What are copper peptides, how do they work, and what role do they play in horses?

Peptides are usually found inside cells and act as cell function facilitators. Copper peptides are specific peptides with a copper ion attached to them and are found naturally in cells.

They act as messengers at the cellular level and signal the brain to “switch on” cells to promote collagen production and deliver them where needed to repair damaged tissue. Collagen is the body’s healing mechanism.

The discovery of copper peptides’ role in protecting and healing damaged cells is credited to Dr. Loren Pickart of Switzerland, dating back to the 1970s. Pickart was interested in the possibility that copper peptides can stimulate positive hair and skin growth in humans.

What role did horses play with copper peptides? Pickart’s team determined that the damp conditions of Washington State presented the ideal spot to conduct their research. They used horses as the test subjects, even though product development for humans was the intended market. Not only did long-standing skin irritations on the horses’ legs heal, but they noted (in a footnote) that damaged hooves also improved when the copper peptides were applied near the feet.

Although copper peptides were found to be effective and beneficial, no equine products were known to be introduced until 2007 using similar technology. This is when SBS’s Dr. Richard Shakalis discovered the success of copper peptides through public records on the studies by Pickart’s research team.

After 12 years of commercial use in the marketplace, Ron Perszewski of the American Farriers Journal published an article on the results obtained from SBS researchers, “Technology Developed for Humans Now Used to Repair Hooves.” The article reveals solid evidence that copper peptides combined with good nutrition appear to go a long way toward restoring damaged hooves.

It is common knowledge that all hoof growth takes place at the coronet band. When applied topically to the coronary band of horses, the copper peptides enhance capillary circulation. They “switch on” the cells at the coronary band to naturally draw the nutrition they need to refuel collagen from the blood supply. Copper peptides have also shown to help repair cell-damaged tissue of the sole, frog, hair and skin to promote faster healing and growth.

SBS Equine manufactures Toe Grow, a popular copper peptide formulation made in the USA. For more information, visit SBS Equine online.

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