Thehorse.com - Full Article
By Natalie DeFee Mendik, MA
Oct 31, 2017
Check the supplement stash at any performance stable, and you are likely to find a bottle of aloe vera juice, which some horse owners reach for to prevent or treat ulcers. But is it effective? To shed some light on this practice, a team of researchers at the University of Adelaide, in Australia, conducted a randomized, blinded clinical trial comparing the efficacy of aloe vera inner leaf gel to omeprazole for treating equine gastric ulcer syndrome, the first study of its kind.
The team studied 40 horses with Grade 2 or higher ulcer lesions (confirmed via gastroscopy) in the upper portion (squamous) and/or lower portion (glandular) of the stomach, randomly assigning them to one of two groups. One group received 17.6 mg/kg body weight of aloe vera inner leaf gel twice daily (a dose they settled on using data from similar studies performed in rats), while the other group received 4 mg/kg body weight omeprazole once daily. After four weeks of treatment, the team performed a repeat gastroscopy. Horses with persistent ulceration received a course of omeprazole and were re-examined after four weeks.
The team found that while horses treated with aloe vera leaf gel did show squamous lesion improvement, those on the omeprazole regimen showed greater improvements overall...
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