According to a press release issued by the manufacturer’s of Myristol, an oral joint supplement, their product has demonstrated improvements in lameness when compared to horses that were not given the supplement. The blinded, controlled study was conducted on 39 horses over the period of 42 days.
The results of the clinical trial were presented at the 2007 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Orlando, Fla., by Kevin Keegan, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, associate professor of equine surgery at the University of Missouri.
Myristol 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.”
More details on the results of the study are available here.
This research is intriguing. I have personally taken Cetyl M, which is a joint supplement whose prime ingredients is cetyl myristoleate, Glucosamine-HCL, MSM and Hyaluronic Acid. I thought that I felt a difference in my creaky knees (which always feel worse during hunt season), but it’s hard to judge how much impact can be attributed to the placebo effect. I have not yet tried it on my horses,
Myristol, unlike Cetyl M, is available only through veterinarians. Given that they do not publish prices on their Web site — they say only, “Because of the numerous active ingredients in Myristol, it will cost more than some supplements,” I can only assume that the price is frighteningly high.
It is certainly worth investigating, though, and I will follow up here after I speak to my vet.