SmartPak teams up with LSU to research and showcase promising results
SmartPak is a company that believes in the value of scientific research to support its supplements. Recently, they teamed up with Dr. Frank Andrews from the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine to conduct a safety study on turmeric and devil’s claw in horses. These two ingredients have occasionally caused concern among horse owners because of the required cautions on labels of supplements containing either of these herbs.
“We have worked with Dr. Andrews on previous research – he has an incredible reputation in the world of equine medicine – so we were excited to partner with him on this safety study to address an important topic to our customers,” said Dr. Lydia Gray, SmartPak’s Staff Veterinarian - Research and Medical Director. “We’ve long recognized these label cautions can be alarming and off-putting so we’re glad to be able to lay them to rest once and for all.”
Turmeric and devil’s claw are commonly supplemented to horses to address excess inflammation and occasional discomfort associated with exercise or age. Turmeric also has antioxidant properties that make it valuable for overall health and wellness. Due to mandated cautions about not being used in patients with stomach ulcers or in animals at risk for gastrointestinal (GI) ulcerations, undue concern has been raised about giving these herbs to horses. The specific cautions are: “Use with caution in animals at risk for GI ulcerations” (devil’s claw) and “May be GI irritant and not to be used in high doses with anticoagulant drugs or patients with stomach ulcers.” (turmeric)
“Because there is a lack of evidence supporting the need for these cautions,” said Dr. Frank Andrews, “this study was performed to determine the effect of turmeric and devil’s claw on stomach health in horses.”
The research was conducted by Dr. Andrews’ team in the Equine Health Studies Program, which is within the School of Veterinary Medicine, on the LSU campus. The safety study ran over the course of 28 days. Horses in the treatment group were given both Smart & Simple™ Turmeric Pellets (with 10,000 mg of turmeric) and SmartComfort™ Pellets (with 2,500 mg of devil’s claw and 2,000 mg of turmeric) for those 28 days, while horses in the placebo group were given the inactive ingredients of these formulas. Gastroscopies were performed, i.e. the horses were “scoped”, on days 0, 14, and 28 in addition to having the stomach acid measured. Bloodwork was also performed on days 0 and 28 as part of the safety assessment.
At the conclusion of the study it was found that the supplements containing turmeric and devil’s claw did not cause or worsen stomach ulcers as required statements on the label have historically cautioned. Even by combining supplements and testing amounts of turmeric and devil’s claw that are higher than any single product on the market, the study showed these ingredients did not compromise stomach health or have a significant effect on blood parameters.
Based on the results of this study, the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) has agreed to allow SmartPak to remove statements from its supplements that contain either of these ingredients that caution against their use in animals at risk for GI ulcerations or in patients with stomach ulcers.
A video interview with Dr. Andrews highlighting this study is also available on SmartPak’s YouTube channel, and provides great insight. SmartPak is pleased to share these results and is dedicated to continuing to conduct research behind its products. To learn more about this study or other SmartPak research, visit www.SmartPak.com.
Note: LSU does not endorse any products.
From the feed room to the tack room, SmartPak offers innovative solutions to help riders take great care of their horses. SmartPak was founded in 1999 with the introduction of the patented SmartPak supplement feeding system. The revolutionary, daily dose SmartPaks are custom-made for your horse, individually labeled and sealed for freshness. With the success of this simple and convenient feeding system, SmartPak has continued to expand its offering of quality products, including its own line of more than 55 supplement formulas called SmartSupplements, and a wide variety of tack, equipment, and supplies. The company has grown rapidly each year and is one of the largest retailers of equestrian products in the United States. SmartPak’s success has been powered by a passion for delivering an unbeatable customer experience, and the company has been recognized with a Bizrate Circle of Excellence award nine years in a row, as well as receiving an “Elite” rating from STELLAService.
Contact: Kelcie Griffith, 774-773-1112 or KGriffith@SmartPak.com