Myristol's Effects on Clinical Joint Disease

At the 2007 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Orlando, Fla., the results of a blinded, controlled study on the effects of the nutraceutical Myristol on lameness caused by osteoarthritis (OA) were discussed by Kevin Keegan, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, associate professor of equine surgery at the University of Missouri.

The product contains cetyl myristoleate, glucosamine hydrochloride, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and hydrolyzed collagen. "Each individual ingredient has shown some positive effect in either human clinical trials or in vitro (in the lab) in horses," said Keegan.

For the study, 39 horses in Missouri and Florida (on a broodmare farm, a Thoroughbred retirement center, and in two university equestrian programs) were selected for naturally occurring osteoarthritis that caused Grade 2-4 lameness on a scale of 0-4. Horses were either in the control group (no Myristol) or the treated group, which received three scoops (4 ounces) of Myristol daily for 14 days, then two scoops (2.67 oz.) daily for 28 days (42 total days of supplementation). Lameness exams at Days 1, 14, 28, and 42 were used to assess the efficacy of the supplement, and subjective quality of life was rated using a specialized 10-cm visual analog scale.

Researchers found that treatment with Myristol significantly improved lameness score, lameness at the walk, response to joint flexion, lameness after flexion, and quality of life (P values from 0.02-0.05, determining statistical significance) compared to controls.

"Despite high group variation, we detected significant differences in five of six variables measured," he summarized. "Therefore, we conclude that oral administration of Myristol had beneficial clinical effects on horses with naturally occurring OA. The most apparent beneficial effects were in parameters related to joint flexion. For many of these horses, this was a significant improvement in their quality of life."

About the Author

Christy M. West

Christy West has a BS in Equine Science from the University of Kentucky, and an MS in Agricultural Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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