Herb Shown to Reduce Inflammation in Equine Study

Move over glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, there might be a new supplement in town.

In a clinical trial involving 74 trotting horses, LitoVet, a rose hip powder manufactured specifically for animals by HybenVital in Denmark, had an anti-inflammatory effect and improved performance in supplemented horses.

Study researchers led by Kaj Winther, MD, PhD, from the Frederiksberg Hospital, University of Copenhagen in Denmark, a pioneer in the study of rose hip for osteoarthritis, conducted this double blind, placebo-controlled study to determine the effect of LitoVet on horses.

Supplemented horses were administered 210 g of the powder with their food once daily for three months.

Results revealed that supplemented horses trotted faster over 1,000 meters and were more lithe after strenuous exercise compared to the placebo group. In addition, supplemented horses had significant alterations in three separate measures of anti-inflammatory activity than the placebo group.

The researchers concluded that these results, together with studies performed in humans, support the use of rose hip preparations in to decrease pain, inflammation, and improve mobility in horses with osteoarthritis.

The study, "Does LitoVet, a herbal remedy made from Rosa Canina, act as an anti-inflammatory agent in horses exposed to strenuous exercise-a randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel, double-blind study on the immune system of horses, their working capacity and behavior," was a poster presentation at the World Congress of Osteoarthritis (OARSI), Rome, Sept. 18-21, 2008. The poster is also scheduled to be published in an upcoming edition of the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage (Volume 16, Supplement 4).

About the Author

Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she's worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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