Silicon (Sodium Zeolite A) is involved in the formation of the collagen matrix as well as bone mineralization. Collagen is an often overlooked factor in joint health as it makes up to 90% of the connective tissue in dry weight. While 70% of the bone is comprised of mineral components, this collagen matrix makes up the other 30% and is necessary to preserving the integrity of these tissues that otherwise may become brittle and susceptible to damage. When silicon is deficient in the diet, the formation of the bone matrix appears to be limited; potentially resulting in even greater problems than if it is deficient in the mineralization process alone. Sodium Zeolite A converts into orthosilicic acid (silicon) in the body. Here is a link to some Silicon Research in Horses or simply google search "orthosilicic acid joints" to read about all the amazing benefits it has from a bone and joint standpoint. Most equine supplements fail to feature this new nutrient. OSTEO-FUEL is ahead of the rest! Schütze et al. reported that the Sodium Zeolite A stimulated DNA synthesis in osteoblasts (bone building cells) and inhibited osteoclast (cells which breakdown bone)-mediated bone resorption in vitro. This is possibly attributable to the ortho-silicic acid-releasing property of Sodium Zeolite A. Studies in young thoroughbred race horses show that horses supplemented with silicon (as Sodium Zeolite A) can train and race almost twice the total distance as horses not supplemented with silicon before suffering injuries. This is a very impressive statistic, in a sport where injuries are inevitable
Glucosamine supports cartilage production, improves joint comfort and inhibits inflammatory mediators, which contribute to cartilage breakdown and joint pain.
Chondroitin supports production and slows breakdown of cartilage. It has shown to improve joint comfort & inhibits inflammatory mediators. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have been shown in published equine cell research to work better together than either alone over long term studies.
MSM is known for anti-inflammatory activity, which typically applies most specifically to tissues in and around the joint. Research done on exercised horses given MSM reported anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits in the bloodstream.
Zinc assists in the metabolism of nutrients and blood formation. It is required for the immune system to function correctly. It also plays a vital role in production of healthy skin, hair and hooves. The Zinc:Copper ratio is important to keep balanced in the horses diet.
Copper is critical in the formation and repair of collagen, the major component of bone matrix. Copper is required for activity of lysyl oxidase, the enzyme needed to form crosslinks in collagen, which hold the bone tissues together. Think of collagen crosslinks as rebar or steel wire placed into an area before concrete is poured. The rebar or steel wire will hold the concrete together, making it more durable. Copper deficiency could impair the strength of collagen and in turn, bone & connective tissue. Insufficient copper in the diet has been implicated in osteochondrosis and flexural deformities.
Manganese is required for the utilization of fats and carbohydrates. It is involved as a co-factor for the formation of cartilage and bone production through chondroitin synthesis.
Vitamin C plays a vital role in the production of collagen, which is a key component in bone & connective tissues like cartilage, tendons and ligaments. It also has shown to have benefits for the immune system in horses low in Vitamin C.
Vitamin E is important for stabilizing cell walls by protecting their destruction from oxidation, and is thus referred to as an “anti-oxidant” vitamin. It is also involved in supporting the immune system.
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Lang, K.J., B.D. Nielson, K.L.Waite, J. Link, G.M. Hill and M.W. Orth. 2001a. Increased plasma silicon concentrations and altered bone resorption in response to sodium zeolite A supplementation in yearling horses. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 21(11):550-555.
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