Kurkuma for horses

Published on 2024-01-08

Turmeric, derived from the turmeric plant, has recently become popular as a feed supplement for horses. It is renowned for its anti-inflammatory benefits and is used in horses suffering from laminitis, arthritis, metabolic syndrome and other health problems.

Long used in traditional medicine for digestive, skin, respiratory and joint purposes, turmeric is attracting growing interest in veterinary medicine for common disorders such as liver disease, skin problems, arthritis, infections and digestive disorders.

Containing over 300 active compounds, mainly polyphenols with antioxidant effects, turmeric is studied for its main compound, curcumin, recognized for its documented anti-inflammatory properties.

Horse owners commonly administer turmeric supplements to help with osteoarthritis, joint stiffness or pain, skin irritations, sarcoids and ulcers.

Although turmeric has been well studied in other species, clinical data on its efficacy in horses is limited. This article reviews academic research on turmeric and discusses the potential benefits for horses.

Benefits of Turmeric for Horses :

  • Inflammation: Curcumin's anti-inflammatory properties may influence various physiological processes in horses.
  • Metabolic health: Turmeric can support insulin sensitivity and stabilize blood glucose levels, benefiting horses with equine metabolic syndrome.
  • Joint health and arthritis: Curcumin reduces inflammation and joint degradation associated with osteoarthritis in horses.
  • Severity of gastric ulcers: Contrary to initial belief, turmeric does not cause gastric ulcers in horses, and may even reduce their severity.
  • Respiratory health: One study suggests that inhaling curcumin may reduce chronic inflammation in horses suffering from respiratory diseases.
  • Exercise tolerance: Turmeric can support exercise tolerance and recovery in horses.

Use of Turmeric in Horses:

Dosage: A dose of up to 2.4 g per day is considered safe for horses.

Absorption and bioavailability: Turmeric is often combined with oil and piperine to improve absorption.

Safety and side effects: Turmeric supplements are generally well tolerated in horses, but monitoring is recommended.

In summary, although the benefits of turmeric are documented in other species, more research is needed to fully understand its effects on horses. Horse owners are encouraged to consult equine nutrition experts before adding turmeric supplements to their horses' diets.

Source of studies :

  1. Liu, Y. et al. Simultaneous quantification of free curcuminoids and their metabolites in equine plasma by LC-ESI–MS/MS.. J Pharm Biomed An. 2018.
  2. Aggarwal, B.B. and Sung, B. Pharmacological basis for the role of curcumin in chronic diseases: an age-old spice with modern targets. Trends Pharm Sci. 2009.
  3. Vareed, S.K. et al. Pharmacokinetics of curcumin conjugate metabolites in healthy human subjects. Cancer Epi Biomarkers. 2008.
  4. Aggarwal, B.B. et al. The molecular targets and therapeutic uses of curcumin in health and disease. IN: Curcumin: The Indian solid gold. . Springer Publishing. 2007.
  5. Marlin, D. et al. Owner-reported experiences of feeding turmeric to horses. J Equine Vet Sci. 2017.
  6. Weisberg, S.P. et al. Dietary curcumin significantly improves obesity-associated inflammation and diabetes in mouse models of diabesity. Endocrinology. 2008.
  7. Tinworth, K.D. et al. Potential treatments for insulin resistance in the horse: A comparative multi-species review. Vet J. 2010.
  8. Dejonckheere, V. Turmeric for Osteoarthritis in Veterinary Medicine, a Review.. Proceedings. 2016.
  9. Peddada, K.V. et al. Role of curcumin in common musculoskeletal disorders: a review of current laboratory, translational, and clinical data. Orthop Surg. 2015.
  10. Moore, T.L. et al. Oral curcumin supplementation improves fine motor function in the middle-aged rhesus monkey. Somatosens Mot Res. 2019.
  11. Farinacci, M. et al. Dietary administration of curcumin modifies transcriptional profile of genes involved in inflammatory cascade in horse leukocytes. Ital J Anim Sci. 2009.
  12. Blanc, M. et al. Effects of supplements containing turmeric and devil’s claw on equine gastric ulcer scores and gastric juice pH. Equine Vet Edu. 2021.
  13. Fletcher, S.P.S. and Gough, S.L. Pre-Treatment with Turmeric (C. Xanthorrhiza) Reduces the Severity of Squamous Gastric Ulceration in Feed Restricted Horses. J Anim Sci Res. 2019.
  14. Sandersen, C. et al. Effect of inhaled hydrosoluble curcumin on inflammatory markers in broncho-alveolar lavage fluid of horses with LPS-induced lung neutrophilia. Multidiscip Respir Med. 2015.
  15. Horohov, D.W. et al. The effect of exercise and nutritional supplementation on proinflammatory cytokine expression in young racehorses during training. J Equine Vet Sci. 2012.
  16. Anand, P. et al. Bioavailability of curcumin: problems and promises. Mol Pharm. 2007.
  17. Eyles-Owen, S. Dietary turmeric reduces inflammation and improves mood and mobility in horses with fetlock joint inflammation. Young Sci J. 2021.
  18. Starzonek, J. et al. Effects of a blend of green tea and curcuma extract supplementation on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in horses and ponies. Peer J. 2019.
  19. Siard, M.H. et al. Effects of polyphenols including curcuminoids, resveratrol, quercetin, pterostilbene, and hydroxypterostilbene on lymphocyte pro-inflammatory cytokine production of senior horses in vitro. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2016
  20. https://madbarn.com/turmeric-benefits-for-horses/
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