The Best Supplements for Equine Joint Health

One of the most sought-after dietary supplements for horses is one that promotes joint health. This is because of the great prevalence of joint wounds and damages further down the road. Cartilage, which connects bones and serves as the joint’s encasement and padding, makes up joints. The joint is kept lubricated by synovial fluid, which also reduces friction and wear and tear between the bones.

As horses grow older, perform demanding work, or become harmed, their joints can become feeble and damaged in more than one way. There may be a change in the composition of the synovial fluid, resulting in less joint lubrication. The cartilage may deteriorate as a result of inflammation. Various equine joint supplement helps your horse’s performance and increases its comfort.

Take a look at the best horse joint supplements:

Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM:

MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, is a natural sulphur that can be found in grains and alfalfa. It is one of the safest supplements to add to your horse’s diet and is well tolerated by horses.

Sulphur is significant in a horse’s diet. It is a component of glucosamine and collagen, which are tracked down in connective tissue and ligament. MSM is relatively bioavailable and appears safe for consumption in a variety of animal models; however, it may require additional testing for horses. MSM must be supplemented in higher dosages to gain beneficial effects, even though it is naturally present in trace amounts in fresh forage and grains.

It reduces levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), which can help reduce joint swelling. It also neutralizes free radicals that damage cells by acting as an antioxidant. By repressing the cholinesterase enzyme, MSM can assist with reducing muscle spasms and lessen joint pain.


Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound that plays a crucial role in the development of cartilage. This is the structural tissue that connects the joints in the horse’s body. Glucosamine can be made synthetically or extracted from beef and marine sources to be used in supplements. There are three types of glucosamine: sulphate, hydrochloride, and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine.

This provides sulphur, which aids in the formation of strong cartilage, thereby slowing the progression of cartilage deterioration. It improves the synovial fluid’s overall composition by increasing its sulphur content. It also reduces pro-inflammatory markers like IL-6 and TNF-a, thereby exerting anti-inflammatory effects.

Finally, it prevents the degradation of proteins known as proteoglycans and increases their production. This can keep cartilage from deteriorating and improve joint function.

Chondroitin sulphate:

A chain of various sugar molecules found in cartilage is called chondroitin sulphate. It is normally acquired from ox-like species to consolidate in nutraceuticals. However, extracting it is challenging and costly, and synthesizing synthetic forms presents challenges. Accordingly, it is usually matched with glucosamine in supplements.

It helps reduce nitric oxide levels and regulate prostaglandins for anti-inflammatory effects. It helps in preventing cartilage degradation by inhibiting enzymes that degrade glycosaminoglycans. It helps in cartilage synthesis by chondrocytes.

It also improves hyaluronic acid levels, which could help with maintaining the synovial fluid of the joint and can act to lessen inflammation.

Hyaluronic acid:

Many tissues, including the joints, cartilage, and connective tissues, contain hyaluronic acid. When injected directly into the joint, it is known to improve joint health. Dietary supplements for oral administration of hyaluronic acid are available in the market.

It increases the amount of hyaluronic acid in the synovial fluid, making it thicker and improving the lubrication between the joint’s bones. By adding hyaluronic acid, you can improve connective tissue’s elasticity and cartilage integrity. It can also lessen the pain caused by joint degeneration.

Fatty acids or omega-3:

Marine oils and plants like flaxseed contain omega-3 fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They have received a lot of attention for their numerous positive effects on horses, companion animals, and humans.

The omega-3 equine joint supplement helps in the reduction of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, cytokines, and arachidonic acid production to achieve anti-inflammatory effects. Reduces the presence of reactive oxidative species by acting as an antioxidant.

Final thoughts:

The state of your horse’s joint health is crucial when deciding which supplement might be more beneficial. The aforementioned supplements will help your horse maintain healthy joint function. But it is important to check the supplements for drug interactions if your horse has specific needs or is currently taking medication. It is advisable to talk with your veterinarian about possible contraindications and negative collaborations that the medications could cause.