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Treating Ulcers with Supplements: How Effective Are They?

August 2016 by Karen Richardson, BSc (Hons), MSc (Equine Science), Richardson Equine Nutrition Solutions

In this article, equine nutritionist Karen Richardson reviews the scientific research available to find out if the claims made by supplements based on pectin-lecithin complexes match their effectiveness in preventing and treating equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS).

Understanding phospholipids’ protective role

Back in 1983, a group of researchers discovered the mucosal lining and the gastric juice of dogs contained a group of surface-active phospholipids. Phospholipids are made up of two fatty acids (long chains of hydrogen and carbon molecules), which are attached to a glycerol ‘head’. The glycerol head region of the molecule is hydrophillic (attracts water), while the fatty acid tail is hydrophobic (repels water).