A new study is being performed to evaluate the effectiveness of MSM in reducing pain and inflammation in Standardbred racehorses. The study is sponsored by Carolwood Corporation (maker of an MSM product) and conducted by Ronald Reigel, DVM.

Reigel is author of The Illustrated Atlas of Clinical Equine Anatomy and Common Disorders of the Horse, and a veterinary consultant to racehorse owners, breeders, and trainers. He said the study is nearly halfway complete.

The study includes 30 Standardbred horses randomly divided into three groups. Two of the groups receive a pre-selected oral dose of MSM by way of drenching, and one is the control group.

Reigel plans to evaluate the effect of MSM on the hock, which undergoes strenuous and constant strain and trauma from training.

"The hock and stifle work together to act as a barometer for the rest of the horse. In Standardbreds, we pay special attention to the hock, just as Thoroughbred trainers look at the ankles of those horses. If I'm seeing results in the hock, there's going to be a difference in the rest of the horse," Reigel explains.

The use of infared thermography will help Reigel determine the degree of inflammation. He will note whether there is an improvement in blood chemistry and/or athletic performance of the horses on MSM, and whether or not the horses are less prone to routine lameness problems during racing season. Reigel hopes to determine the ideal dosage of Carolwood Corporation's Alavis MSM in the horse, which is the type of MSM being used for the study.

"What we're seeing is that their muscle enzyme levels are falling." Reigel describes a horse which he can tell is an experimental horse. The horse had a high AST level, and his AST levels have fallen as his training level has gotten higher, even with hotter temperatures.

"This horse will be a testimonial within himself. It will be interesting to see what dosage he has been receiving," he says.

MSM has been used to treat chronic muscle soreness, epiphysitis, back pain, laminitis, early navicular disease, and pleuritis, among other equine afflictions.

MSM is a byproduct of the lumber industry. Reigel said he feels Alavis MSM is especially palatable for the horse. According to the company, Alavis is the first branded animal feed grade MSM licensed, according to existing U.S. patents.

To find out more about Alavis MSM, call 888/646-0350, or visit www.msm.com.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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