ss1FlexAbility is the only joint supplement on the market with 2 clinical and scientific studies demonstrating its positive effects and results. The findings of the latest study were accepted and presented at the British Equine Veterinary Association Congress in 2013 by Dr Rachel Murray, an internationally recognised equine orthopaedic clinician and researcher.

What is FlexAbility?

A high-specification joint supplement that provides declared high levels of key nutrients involved in cartilage synthesis and protection. A unique combination of optimal levels of scientifically proven ingredients, including glucosamine, low molecular weight chondroitin, MSM, omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA and Vitamin C. The product has been tested to be free from prohibited substances caffeine, theophylline, theobromine, hyoscine, hordenine, morphine and atropine.

Why?

Wear and tear on the skeletal system, particularly the joints, occurs both as the result of exercise training and simply as part of the ageing process. A key factor in maintaining joint health and function is an adequate supply of the nutritional building blocks needed to support cartilage turnover and joint lubrication.

FlexAbility helps to promote and maintain normal mobility and joint function as well as providing nutrient support for joints against the rigours of training and competition. It can also help prolong normal mobility and joint function in older animals.

When?

FlexAbility is suitable for all horses and ponies, to provide quality joint nutrient support and help to maintain normal mobility and joint function in older animals. Ideal for use in young animals to increase joint protection and reduce injury, or to aid horses with existing joint injury or disease.

Find out more about FlexAbility by visiting www.sciencesupplements.co.uk

Study 1

To determine the effect of an oral joint supplement on orthopaedic, physiotherapy and handler evaluation scores in horses.

Co-authored by Rachel Murray*, Vicki Adams~, Vicki Walker*, Carolyne Tranquille*, Chrissy Copeman#, Jo Spear*, Rebecca Frost^, David Marlin^.

Despite the range of oral joint supplements available, there has been very limited research into their efficacy.

Aim: to determine effect of an oral joint supplement on orthopaedic, physiotherapy and handler evaluation in horses.

Methods: 24 mature horses were included in the study. Horses were excluded if they were in poor body condition, had health problems or greater than 2/5 lameness. Supplement Sa (containing chondroitin sulphate 1.62g/100kg, glucosamine 1.9g/100kg, vitamin C 0.8g/100kg, methyl sulphonyl methane 2.56g/100kg, DHA 0.66g/100kg), EPA 0.34g/100kg or placebo P (carrier/flavours only) were given to horses in their feed for 21 days each in a triple-blind crossover design; all horses received supplement and placebo in random order. Horses were evaluated at day 0 (baseline), 21 (after first treatment) and 42 (after second treatment).

Assessments included: clinical orthopaedic evaluation for straight line and lunging circle (walk and trot), and during ridden exercise (walk, trot and canter); handler field evaluation, during groundwork and while ridden, grading specific criteria; grading of range of motion (ROM) and muscle tone based on standardised physiotherapy criteria. All evaluators were blinded to treatment. Significance indicates P <0.05.

Results: S was associated with significantly lower lameness grade in a straight line and circle than either P or baseline. Both S and P were associated with significantly improved ROM and muscle tone over baseline. Handler scores for ridden and groundwork were significantly higher with S compared to P or baseline. After S, horses were graded significantly higher for field ‘ease-of-movement’ compared with P or baseline.

Conclusions and practical significance: oral administration of this supplement was associated with less lameness, improved ridden/groundwork scores and improved “ease-of-movement” in the field. Improvement in physiotherapy assessment with both treatments over time suggests effects of ongoing training on ROM and muscle tone.

Acknowledgements: World Horse Welfare.

*FlexAbilityTM, (Freedom FlexTM), Science Supplements.

*Animal Health Trust, Newmarket; #World Horse Welfare, Snetterton; ^Science Supplements, Bury St Edmunds. ~Veterinary Epidemiology Consulting, Bury St Edmunds. 

Study 2

A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study.

A summary of research1 conducted at Hartpury College Equine Therapy Centre, Gloucestershire, UK, that examined the effects of a supplemental joint health product on lameness as assessed by veterinary clinical examination.

Previous research and anecdotal reports suggest that feeding an oral joint supplement may improve lameness scores in horses.

However, further data is needed on specific joint health products to ensure they meet expectations and deliver appropriate results regarding efficacy. Therefore, the objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that feeding an oral joint supplement (FlexAbility, Science Supplements Ltd) would affect lameness scores in working horses, leading to an overall improvement in soundness.

Materials and methods: 7 mixed-breed horses (BW 576 ± 54 kg; Age 11.7 ± 1.9 years) actively participating in a college equestrian program were assigned to consume 1 of 2 dietary supplements top-dressed on their regular concentrate feed. Horses received no oral medication or joint supplement for 28 days and no intra-articular medication for 90 days prior to the beginning of the study.

Groups received either FlexAbility or placebo for 14 days, followed by a 28-day washout period, then switched to the opposite treatment for 14 days.

FlexAbility is formulated to contain the following active ingredients per 96g of product (loading dose): 12,960mg methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), 11,520mg glucosamine, 7,320mg chondroitin sulfate, 2856mg docosahexanoic acid (DHA), 1284mg eicosapentaenoic acid and 4032mg of vitamin C.

The placebo contained none of the active ingredients, but was comprised of the same carrier and flavor. Both supplements were fed based on BW with 96g provided for all horses.

Horses were clinically assessed by a veterinary surgeon blinded to treatment at the beginning (day 0) and end (day 14) of each treatment period. Assessment included walking and trotting on a straight line and a circle, with lameness scores assigned on a 10-point scale. Flexion tests were also performed and lameness scores assigned for all limbs.

Results were subsequently assigned a rating of same, improved, or worse based on numeric changes in lameness and flexion test results from day 0 to day 14 of each treatment period. These ratings were assigned by the same veterinarian performing the assessments while still blinded to treatment groups. A Wilcoxon Signed Rank statistics test was applied to the data with significance set at P<0.05.

Results: for horses receiving FlexAbility, there was a statistically significant improvement in lameness scores (P = 0.031) with 6 out of 7 horses demonstrating a benefit from the supplement.

For horses receiving the placebo, there was no significant improvement in lameness scores (P = 1.000), with a mixed response from the horses. Three horses showed improvement, three horses became worse and one horse remained the same while receiving the placebo. Overall, double the amount of horses had improvements in lameness scores when receiving FlexAbility compared to horses receiving the placebo.

Conclusion: horses receiving FlexAbility showed improvements in lameness scores after 14 days of supplementation. Additional research is necessary to confirm these findings in a greater number of horses and further elucidate the physiological mechanisms driving efficacy.