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Acid Reflux causes and Treatment

University safety study on the effects of turmeric and devil’s claw on horse stomach health

University safety study on the effects of turmeric and devil’s claw on horse stomach health


DR LYDIA GRAY:
Hi, SmartPak fans. I’m Dr. Lydia Gray, the Staff
Veterinarian and Medical Director for SmartPak. Sitting next to me
is Dr. Frank Andrews. Rather than me go through
and mess everything up, I’m going to have you
introduce yourself. So, please. DR FRANK ANDREWS: So
I’m Dr. Frank Andrews. I am currently at
Louisiana State University. Go Tigers. And so I am actually a
designated professor, an LVMA, which is a Louisiana
Veterinary Medical Association Equine Committee Professor, and
Director of the Equine Health Studies Program. I’m also an Equine Internal
Medicine Specialist. I don’t do any surgeries,
so anything that’s medical. And then I am also the Section
Chief of the Equine Medicine Section. DR LYDIA GRAY: My goodness. He’s a very smart guy. So one of the things he’s
very smart about is research. And one of the studies you
did was on SmartGut Ultra, right, for us. But I guess I went to you for
that because I had read all of your papers– not all
of them, a lot of them– on the work you had
done, the original work on omeprazole, when
it became known as the branded GastroGard. So I mean, you’ve been doing
work on Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome for years. That’s your research interest. Is that fair to say? DR FRANK ANDREWS: Right. Since 1989, actually, we started
with Astra Pharmaceuticals. They wanted to look
at a unique drug, omeprazole, in horses,
which is the GastroGard. And nobody really
had any experience in treatment of ulcers in
horses using those products. And so we got started very
early into those studies, and then finally
worked towards FDA approval of GastroGard,
which was approved in 1999. And we were the lead
investigative team at the University of Tennessee
in approval of GastroGard. DR LYDIA GRAY: So
today we’re going to talk about a
new research study that we asked you to do to
look at the effects of two ingredients that are– I guess trending is how
you could explain them– turmeric and devil’s claw. Just really briefly,
can you just describe that study, and why
we did it, and how you did it, and what we found. DR FRANK ANDREWS: So the
study that we were asked to do was a safety study. Evidently, there is some
concern about turmeric and devil’s claw causing
ulcers in horses. It used a lot in the
horse competition to relieve pain
and inflammation. And so there is some
thought, since it reduces pain and inflammation,
it could be misconstrued as a non steroidal
anti-inflammatory, or an aspirin or
ibuprofen-type drug, which makes people concerned
that it might cause ulcers in horses as it’s
reducing inflammation. DR LYDIA GRAY: That’s maybe
where that concern came from. That makes sense. OK. DR FRANK ANDREWS:
And so we were asked to look at a group of horses. We have 90 horses in our
herd, and they’re all rescued thoroughbreds. So we brought 12 of those
horses up, and then scoped them. We have a 3– a 9-foot
endoscope that we go down– DR LYDIA GRAY: You were
going to say 3 meter. DR FRANK ANDREWS: Yea 3
meter, yeah, 9-foot endoscope. So we look at the stomach– we actually have
to fast the horses, and we look at the
stomach so we can grade the ulcers in the stomach. And we brought the horses in. We scoped 12 of them,
and then we classify the ulcers, scored the ulcers. And then we divided
them into two groups. One group got the
turmeric and devil’s claw in the SmartPak supplement. And the other group just got
grain, and then a supplement that didn’t contain
the turmeric. DR LYDIA GRAY: Right, so
the inactive ingredients. DR FRANK ANDREWS: Yep,
inactive ingredients. And then we scoped the
horses at 14 days and 28 days while they were on
the supplements. And we did find that there was
a reduction in ulcer scores both in the control horses and
in the turmeric/devil’s claw horses, which makes that claim
that it causes ulcers not substantiated by the research. DR LYDIA GRAY: Right, cool. Maybe we should
talk a little bit about what turmeric
and devil’s claw are, besides just being
trendy ingredients. They’re actually not trendy. They’ve been around
for thousands of years. Turmeric is very popular
with horse owners, as well as humans. They use it for joints,
for GI discomfort, for immune support,
all sorts of things. The active ingredient
in turmeric is something called curcumin. And that’s a curcuminoid. And so that has been found
through research to have effect on joints, like I said,
respiratory system also, and then really
throughout the body. So it’s a very
popular ingredient. Now you’ve done some research
on curcumin, curcuminoids. Can you talk about that? Are you free to talk about that? DR FRANK ANDREWS: Sure. Yeah, we completed a
study looking at curcumin. That’s present in
the supplement. Because we were interested
in how it affects horses that are lame. And so since we have a rescued
thoroughbred population, most of them have arthritis. They were likely slow
racers at the racetrack. And so we enrolled horses that
had a single-joint arthritis. So they might have– DR LYDIA GRAY: So
it was very clean. DR FRANK ANDREWS: Yeah,
fetlock or carpus arthritis. We enrolled them in
the study, and then– DR LYDIA GRAY:
Carpus being knee. DR FRANK ANDREWS:
Yeah, the knee, right, the proverbial knee. So but we enrolled the
horses, and then we treated half of them
with the curcumin, and then the other
half had control. They had the– DR LYDIA GRAY: Placebo. DR FRANK ANDREWS:
Yeah, the placebo. And then we ran them
across the force plate. We have a force plate. And we also had a
board-certified surgeon– DR LYDIA GRAY: Can you
explain what a force plate is. DR FRANK ANDREWS:
