Sacha won this Award for her project entitled ‘Dietary turmeric reduces inflammation and improves mood and mobility in horses with fetlock joint inflammation’
Fetlock joint inflammation is a common problem in horses, arising mainly from an overall increase in their recreational activity due to better veterinary care and increased longevity. While there are non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs which have proved efficient in reducing inflammatory symptoms, they come with the risk of significant adverse effects and other treatments that do exist tend to be largely non-researched. One of these treatments involved a molecule called polyphenolic compound curcumin, found in turmeric, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
In her study, Sacha randomly assigned six horses with known fetlock joint inflammation to receive no treatment, or 0.05g/kg body mass high curcumin turmeric each day for ten days as part of their customary diet. Quantitative measurements of fetlock circumference showed no reduction in the control group, but up to a 5.0mm reduction in inflammation was recorded in the test group, following the administration of the turmeric. Professional handlers, who measured the mood and mobility of the horses on a daily basis, concluded that the turmeric test group significantly improved over the ten-day trial period.
Both Sacha’s quantitative and qualitative results strongly suggested that turmeric containing curcumin is an effective and easily administered treatment which reduces inflammation and improves the mobility and mood of horses suffering from fetlock joint inflammation.