The Truth about Horse Joint Supplements (Part 2)
GRAND FLEX – OFTEN COPIED, NEVER DUPLICATED
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Since Grand Flex's original glucosamine joint support formula was developed in 1994, many companies have tried to copy Grand Flex' unique formula. In the first review of many to follow in one of the most respected US equine consumer publications, Michael Plumb's Equine Journal, back in 1997, Grand Flex was recommended as the best choice for the level of Glucosamine and the inclusion of a number of important co-factors – "Grand Flex, also contains Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, niacinamide and all the minerals and amino acids we find essential to joint and connective tissue health. Excellent clinical response was seen with this product." After several new Glucosamine products came to market, a number of these products copied the Grand Flex formula with ‘token' co-factors; added more as "window-dressing" in our opinion than with any plan to make it easier for absorption or health benefits.
Since this first positive review of Grand Flex in 1997 through 2008, the Michael Plumb Horse Journal has continued to give Grand Flex the highest rating for the best recommended joint support formula with long term joint health benefits.
GLUCOSAMINE HSL VS. GLUCOSAMINE SULFATE: THE GRAND MEADOWS POINT OF VIEW
There is a never-ending debate about the difference between Glucosamine HCL and Glucosamine Sulfate. Glucosamine Sulfate was used for early clinical review and is a combination of sulfur salts – 40% sulfur and 60% Glucosamine. Glucosamine HCL is a newer, purified version containing 98% pure, active Glucosamine. Sulfur is a vital part of the synergistic approach to joint support and the inclusion of sulfur in a more bioavailable form
such as Methionine and/or MSM are much more effective and efficient sources of elemental sulfur.
While Glucosamine is clearly the leading ingredient on the market when it comes to joint supplements, Chondroitin Sulfate has long been considered the other half of the formula needed for joint products to be effective. Chondroitin is a constituent of cartilage, providing structure, holding water and nutrients, and allowing other molecules to move through
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cartilage—an important property, as there is no blood supply to cartilage. There is no question to the function of this ingredient when produced naturally in the body. A number of Glucosamine products tout the inclusion of Chondroitin Sulfate, which is derived from a cattle sourced compound, as a necessary and beneficial addition to Glucosamine. Such contentions are misleading. Numerous significant, scientific tests have been performed during the last few years that show conclusively that Chondroitin, in an orally administered supplement form,
is poorly absorbed. The rate of absorption results for Chondroitin Sulfate are extremely low due to its very large molecular structure (anywhere from 250 times the size of a Glucosamine molecule). There have been a number of major studies to support this theory; the New England Medical Journal has concluded the oral absorption of Chondroitin to be less than 12%. The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine states "…the absorption of intact Chondroitin Sulfate is estimated to be anywhere from zero to thirteen per cent." Dr Ian Wright, a leading veterinary orthopedic surgeon in the UK, wrote in (Horse and Hounds) "…you can feed supplements containing Chondroitin Sulfate to horses at the recommended dose rate…none will be absorbed." Surprisingly, the vast majority of manufacturers continue adding it to their products.
CHONDROITIN SULFATE: THE GRAND MEADOWS POINT OF VIEW
Due to a significant level of research showing poor absorption, we have chosen not to use Chondroitin Sulfate as a stand alone ingredient in any of our products due to its large molecular size, which in our opinion (supported by exhaustive research) compromises its ability to be efficiently absorbed. The health benefits of Chondroitin Sulfate cannot be
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effectively realized when it is administered as an oral ingredient. We do however use de-polymerised Chondroitin Sulfate that is an integral part of the raw material in our BioCell Collagen II™. This ingredient along with the Hyaluronic Acid and Type II Collagen in this triple patented ingredient have a