If you’re a fan of EOC, you probably already know how well it works to support joint health and function. But have you ever wondered why fatty acids supplements are so good at managing inflammation? Here’s a little a run-down on the ins and outs of inflammation:
First of all, we need to understand a fundamental truth – and that is that inflammation is not inherently bad. The process of inflammation is critical to control infections and to facilitate replacement of damaged tissue with healthy tissue. Inflammation also tells your horse to be careful not to overload an injury (we sometimes see this as lameness) so that the injury has a chance to heal.
During ‘healthy’ inflammation, trauma or infection causes the injured area of the body to make signaling molecules called ‘cytokines’. These cytokines interact with cells in the injured area to initiate processes that increase blood flow (sometimes seen as swelling) to bring in nutrients for repair and remove metabolic waste products, and to repair the damaged tissue. This tissue repair starts by increasing the amount and activity of enzymes which chop up the damaged tissue and then, as the inflammation subsides, other enzymes come on board to re-assemble healthy replacement tissue.
This is a key feature of healthy inflammation – that is, it is self-limiting and is downregulated when it is time for tissue repair. But sometimes inflammation runs amok and does not properly downregulate, causing prolonged tissue breakdown and creating big problems with tissue structure. Arthritis is an example of a disease which occurs due to disorderly and uncontrolled inflammation. This is where fatty acids come in! Dietary fatty acids get incorporated into cell membranes and, when it is time for resolving inflammation, they are released to form compounds which either promote (omega 6 fatty acids) or resolve (omega 3 fatty acids) the inflammatory process.
Diets enriched with the right balance of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids help to control the inflammatory process so it is allowed to do its very important job, and then resolve quickly so repair can happen. Our research on EOC has shown that cartilage structure is supported during inflammation when EOC is there to help. This reduces damage to cartilage structure and can drastically slow down the arthritic process. EOC is your partner in controlling inflammation and preserving cartilage health for the long and healthy life of your horse.