Gain A Competitive Edge and Prevent Illness Naturally with... Grape Power!
by Dan Moore DVM
Until recently most doctors and even today many veterinarians simply don't believe that the medicines used by native American medicine men, our greatgrandmothers, or even our grandmothers were of any value. Designer prescription drugs in some minds are the only cure for all the ills of animal or man. Times are changing and every day it becomes more evident that most drugs only relieve symptoms and often bring terrible side effects. Today I find myself digging through ancient medical books seeking remedies that don't have side effects and looking for answers that were long forgotten. It is amazing what I have continued to find. Some truly long forgotten others even covered up!
One exceptional discovery was made by a French doctor, Professor Jacques Masquelier, dean of the medical school at the University of Bordeaux in France. He had read of a story written by a famous French explorer, Jacques Cartier and his crew who had been saved from scurvy with a tea brewed by an Canadian-Indian medicine man over 450 years ago.
The tea was made from the needles and bark from a special pine tree. What professor Masquelier found when he studied this tree was that it contained a very potent bioflavanoid that he called proanthocyanidin. This was the most incredible antioxidant known to date. It was fifty time more powerful than Vitamin E and twenty times stronger that Vitamin C.
Today these same proanthocyanidins have also been found in grapes - a readily available, everyday food. All the components of grapes, including the skin, the seeds or extracts thereof, are potent antioxidants. Also found in grapes are polyphenols and catechins and even gallic acids, all with powerful biological benefits, easily absorbed and free of any side effects.
How can your horse benefit?
It is almost common knowledge now that free radicals are the cause of most of the ailments associated with age. Antioxidants destroy free radicals. When a horse is young, or when you are young for that matter, its body produces an enzyme called super oxide dismutase (SOD) which destroys most of the free radicals.
As a horse gets older, the production of SOD slows. The older they get, the less SOD they have, the more vulnerable to damage they are.
Our horses are bombarded daily with free radicals from polluted air, fat and preservatives in feed, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones - you name it. Even water has chlorine, trihalomethanes, alum, lime, and potassium permanganate, to name a few.
Free radicals destroy cells. A war is constantly raging inside your horse's body. Free radicals - unstable molecules - are roaming inside with one mission: to invade and attack, destroying healthy cells, making the body vulnerable to disease.
The best analogy I have heard is like bouncing a super ball in a china shop. Something, in this case a lot of cells, is bound to break. Without an antioxidant, cells oxidize - a process very similar to metal rusting. This oxidation, or rust if you prefer, blocks arteries, scars joints, and even alters DNA, making your horse more vulnerable to such maladies as cancer, fatigue, and arthritis. The malfunctions are limitless. Not good if you are planning to win a race or have your horse around for awhile.
The solution, without a doubt, is supplementation of your horse's diet with antioxidants. Left unchecked, free radicals will damage the basic structure of cells just like a sliced apple
browns in the air - a chemical change showing de composition - cells are oxidizing at a rapid pace in the presence of free radicals. Antioxidants slow the pace giving your horse a competitive edge and longevity needed to perfect performance.
Many herbs contain antioxidants. Our product, Health Check daily antioxidant, is a unique blend of many herbs. You may be familiar with many of them likegarlic, Siberian ginseng, and yucca. Perhaps you take them yourself. I do and so do most of my friends. We have been using a comparable human product for over 6 years now and I can't tell you the miracles we've seen. I was spending over 300 dollars per month using this human product on our own horse. Very few clients were willing to spend that so I had to find a way to get the same results for less expense.
The answer I found was grapes.
As I already explained, grapes contain the most powerful antioxidant known. It's economical, readily accessible, and horses love it. We balance the grape with other beneficial herbs and have been overwhelmed with the results.
Grape Seed Extract
Grape seed extract has been proven to benefit many parts of the body. J.E. Grogain, B. Ed. Certified Nutritionist in an article titled Grape Seed Extract, Its Properties and Benefits (included below), states that GSE maintains and strengthens the integrity of tendons, ligaments, muscles, as well as bones. It does this by strengthening collagen fibers, the cement that holds all tissue together even blood vessel walls, skin and lungs. He states that by preventing collagen breakdown and increasing production, GSE protects, especially during periods of inflammation and infection. By acting as a powerful anti - inflammatory, even swelling of injured tissue can be minimized reducing pain and speeding up the healing process. He also states that GSE can prevent and relieve excessive fluid buildup (edema) especially in the lymph glands. This aids in clearing waste material from the site injury or infection. As a big benefit, he states that GSE can benefit the synovial fluid in joints as well.
In our Joint Check we added glucosamine products (6,000 mgs per ounce) to help the joints and connective tissue even more. Although a topic for another article, these glucosamine products undisputedly help rebuild, restore and lubricate joints. Any aged arthritic or performance horse needs Joint Check. All others need Health Check.
On our farm we have about thirty Rocky Mountain horses. We have outside mares coming and going for breeding, we are either showing or trail riding every weekend. The point is, we have a lot of potential exposure for disease. We feed every horse Health Check or Joint Check every day. We don't even vaccinate and we don't have sick horses.
Dr. Richard Cutlar, former director of the government's anti-aging research department at the National Institute of Health said, "The amount of antioxidants that you maintain in your body is directly proportional to how long you live!" You can provide Health Check daily for much less than what a soda pop or cup of coffee cost these days. I know my horse is worth it. How about yours?
- Dan Moore DVM
NOTE: Dr. Dan, The Natural Vet, was the first to introduce Grape Seed to the horse supplement industry. The year was 1999.