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The information, ideas and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United States Department of Agriculture.
A controlled experimental trial with 16 young Standardbreds was conducted to determine if oral administration of glucosamine would influence blood levels of osteocalcin, keratan sulfate and pyridinoline crosslinks of type-I collagen as indicators for cartilage and bone metabolism during 48 weeks of race training.
Compared with baseline values prior to beginning the study, serum levels of osteocalcin increased after week 24 of training in both treatment and control groups, and keratan sulfate values were also increased at weeks 24 and 30 in both groups.
Serum levels of pyridinoline crosslinks remained unchanged during the study. None of the indicators of cartilage and bone metabolism were significantly different between horses at any time.
The authors concluded that the training regimen used was sufficient to stimulate an increase in osteocalcin indicating bone modeling with exercise but did not induce changes in keratan sulfate or pyridinoline crosslinks indicative of cartilage breakdown or early osteoarthritis. No effect of glucosamine on these indicators of cartilage and bone metabolism could be demonstrated.
Six clinically normal adult Standardbred horses were used to determine the repeatability of blood flow measurements using Doppler ultrasound in an experimental trial. Blood flow in the palmar digital arteries was measured in the left and right forelimbs at repeated intervals throughout the day and under weight bearing and non-weight…