In 2015, a group of researchers from both private companies and Texas A&M University studied the effects of a combination of chelated trace minerals and eggshell membrane as an intervention and prevention of degenerative joint disease (DJD) and osteoarthritis. (OA) in multiple species including swine.

In a nutshell, they found that supplemental chelated trace minerals were effective in both sows and gilts, reducing the culling rate for lameness by over 35%.  

This and other similar studies are why when we formulated TrueTrac we began with specific chelated trace minerals as the foundation.

In the spring of 2019 we did a study in growing show pigs split into three groups.  Our product TrueTrac is a combination of chelated trace minerals, acidified citrus pulp, egg shell meal and other ingredients intended to nutritionally support joint health. Group 1 were controls and they were not supplemented with TrueTrac. The second group were supplemented with TrueTrac following the directions on the label beginning at 150 lbs until they reached market weight.  The third group received TrueTrac from the beginning of the trial (~50#) until market weight.

We measured clinical lameness by scoring on a scale of 0-5 daily with 0 being no clinical evidence to 5 non-weight bearing, once a week we measured length of stride, (on a 1-3 scale with one representing normal, 2 compromised, and 3 severely compromised range of motion) at the end we followed some pigs from each group to slaughter and examined their joints.

Since we were unable to follow all the pigs to the slaughter floor and collect joints from them all we can only say that the severity of the lesions in the articular surface appear to correlate well with the lameness score and range of motion.  The most severely affected pigs in the control group had complete erosions of the articular cartilage creating a painful bone on bone joint surface. There were no visible lesions in the pigs that received TrueTrac from the beginning.

From 50 lbs to 200 lbs the range of motion and lameness score were similar.  As pigs reached heavier weights they started to exhibit clinical signs of lameness.  The chart summarizes the differences in the three treatment groups in lameness score and range of motion from 200 lbs to market weight.

Pigs that received TrueTrac beginning at 50 pounds scored 58% better in lameness score from the control and 42% better than pigs that received TrueTrac late in the feeding period and similar improvements in range of motion score.