Get the Most from Your Joint Supplements
Q: Is it more cost effective to purchase an all-in-one joint supplement (i.e., one with MSM, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, etc.) or should I buy each one separately?
Generally, it should appear cheaper to buy a combination, but each ingredient has a cost based on the source and quality.
Things that affect price:
1. Pharmaceutical grade ingredients cost more and are higher quality than standard ingredients.
2. It is often less expensive if a company grows its own ingredients and manufactures on premises.
3. Organic ingredients cost more because of the certification process, and the extra time and steps involved to be accredited as organic.
4. A new company has more costs to gain market share than an existing (or established) company.
5. With today’s gas costs, an imported ingredient usually costs more than a locally grown or derived ingredient.
6. Packaging. Sometimes, the packaging can cost MORE than the ingredients!
Consider the purpose of each ingredient:
MSM - to lubricate, reduce friction
Glucosamine - to reduce inflammation
Chondroitin - to rebuild cartilage
Hyaluronic Acid - to draw in moisture
Devil’s Claw - great for pain (and to reduce inflammation)
If you’re treating arthritis, likely a combo is your best choice. If you have only one specific issue, a single supplement may be a better (and more economical) choice. Let’s say your goal is to rebuild cartilage. Maybe you think you’d buy chondroitin, which is a good choice, but if inflammation is also present, and you aren’t addressing that with an anti-inflammatory diet* plus glucosamine, then the chondroitin can’t “get to” the area to start the rebuilding process.
(*An anti-inflammatory diet would be high in Omegas: Flax and Fish oil, kale, raspberry, leek, rosemary, avocado, red seaweed, broccoli, papaya, peach, pear, rosemary, blueberries, tomatoes. Also be aware that if your horse is lacking minerals and microminerals, this deficiency is deteriorating the joints.)
Q: Why do some products seem to work and others with nearly the same ingredients not work?
The clearest example of why some products work better than others is evidenced by the primary ingredient source for glucosamine. Glucosamine is usually added in the form of potassium chloride (from shellfish). When using this, it can take at least 30-40 days to realize any result. It is a much cheaper ingredient than amino saccharide, a glucosamine source that most often comes from shark cartilage or bovine.
This more expensive source is documented to offer results in 15 days. Both ingredients may appear to be glucosamine, even in the same mg dose, but the results would be FAR DIFFERENT for each.
Length of Use
Technically is takes 2 years to rebuild cartilage and truly assist a joint. In any case, a product should be tried for a MINIMUM of 60 days to even begin to see real results. Pain tolerance is an issue. One product may seem to work faster/better for one animal than another. There is no easy gauge for pain tolerance. Assimilation is also a factor. If the horse’s system cannot utilize the ingredients, there will be no result.
Here’s to a healthy horse! Shari Frederick Healthy Horse Hints™