Harnessing the Power of Flavonoids for Laminitic Horses
By Dr Joe Ahrens
Welcome, equine enthusiasts! I am Dr Joe Ahrens, physiologist and specialist in equine health. Today, we delve into the fascinating world of flavonoids and their potential benefits for horses suffering from laminitis. Any condition with the ending “itis” means inflammation. In this case, it is inflammation of the laminae tissue which bind the hoof wall to the toe bone of the horse. It is extremely painful and distressing for both horses and their caretakers. However, nature has provided us with some incredible compounds that hold promising therapeutic properties. Join us as we explore how these flavonoids can aid in the management and recovery of laminitic horses.
1. Understanding Laminitis in Horses
Before we delve into the benefits of flavonoids, let's briefly explore the condition itself. Laminitis occurs when the sensitive laminae within the horse's hoof become inflamed and weakened, leading to severe pain and potential hoof deformities. In some cases the toe (pedal) bone can lose its support within the hoof and puncture and protrude through the frog.
Almost 8% of equine deaths can be linked to laminitis. Factors such as obesity, high sugar diets, hormonal imbalances, excessive workload, and a myriad of other environmental issues, can cause horses’ immune system to overload and trigger laminitis. The horse’s immune system actually begins to attack its own tissues.
Just like vitamin C and other vitamins are required for a proper functioning and regulated immune system, flavonoids play a crucial role in managing the horse’s, and our own, immune system. In a native state, horses would be able to get the proper amount of flavonoids in a natural diet. Unfortunately, even in open free range pasture, there are not adequate amounts of the essential flavonoids needed to support and regulate the equine immune system.
But remember, it's crucial to address the root causes of laminitis while providing supportive care.
2. Meet the Flavinoids in MetaboLize®
MetaboLize® contains three naturally occurring plant flavinoids.
The Power of Myricetin
Myricetin, a powerful flavonoid found in various fruits, vegetables, herbs, and wild plants, possesses remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. Studies suggest that myricetin may help reduce inflammation within the hoof, alleviating pain and supporting the healing process. Additionally, this flavonoid demonstrates antioxidant effects, protecting the hoof tissues from further damage caused by free radicals.
Quercetin: A Natural Ally
Quercetin, widely distributed in numerous plant-based foods, showcases both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as releasing energy into the body. In the context of laminitis, quercetin aids in reducing inflammation, improving blood flow to tissues adjacent to the hooves, and increasing the horse's comfort. Furthermore, this flavonoid has been associated with supporting the immune system, which can be beneficial during the recovery process.
Chlorogenic Acid: The Guardian of Hoof Health
Chlorogenic acid, abundantly found in coffee, fruits, wild berries, and vegetables, offers potential benefits for laminitic horses. This flavonoid has also been linked to anti-inflammatory actions and exhibits properties that may help regulate glucose metabolism. By modulating glucose levels, chlorogenic acid assists in managing insulin resistance, a common underlying factor in laminitis cases.
3. Incorporating Flavonoids into Equine Care
These three flavonoids, in a specific amount and ratio, have shown remarkable support to horses’ immune systems. While flavonoids can contribute to hoof health, it's crucial to consult with a veterinarian before introducing any new supplements or dietary changes. A professional can guide you in determining the appropriate dosage and ensure it aligns with your horse's specific needs. Remember, proper nutrition, regular exercise, and a well-managed environment are vital components in supporting laminitic horses.
As we conclude our journey through the world of flavonoids, we hope you have gained valuable insights into the potential benefits of myricetin, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid for horses suffering from laminitis. While these natural compounds show promise in managing inflammation, promoting healing, and supporting overall hoof health, it's essential to approach their use with expert guidance.
By combining innovative therapies with compassionate care, we can help our equine companions find comfort and regain their hooves' strength. Stay supportive, stay informed, and may your horses gallop towards a brighter future!
About the Author
Dr. Joseph Ahrens has been involved in food, nutrition, and agribusiness projects for over 30 years. Twice nominated to receive the Nobel Prize, Dr. Joseph Ahrens's research led to critical revelations on inflammation and how the natural ingredients in foods can address health problems and can change people’s lives.