By: Jennifer Wright, DVM, IVCA
Happy New Year! For many of you, the new year brings fresh hope for an even better and more sound riding season and I am excited to tell you that we have a “new kid on the block” in terms of joint therapy!! This new product is called Flexadin, a banana flavored powder that has been likened to “oral IRAP!” Joint inflammation, ranging anywhere from a mild synovitis to crippling osteoarthritis, is the bane of any horse owner as it limits the level of performance for actively working athletes or decreases the quality of life for the retired campaigner. Current therapy of joint inflammation relies upon a variety of means, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) (such as Bute, Banamine, Equioxx, etc.), intra-articular “joint” injections of hyaluronic acid and corticosteroids, and/or the administration of various drugs or nutraceuticals such as Adequan, Legend, Pentosan, glucosamine/chondroitin products, etc. When appropriate, selected joints may also be directly medicated with products called “regenerative therapies,” such as platelet rich plasma (PRP), stem cells, or Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein (IRAP) which are designed to use the body’s own healing mechanisms and anti-inflammatory defenses to combat the inflammatory mediators within their own joints.
More often than not, the equine athlete presents with more than one “sticky joint” and the veterinarian must choose which joints may be safely and appropriately managed with intra-articular injections. The remaining joints must then be managed with systemic treatments such as NSAIDS, Adequan/Legend and/or oral joint supplements. Enter Flexadin, a product which employs a completely novel way of decreasing inflammation in all the joints throughout your horse’s body! Flexadin contains a patented natural type II collagen ingredient, MSM, and a readily assimilated chelated manganese trace element, reuniting 3 different key ingredients that support joint health and mobility. The type II collagen found in Flexadin is completely different than any other collagen product found on the market today, as it has been carefully extracted from chicken cartilage to preserve its molecular form. Other commonly used hydrolysed type II collagens have been structurally modified due to heat and/or chemical intervention.
Flexadin’s undenatured collagen contains specific structural regions called epitopes on its intact triple helix (DNA molecule) which enables a privileged and natural interaction with the horse’s digestive tract and its closely associated immune system.
So, pay close attention now!!! Basically, this is what happens when your horse eats Flexadin…stomach acids and enzymes perform a partial digestion of the collagen, revealing the active isotope structures attached to the DNA. These isotopes physically attach to specific cells in your horse’s intestines called Peyer’s Patches. Peyer’s Patches are patches of tissue within the intestines that serve as part of the body’s immune system, screening incoming compounds and serving as a ‘switch’ to turn the body’s immune response to foreign substances on or off (depending on the substance).
The isotopes on the undenatured collagen DNA trigger a complex series of biochemical immunological events which turns off the immune response targeted at type II collagen in joint cartilage. In other words, Flexadin stops the horse’s immune system from attacking and damaging its own joint cartilage!
Flexadin is completely safe and I have been astounded at the results. Will I still be recommending joint injections, Adequan, Legend, Phycox EQ (my favorite joint supplement), intra-articular IRAP, etc.? Of course! I believe in the efficacy of all those products and every horse needs to be treated as an individual. However, in horses placed on Flexadin, I do foresee needing to inject less joints, less often. I also foresee a positive synergistic effect with products such as Adequan, Legend and Phycox (meaning that those products will not only continue to be effective, they will work even better when used in combination with the Flexadin).
Flexadin is easy to use and incredibly affordable considering what it accomplishes in the horse’s body. It is a banana flavored powder that is simply top dressed on the feed. A tub retails for $175 and is a 60-day supply following the recommended 12 week loading dose (during which a tub lasts for 45 days). Positive results are typically seen within 4-6 weeks. Flexadin may be administered year-round or its use may be timed to correspond with the show months only. I hope I have piqued your interest because Flexadin is truly an AMAZING product! I would love to discuss how it will help your horse!