By nature I am a skeptic, so when I can be sold on a supplement like Summit Joint Performance, you know it’s got to be good.
Readily, I’ll admit that I poo-pooed this supplement from the start. I thought to myself, “how can anything make that much difference?” My friends that had reached out to me about the product knew that I had invested a lot of time and money into Avie, and they believed it would only help him further. They also know me well enough to know that I’m a big believer in preventative maintenance. I already had my horse on an NSAID (Equioxx), as well as monthly Adequan shots. I just knew I was doing what I could to help him be his best. But a little extra help never hurts either, right?
In my 30+ years of horse ownership, I’ve fed a lot of joint supplements. And what I’ve learned and what the vets have told me, is that feeding a joint supplement isn’t the best use of our resources. The reason? Each horse’s digestive system is different. So depending up on the bioavailability of the nutrients, each supplement will absorb differently. Further, most of the joint supplements on the market have a less than adequate amount of milligrams/serving for our equine partners. A horse is roughly 10 times the size of a human, and if the recommended dose of glucosamine or chondroitin for a human is 800 – 2000Mg/day, it’s easy to see that the horse should be getting 10 times that amount. The same goes for Glucosamine.
From our own experience, we know that taking or feeding supplements will not be a quick fix. Supplements help, over time, not overnight. Though there are probably some cases that have been helped overnight by the correct use of a supplement.
I hope that by now you’re asking yourself, “what is Summit Joint Performance and what makes it better or different than any other supplement?” And the follow-up question should be: “what makes a supplement different from a drug?” Let’s answer these questions below, shall we?
From the website:
Drugs are tested by the FDA. They’re defined as substances intended to diagnose, treat or prevent disease. Medications must pass clinical trials before being released to the public and the tests need to prove each drug is safe, performing just as the manufacturer claims. After these trials, your doctor can prescribe the drug to you.
The general rule is drugs are considered unsafe until they’re proven safe.
Most of you in this audience are familiar with Adequan. We all know this is a drug. It requires a prescription to get. I’m betting that most of you have also heard of Legend (HA). It’s also a drug, which is why you must get them both from your vet or via prescription.
Supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), the FDA treats supplements like food and the DSHEA defines supplements as “products taken orally for supplementing the diet.” Supplements can include minerals, vitamins or other natural biological substances and they’re available in a variety of shapes and sizes, including concentrates, extracts, capsules, tablets, liquids and powders.
Keep in mind, herbs and vitamins don’t have to be tested for safety. Self-regulated by the manufacturer, no proof is required to demonstrate their effectiveness.
The general rule for supplements is they’re considered safe until they’re proven unsafe.
Summit is a supplement. An Injectable Supplement.
THE SUMMIT SOLUTION
Summit Joint Performance® is the purest form of Chondroitin 4 Sulfate ever developed. It is a naturally derived, low molecular weight, compound and is the most effective and safest Chondroitin product available on the market today. Summit was developed by doctors and scientists for use in human corneal transplant surgeries. Later it was discovered to have incredible effects on the joints of horses when delivered via intramuscular injection. Summit Joint Perfomance can also be used on dogs.
What is Chondroitin?
According to WebMD, Chondroitin is a substance that occurs naturally in the connective tissues of people and animals. As a supplement in higher doses than is found naturally, chondroitin is a popular treatment for osteoarthritis.
Laboratory studies have found that chondroitin can reduce the activity of enzymes and substances that break down collagen in joints. Other studies have demonstrated that it has several anti-inflammatory properties. Research on animals has found that chondroitin can prevent the breakdown of cartilage and can also stimulate repair mechanisms.
There are also veterinarians using it in their practices. They have access to even more concentrated doses for Intra-articular use.
Enter the Skeptic
Now that we know the who/what/where when/why, here’s where I tell you why I was so skeptical of the product:
People were touting it as a miracle cure. Consequently, I simply couldn’t believe in it. A supplement will not cure a degenerative disease such as navicular, or osteoarthritis. It will simply make you or your horse feel better. Sometimes, you may need to combine it with drugs, such as Adequan or Legend. My mother has RA, and takes chondroitin religiously along with her medication. She swears by it.
Add to this that I’m a huge science nerd. Therefore, I wanted to see “the studies”. I couldn’t find any. Once, I got on board with the company, however, I found one. I’m sharing it with you here, so you don’t have to wander around google for a couple months like I did. As an aside: this entire event (me joining team Summit) came about as a conversation between me and my other half about the clinical studies. He encouraged me to look at its original intended us. Ten minutes in — the research on chondroitin sulfate sold me.
Prior to our conversation I had gone so far as to give four loading doses to our really bad navicular horse, Max. Did I notice a difference? Not really. There’s two reasons for this:
1. I was expecting a quick fix. I wanted to see him improve overnight, as that’s what I was hearing about this “miracle cure” in the equine community.
2. I now know, that I didn’t dose him correctly.
His inflammation is bad. I can’t expect him to get better overnight because he didn’t get bad overnight. FURTHER, I should have treated him every 4 days for at least two concentrated loading doses. And then we should treat him every two weeks with a concentrated maintenance dose, decreasing down to once per month, once we get the inflammation fully under control. Through different shoeing we are getting his feet healthy. I don’t need him to go run down the alley again, I simply need him comfortable enough to go back into the kid-horse string. I’ll be re-dosing him correctly in the coming weeks, and I cannot wait to share his progress with all of you. I know it’ll be great.
Thank you for hanging with me through the end of this long read. To say I was confused about Summit at the beginning is God’s Honest truth. What I needed to understand, is that I should treat Summit like the ulcer supplement I feed. Or like the extra amino acids I give poor doing horses. Instead, I treated it like a drug, expecting instant results. The old adage, “good things come to those who wait” comes to mind. I don’t mind waiting. Exercising patience is something I’m good at.
I’m so excited to be part of Summit Joint Therapy, to help change the lives of horses, dogs, and people. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on the progress of each animal I dose. I’m certain Avie is only going to feel better than he already does when I add Summit to his monthly routine. Please feel free to reach out to me with any and all questions. I am happy to help you!