining a normal inflammatory response.
Arthritis in horses
Arthritis is a common condition in horses, often helped with intra-articular joint therapy including hyaluronic acid, polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, and steroids. Chronic discomfort from arthritis is often managed with the NSAID Equioxx® (Firocoxib). Additional therapies can include Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), interleukin receptor antagonist protein (IRAP) and stem cells.
Other supportive therapies include supplements, acupuncture, massage, and shock wave therapy.
A study at Texas A&M in 2017 on Equioxx and Bute and their effects on the GI tract of horses 3 showed that horses in both treatment groups had significantly higher squamous gastric ulceration scores than the horses in the control group. Both Equioxx and Bute resulted in significantly more ulcers in the glandular portion of the stomach than in the controls. The study also noted that the horses receiving Bute had more severe glandular ulcers than the horses given Equioxx.
The Biostar approach: East-meets-West
BioStar combines the body balancing philosophies of Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine with the validation of modern Western science. This integration of eastern and western foods and plants provides support for homeostasis and true wellness.
Our new supplement Remedium Nadi EQ™ reflects our integration of eastern medicine and western science. Remedium is the latin word for relief. Nadi is the Ayurvedic word for channels of substances and energies throughout the body.
Boswellia serrata and AKBA
One of the oldest Ayurvedic remedies for inflammation and discomfort is Boswellia serrata, the same plant as frankincense. It has six boswellic acids identified by modern science, which have the unique ability to inhibit harmful 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) enzymes. The 5-LOX enzyme converts into pro-inflammatory leukotrienes.
The most powerful of the six boswellic acids is AKBA (3-acetyl-11-keto-boswellic acid). AKBA prevents 5-LOX from evolving into the harmful pro-inflammatory leukotrienes by binding directly with the destructive enzyme, inhibiting its activity.
The problem with using Boswellia however, is that most conventional Boswellia extracts contain very low levels of AKBA. In the typical standardized Boswellia extract, only 2-3% is AKBA.
Of course, Biostar went in search of a high-AKBA Boswellia that was backed by science.
ApresFlex® with 20% AKBA
Developed in India, the birthplace of Ayurvedic medicine, ApresFlex® is a patented modern extract of Boswellia with 20% AKBA. This increased bioactivity demonstrated faster therapeutic results in clinical trials. Biostar is the first equine company to provide this patented extract to horses.
Support for connective tissue
ApresFlex® has also shown to inhibit MMP-3 activity (an enzyme involved in the breakdown of proteins during tissue remodeling in normal physiological processes), helping protect against degradation of collagen, a vital component of connective tissues. 4
Quercetin Phytosome and Bioavailability
Quercetin is a versatile antioxidant, providing protective abilities, inflammatory response support, gastro protective support, and support for the inhibition of histamine. To provide additional support to the horse, we chose Quercefit®, the patented Quercetin Phytosome extract, sourced from the Japanese pagoda tree.
Quercetin Phytosome is the most bioavailable quercetin on the market. This is extremely important for quercetin’s role as an inflammatory regulator. It can inhibit both COX and LOX enzymes. 5
Adaptogen support: Tulsi and Reishi
Adaptogens are categorized as specific plants, fungi, and foods that increase the body’s resistance to stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Certain adaptogens can support the adrenal gland and help the body avoid excess cortisol production. Adaptogens assist the body in adapting to physical, environmental, and mental stress. Adaptogens help restore equilibrium to the body.
Key adaptogens are Tulsi (Holy Basil) and Reishi mushrooms. Tulsi and Reishi can strengthen the glandular and circulatory systems, promote recovery, and help support cellular energy transfer.
Tulsi is one of the most well-known adaptogens in Ayurvedic medicine, and Reishi one of the most well-known adaptogens in Chinese Medicine.
Superoxide Dismutase – SOD for Discomfort
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is an enzyme that helps break down harmful free radical molecules in the body. This enzyme is present both inside and outside cell membranes. Can play an important role in regulating inflammation and discomfort.
Supplementing with SOD has often been problematic because it is a large molecule that is not readily absorbed.
An innovative company in France discovered that a particular melon variety (Charentais) contained high quantities of SOD. Combining the extracted SOD with a glycoprotein from wheat produced a scientific breakthrough in the delivery of SOD. The glycoproteins allow the SOD to stick to the epithelial cells in the small intestine, enabling the SOD to be utilized by the body. 6
This patented extract is called GliSODin®. Biostar is the first company in the equine industry to provide this important extract to horses.
98% Pure Resveratrol
Resveratrol is one of the most investigated food compounds today. It has more than 12,000 scientific publications and over 200 clinical trials. Resveratrol has a wide range of biological activities including antioxidant, cardioprotective, neuroprotective and inflammatory-response support.
Veri-te® resveratrol from Swiss company Evolva was developed with a yeast fermentation process. This process assures a 98% pure resveratrol.
Resveratrol regulates inflammation differently than Cox-2 and Lox-5 inhibitors. It regulates the inflammatory response through signaling pathways which are the body’s early steps in inflammation formation. 7
Together in one Supplement
Remedium Nadi EQ is a unique blend of state-of-the-art ingredients, backed by science, to help support the normal inflammatory response and recovery process. It supports ease and comfort in older horses. Our biologically active ingredients work with the body to maintain homeostasis and wellbeing.
Beta Testing Remedium Nadi EQ
As we do with other Biostar products, we conducted beta tests on horses to see the effects and efficacy of the formulation. The beta tests were conducted from February 2021-June 2021 on 15 horses and show ponies. The results showed that 75% of the beta test horses demonstrated positive and beneficial support from the supplement. The horses with chronic joint challenges on average showed improvement in 7-10 days. For the horses and ponies needing support during competition, results were evident in 24 hours. One horse out of the 15 did not find the supplement palatable.
LOOK FOR IT September 1, 2021!
(Note ApresFlex® was originally patented as Aflapin® and this study reflects the original name)