Any experience with Alpha 2 Macroglobulin (A2M)?

As the subject states - anyone out there have experience (positive, negative, neutral) to share using this?


Is it a feed through? Honestly most joint supplements have limited effectiveness in humans or horses. Most equine joint supplements are built on one of 2 things.

  1. Human supplements that are safe but not actually proven to work (chondroitin, glucosamine) or else innocuous minerals.

  2. Fringe medicine,herbs, Chinese medicine, etc also not proven to work.

If this new therapy worked, why isn’t it in use for the many millions of us humans with osteoarthritis? Some tiny equine startup has not suddenly fixed arthritis.

It looks like it’s similar to PRP, where blood is drawn, the plasma isolated, and then is reinjected. It does appear to be available through vets only, so at least it’s not an MLM touting completely unproven treatments.

My (human) regenerative medicine specialist has talked about this stuff. He thinks that his other options–PRP or stem cell–are better choices. We don’t use IRAP in people (afaik? I’d love to try it :rofl:)

If a vet is suggesting this, I’d want to know why they’re choosing it over IRAP, ProStride, PRP or stem cell.

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Their website is a bit disingenuous.
“Under a microscope, you can see that α2M has receptor sites on each side that are surrounded by lobes.”
Under a scanning electron microscope, perhaps.
I need to spend a bit of time looking at their purported science.
Fortunately, the SO is a protein chemist who spent a career on enzymology so I can get an expert opinion on some of it.

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OK, briefly. It’s a heckin’ big molecule, so ought to be fairly easy to concentrate by filtration.
However, I’m not terribly impressed with the collection/concentration system’s sterility.
If I were using something like that, I’d really want it done in a clean room, and not be leaving various ports and such dangling there. Too many opportunities for bacterial contamination, IMHO. This stuff is going into a joint. If it were IM/IV I might be a little less worried.
But I’ve always been nervous about poking holes into joint spaces.

The references contain information that looks legit, so it’s not completely snake oil. But I need to do some more reading before I’m convinced.

Another question in my mind is with regard to the duration of effect of any single injection–if each molecule of A2M can inactivate 2 proteinases, it wouldn’t seem to me that it would have much of a persistent effect.
And the process for collection/concentration doesn’t appear to have a quantitative measurement of just how much of the A2M is in the plasma. So you’re banking on the unknown.
This looks like so many of the boutique lameness therapies that are constantly appearing, get heavy use for a few years, then seem to fade from view.
It may well be helpful, but there haven’t been any miracle cures yet, and I doubt this is the one.

I think what bothers me the most is the mild fear-mongering in the ads:
“Without proper treatment, prolonged lameness may force the owner to put the horse down or out to pasture, causing potential fiscal and significant emotional strain.”

Not quite “reinjected”–the prepared concentrated plasma fraction is then injected into the joints, apparently.
And while it isn’t MLM, I’m guessing that the investment the DVM must make in the proprietary system for collection/concentration will drive them to promote it heavily.

Another excerpt:
“If you’re worried about the performance or life expectancy of your equine companion or you’ve noticed unusual inflammation or joint pain, talk to your vet about Alpha2EQ as a therapy option.”
Bolding mine.

Yes, sorry that wasn’t very specific. I just meant into the same patient.

Isn’t ProStride the same, in that the vet needs to buy the system? I know I had looked into it a bit and there was definitely an expenditure needed by the vet. It appears to be pretty hard to get up here (Ontario) - my vet didn’t know anyone offering it, and it seems it would be exorbitantly expensive.

Oh yeah, I saw that too and thought it was weird…I can only guess they mean if you had a horse with arthritis that couldn’t be managed it would be put down, but with this they can live comfortably longer? I’m not sure. It’s definitely worded strangely. Maybe this stuff is the equivalent of vampires drinking blood? :crazy_face: