The Truth about Horse Joint Supplements (Part 5)

Another development that we saw in the category was the introduction of liquid joint supplements, like devil’s claw, boswellia, bromelain, yucca & msm, many of which claimed dramatic results in as little as five days – our sentiments about this approach are addressed above. Other significant drawbacks of liquid supplements are the issues of shelf stability and dosage accuracy. Many ingredients, particularly vitamins, are unstable in water. Vitamins lose their potency from heat, light and oxygen and water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. Vitamin C for example will disappear within 24 hours; the chelation of minerals dissipates in 48-72 hours etc.

As for dosage accuracy – (how many times do you need to shake the bottle to ensure an accurate dose, and perhaps more importantly in many barn operations, how many times does the groom shake the bottle when feeding twenty or more horses?) Murky areas such as these are the reason 95% of the supplements sold in the much larger human supplements industry are sold in tablet or powder form and in dark bottles. Pellets are another popular form of delivery system for joint supplements but it is important again to look at the types of

ingredients in the formula. Pelleting is a heat process where the premix is pellet fapellet brikett fabrikettadded to fillers and then steamed and forced through a die that produces the pellets. This process, in particular, will again dramatically affect Vitamin C potency, unless the manufacturer uses a form of Vitamin C called Ascorbyl Phosphate that is heat resistant; it is also considerably more expensive than normal Vitamin C. No form of Glucosamine has been found to hold its activity level and will breakdown with temperatures above 110 degrees.


At Grand Meadows we worked hard to try to develop a method for making a premixed liquid product shelf stable and one that would consistently provide an accurate dosage. We worked with some very cutting edge labs in this quest and finally concluded we could not produce a product that would meet our standards. While powders still represent the best system for ensuring accurate dosage and stability of ingredients, there are still questions that need to be answered. Blending powders is a science that requires sophisticated blending machines to ensure that a scoop at the top of the bucket is the same as a scoop at the bottom. At Grand Meadows we use a state of the art blending machine that cost over $350,000. An expensive investment? Yes. Worth it for the quality it brings to our product? Absolutely.