OK, a force plate is basically a
square inlaid plate that we put in the cement. And it actually is
wired to a computer. And we can actually determine
the vertical force in the horse as it walks across or runs
across that force plate. So in other words,
if a horse is lame, it’s going to put less
weight on its lame limb. And so the peak force is
going to be less in that limb. So we were able to measure that. It’s an objective way to
measure lameness in horses. And we measured that. And in seven of the 10
horses on the curcumin, we ended up showing that
they improved their lameness by 5%, which is a significant
difference in their lameness. DR LYDIA GRAY: And
at the same time, you also looked at
the safety of that, and found pretty much the
same thing as in our study, that there were no ill
effects to the turmeric — or curcumin — on the horse’s stomach. DR FRANK ANDREWS: Right. And we treated the
horses for 30 days. So we scoped them at day zero,
before they had the treatment. And then we scoped
them at day 30. And there was a reduction
in both the controls and the treated group
as far as ulcer scores. DR LYDIA GRAY: So that’s
turmeric and curcumin. Let’s talk a little
bit about devil’s claw. And this ingredient you’ll find
mainly in joint supplements, because it effects
both joint and muscle discomfort, mobility,
and even there has been some studies where it
effects inflammatory markers. So there’s some nice
research on that. What’s been your experience
with devil’s claw? DR FRANK ANDREWS: Yeah,
I don’t have really any experience with
devil’s claw as far as other than this study. But when you look at the
literature– and a lot of these are extrapolated, a lot of
the effects on the horse are extrapolated from
the human literature. But in looking at the
effects of devil’s claw, there’s not a lot of– mostly it’s information on
inflammatory bowel disease. It knocks down these
inflammatory mediators. And I was looking and trying
to figure out why they might think it causes ulcers. But you know, people take it to
prevent ulcers, and to prevent inflammatory bowel disease or
to treat inflammatory bowel disease. And these supplements
are used in conjunction with pharmacologic agents
to improve the effects. So I couldn’t find any
reason for them to be– most of them are
anti-inflammatory. And I think that’s the– when you come back to the
anti-inflammatory properties, they think they substitute
for these aspirin and non-steroidal,
ibuprofen-type products. And so if you’re taking
those, those are ulcerogenic. But certainly not
devil’s claw or turmeric. DR LYDIA GRAY: And
ulcerogenic meaning causing– DR FRANK ANDREWS: Yeah,
causing ulcers, yes. DR LYDIA GRAY: So
yeah, with our study that combined both
turmeric and devil’s claw, we took two supplements
and combined them to get really
high levels, like higher than you’ll see any
single product in the market. And then other
studies you’ve done, it looks like turmeric and
devil’s claw are pretty– the horses have no problem
maintaining stomach health on those two ingredients. One last thing
about devil’s claw, it is prohibited by some
competitive organizations. So you may want to
contact them and find out. And if it is
prohibited, then you want to withdraw about 7 to 10
days before the competition. So now what’s the next step? After you do the research,
the work is not done. What are you doing now? DR FRANK ANDREWS: Yeah,
probably the hardest part is writing the manuscript
and submitting– DR LYDIA GRAY: Which
you do, not me. DR FRANK ANDREWS: Right, right. So we’ll write the manuscript,
which actually it’s almost written. I have a research
associate, a veterinarian, a research intern
who helps me write. So he’s already
written the manuscript. I just have to edit it. And then what we’ll do is
we’ll put it in the final form, and then submit it to
a refereed journal. It’s likely a journal
that all the AAEP members get– the
American Association of Equine Practitioners. There’s a publication
that they all get. So we can disseminate
that information– DR LYDIA GRAY: And when you say
refereed, what does that mean? DR FRANK ANDREWS: So
it’s peer-reviewed by– so when you submit the
manuscript, so what they do is they send that
manuscript to experts in the field, usually two– sometimes we’ve had
up to five in some– but two peers that are internal
medicine specialists, or maybe they have specialties in
these alternative medicines. And they’ll review the
manuscript, they make comments, and they suggest whether it
would be accepted or accepted with major or minor revisions. And then it comes back to me. And then I address those
minor or major revisions. And then the editor
is actually the one who accepts the manuscript. And then it comes
out in publication, really online first,
and then in the– DR LYDIA GRAY: And that
process can take a long time, like a year, two years,
depending on how many edits, and revisions, and reviews. DR FRANK ANDREWS: Right. And the nice thing about
the current literature is that everything in
most of the journals is online, early view. So these articles, even though
they’re not in a printed form, they’re usually on the
website within several months after you submit it,
after it’s accepted. DR LYDIA GRAY: The thing is that
the average horse owner is not going to be able to
review them, though. You have to have a
subscription to the journal. So because it takes a
long time to see them, and because the people
may not have access, you’ve written us sort
of a one-page summary of this research. And that is available right
now on the SmartPak website. And we’ll put that
link up for you. Thank you, Dr.
Andrews, for walking us through that research. So now you have a
better understanding of devil’s claw and turmeric. You can go on our website
to read more about it. Have a great ride.

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