Joint Guard® for Horses

Frequently asked questions on joint health.

Frequently asked questions

Why Is Cartilage Important?

A joint is a junction of any two or more bones. Immersed in synovial (joint) fluid, it is structured to allow smooth, low friction, controlled movement, while maintaining strength and support by transmitting the large loads to the underlying bones. Because of cartilage, synovial joints can withstand tremendous forces and repetitive motions which would quickly destroy most man-made materials.
Of all the component parts of a joint, the articular cartilage plays the most vital role in joint function, by reducing friction during joint movement and absorbing shock, without pain, as well as providing flexible support.
Cartilage is an unusual tissue, as it contains no nerves or blood vessels.
All nutrients required by cartilage for the constant repair and maintenance of joints are supplied by diffusion from the blood supply in the underlying bone, or from the synovial (joint) fluid.

Why Is Cartilage So Difficult To Heal?

The poor blood supply to cartilage is a primary factor in why joint and cartilage damage is so serious and difficult to treat. Cartilage does have limitations: all body cells, including joint cartilage, must undergo repair constantly to keep pace with breakdown that occurs during normal daily activity.

How Does Cartilage Repair?

Cartilage has a huge capacity to replenish its major components in response to the forces placed upon it, by manufacturing large amounts of collagen and proteoglycans. Collagen is a tough, ropey protein which connects all the cartilage tissues, and provides the tensile strength of cartilage. Proteoglycans provide the resilience required when compressive forces are applied to cartilage (when horse is weight bearing).

What Raw Materials Are Needed For Joint Repair:

The continuous manufacturing of components for joint cartilage repair and maintenance generates extremely high demands for the building blocks of both collagen and proteoglycans. If these raw materials are not available in the amounts required, at the right time, the repair process is impaired or halted. There are several ESSENTIAL raw materials for cartilage repair, required on a daily basis:
 Glucosamine - is the major building block for manufacturing glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and hyaluronic acid (the major component of joint fluid). Its primary role is to stimulate the secretion of GAGs in the cartilage. The hydrochloride (HCl) form is highly bioavailable.
 Chondroitin Sulfate - in addition to being the major GAG found in cartilage, its primary role is to inhibit many of the degradative enzymes which break down damaged cartilage.
 Manganese - this is an essential co-factor in the process of manufacturing GAGs for repair.
 Ascorbate (Vitamin C) - is also essential for synthesis of collagen.

The combination of these components in any supplement for joint repair and protection has what is called a chondroprotective effect (joint protective), where Glucosamine increases the synthesis of cartilage while Chondroitin sulfate inhibits cartilage breakdown. Without Manganese and Vitamin C, these activities cannot take place with maximum efficiency.

There is a synergistic effect when these components are combined in any supplement, where the response to the combination is far better than the response from any one individual component.

Can I use Joint Guard for Prevention?

Newer approaches to joint maintenance allow for both:

(a) Protection of joint cartilage during training and competition to reduce cartilage injury, and
 (b) Therapy of existing cartilage degeneration.

Joint Guard provides all the essential components and cofactors for cartilage repair and maintenance, and is designed for daily administration in the diet to help prevent cartilage degeneration, by supplying critical components on a daily basis. This is a protective effect.

Research trials on combinations of Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Manganese and Vitamin C report a significant synergy between these components, and a Chondroprotective, as well as mild anti-inflammatory effect following regular administration.
By using low daily preventive doses from an early stage, it is possible to avoid the expense of administering very high doses of this product after any injury, to try to achieve high blood levels rapidly. Joint Guard is formulated specifically for regular, cost-effective, low dose administration.

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