Our EquiVita range includes as standard:
The four important minerals, known to be typically deficient in our UK grazing and forage:
12g Magnesium (Oxide) Vital for calcium absorption, insulin sensitivity, normalising blood circulation, hoof sole sensitivity, and as a detoxicant.
5g Phosphorous (Monosodium Phosphate) Low Phosphorus levels can cause bone issues, loss of appetite, stiff joints, fatigue, breathing difficulties and weight fluctuations.
400mg Copper One of the most important trace elements in the horse, with coat quality improved when copper and zinc are properly balanced.
1.2g Zinc Supports bone and cartilage development, integrity of skin, hair and hooves, vision, reproduction and immune system.
Essential Amino Acids (EFA's):
3g Methionine & 10g Lysine Both these essential amino acidse need to be supplied in the diet because horses are unable to make enough in their systems. They are also both 'limiting' amino acids, which means that if there is not enough of these important amino acids, the body is limited in its ability to make protein.
The key trace-mineral and antioxidant, 1mg Selenium, a major component of glutathione perodidase, the body's natural key antioxidant enzyme.
Vitamin E (natural, not synthetic), a critical antioxidant, an agent that keeps free radicals from forming and potentially weakening cells and tissues.
A Mineral Snapshot
Magnesium Much of todays grazing and fields are deficient in magnesium, in part due to decades of artificial fertilisers. Magnesium is hugely essential, with typical signs of lacking magnesium in the body including loss of appetite, fatigue and weakness.
It plays an essential part in increasing insulin sensitivity, maintenance of normal blood circulation, hoof sole sensitivity, calcium absorption, detoxifies toxic substances in the body, and rebalances the diet.Here are further key reasons why magnesium is so important:
It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body
Exists in over 300 different bodily enzymes
Is found primarily in bones (half of the total body magnesium)
Plays a role in the body’s detoxification processes
Aids energy metabolism and protein synthesis
Helps guide a large number of physiological functions
Is required by glutathione (the body's own natural master antioxidant) for synthesis
Is especially valuable for supporting brain health
Natural grass is an excellent source of magnesium because the center of the chlorophyll molecule (which provides grass its bright green colour) contains magnesium. Chlorophyll is like a plant's version of our hemoglobin. They share a similar structure but chlorophyll has magnesium plugged in the middle instead of iron. However, we all know too well the issues that our UK grasslands can cause some horses, so all the more reason to supplement it.
Lysine The NRC calls lysine 'the first limiting amino acid'. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and to make proteins for growth, development and tissue maintenance, the horse must have an adequate supply and balance of amino acids in the diet. Lysine is an essential amino acid for horses, yet it's typically deficient in the equine diets as our UK grazing is lysine-poor. It's important for body tissue growth, coat and hoof quality, calcium absorption, formation of collagen, bone, connective tissue, tendons and cartilage health, enzyme and hormone production.
It is also required for the production of carnitine, which is a nutrient that converts fatty acids into energy and supports cholesterol levels. In addition, lysine is required for the absorption and utilization of the B-vitamin niacin. In short, invaluable.
Phosphorus Phosphorus is one of the main components, along with calcium, that forms bone and teeth. Many aspects of health depend on keeping the right balance of phosphorus in the body as every cell in the body needs phosphorus to grow, develop and function properly. It helps the kidneys get rid of waste and influences the body’s storage and distribution of energy.
Low phosphorus levels can cause bone issues, loss of appetite, stiff joints, fatigue, breathing difficulties and weight fluctuations.
Copper Copper plays a major part in all areas of the body - without it, the consequences can be extremely harmful to health. Alongside zinc, iron, iodine, manganese and selenium, copper is one of the most important trace elements in the horse. Copper helps strong bones and connective tissue, and supports the action of melanin to pigment the skin and hair, the formation of elastin which lines blood vessels, blood manufacture, pigment formation, and for normal reproductive and immune system function.
Zinc Present in soil, air and water, zinc exists in all the cells of the body. As a nutrient, zinc supports bone and cartilage development, integrity of skin, hair and hooves, vision, reproduction and immune system. It also plays a role in thyroid function and insulin production. A type of antioxidant, zinc helps support cells from free radicals. NB. Too much zinc can deplete copper levels by preventing absorption.
Selenium Many soils are deficient in selenium, an important trace mineral requirement for horses. Its major purpose is to act as an antioxidant agent, and it must work synergistically with Vitamin E to support cell membranes from the by-products of energy metabolism. Selenium is also needed for immunity, thyroid hormone function and for normal muscle integrity.
Methionine Methionine is the only sulphur-containing amino acid and plays an important role in the synthesis of other proteins. The horse’s hoof wall is composed of an insoluble protein called keratin, which is a structural protein that contains sulphur-containing amino acids. Methionine and cysteine form the bi-sulphurous bonds between the keratin molecules, so when horses have compromised hooves or are potentially laminitic, methionine benefits strong hoof structure.
Methionine is further beneficial as several sulphur-containing connections can be produced when combined with the B vitamins, i.e. can help comfort levels, and the formation of cartilage tissue as joint cartilage requires sulphur for its production. Methionine also has a fat-dissolving effect and supports the depositing of fat in the liver.
Vitamin E Vitamin E is first and foremost a critical antioxidant, an agent that keeps free radicals from forming and potentially weakening cells and tissues. The availability and necessity of vitamin E in equine diets is well established, but it's lost in the drying/curing process of hay. As most horses in the UK are on a partial or full hay diet, it needs to be supplemented. Vitamin E is essential for our horses' muscle and nervous systems (neuromuscular), as well as being vital for immunity, cardiovascular, circulatory and reproductive functions.
Working synergistically with selenium, these two components help support the red blood cells during exercise, and the immune-system cells as they go about their work, especially in areas of the body that have a high reliance on oxygen-fuelled metabolism, i.e. in the heart, muscle and brain. NB. The 'Acetate' acts as a shield to prevent damage to the alpha-tocopherol, caused by exposure to oxidative forces, which can cause the alpha-tocopherol to quickly denature, which means it will lose its antioxidant benefit.