Submitted to: Joint Abstracts of the American Dairy Science and Society of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 28, 2011
Publication Date: July 11, 2011
Citation: Lay Jr, D.C., Marchant Forde, J.N., Richert, B.T., Mcmunn, K.A. 2011. Glucosamine:chondroitin or ginger root extract have little effect on articular cartilage in swine. Joint Abstracts of the American Dairy Science and Society of Animal Science. Proceedings JAM ADSA-ASAS. Technical Abstract: Sows are culled at a high rate from breeding herds due to musclo-skeletal problems and lameness. Research in our laboratory has shown that even first-parity sows have significant amounts of osteochondritic lesions of their articular cartilage. Glusoamine chondroitin and ginger root extract have both been proposed as cartilage building supplements. Thus gilts (N = 30) were assigned to receive a daily dose of 1,500 mg glucosamine:1,200 mg chondroitin complex (GC sows); 300 mg ginger root extract; or serve as controls with no supplement. All gilts started on treatments at approximately 3 mo of age and were maintained on these diets through second parity. After weaning, they were slaughtered to evaluate their articular cartilage. Cartilage was scored on scale from 0 to 4, defined as clear/smooth to severely damaged, respectively. Hooves were scored on a scale from 0 to 3, defined as minimum cracks to deep splits, respectively. Cartilage thickness was measured by weighing four, 6 mm biopsies taken from the articular cartilage as well as targeted areas of erosion. In addition, cross sections on the head of the femur and humerus were used to measure cartilage thickness. Cortical bone thickness was measured on both the femur and the humerus. Blood samples were collected every 4 wk during gestation to measure differential leucocyte counts and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Cartilage on the head of the humerus was thicker (P < 0.02) for sows on ginger root supplement compared to sows on control diets, with GC sows being intermediate (P < 0.05). However, no other measures of the quantity or thickness of cartilage or bone were different between treatments (P > 0.10). Osteochondritic lesions were evident in 100 % of the animals on study. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate only tended to be slower for control sows compared to either supplemented group (P < 0.12); while mean corpuscular volume was lower (P < 0.02) for controls compared to gingerroot sows with GC sows intermediate. These data indicate that the supplements used in this study are not effective in making appreciable differences in the joint health of swine, and thus will not prove effective in increasing soundness of sows.