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 (Bioplex*) One of the most important trace elements in the horse, with coat quality improved when copper and zinc are properly balanced. - 1.2g Zinc (Bioplex*) Supports bone and cartilage development, integrity of skin, hair and hooves, vision, reproduction and immune system. *Bioplex - chelates of protein hydrolysates, which means a mineral attached to other compounds, i.e. amino acids, to improve bioavailability/absorption. The compounds to which they attach can affect how well they are absorbed and how available they are for use in the body. An amino acid chelated mineral is one in which a mineral has been chemically attached to an amino acid to improve mineral absorption.
10g Brewers Yeast as one of the best natural sources of the B-complex vitamins, which maintain healthy muscle and skin (useful for our itchy horses), promote cell growth and division, enhance immunity and calm the nervous system, as well as being an excellent prebiotic digestive aid. As well as this, since all of the B vitamins are involved with protein, fat and carb metabolism and interactions, they also play a very important role in hoof health. A horse on a quality forage-based diet is unlikely to be deficient in B vitamins; however, our UK grasslands and hay are notoriously low in nutritional value, so it isn’t too off the mark to suspect our forage is low in the B’s, considering the general nationwide reputation for poor-hoof quality. Hence, because of the high concentration of keratin protein in the hoof wall, we include Brewers Yeast in our EquiVita range to support the protein metabolism.
Essential Amino Acids (EFA's) including: - 3g Methionine & 10g Lysine Both essential amino acids, Lysine and Methionine 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. - Methionine is a key component to support hoof structure and hard-wearing robust hooves, as well as liver support and mane/coat density. - Lysine is the key to protein availability - it quite literally makes protein work, and is one of the most important factors for growth, tissue repair, blood building, muscle development and immunity.
30mg Biotin Out of all the B vitamins, B7 (Biotin) is probably the most familiar to horse owners as a popular supplement for healthy hooves and coats. Biotin has been shown in studies to improve growth rate of hoof horn and support white-line separation.
The key trace-mineral and antioxidant, 1mg Selenium, a major component of glutathione perodidase, the body's natural key antioxidant enzyme, plus several other important enzymes.
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.
Brewers Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) Literally translated, S.cerevisiae means 'sugar fungus', as this is what it feeds on, and it's one of the most important fungi in the history of the world. S.cerevisiae is a highly nutritious yeast and one of the best natural sources of the B-complex vitamins including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), and H/B7 (biotin), with the tiniest trace of B12 (cobalamin). An excellent digestive aid, as a prebiotic S.cerevosiae supports the growth of the microbial digestive flora, improves feed absorption, helps stabilise large intestinal PH value, and helps break down glucose to support blood sugar levels. It also has an excellent compliment of trace minerals, including bio-available chromium which assists in mineral uptake, zinc, iron, phosphorus and selenium.
Vitamin C - via Rosehips (yields a daily 200mg natural Vit.C) An essential antioxidant, Vitamin C depletes in winter forage growth as well as it being destroyed during the baling/curing of grass to hay. Rosehips themselves also serve as a beneficial gut and kidney tonic, immunity, circulatory and joint supporter, while Vitamin C is required to produce collagen, helps produce neurotransmitters, it protects against heart disease and aids in the absorption of iron.
Vitamin E (Acetate Adsorbate) 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; however, when healthy horses have regular access to fresh, good quality grass, they'll be getting adequate vitamin E. It only needs supplementing during winter or if there's hay in the diet. Like Vit.C, Vitamin E levels deplete in winter growth, with a high percentage destroyed in baling/curing, and what remains is rapidly destroyed during storage. 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.