Featured Horse Food Ingredient of the Month: Diatomaceous
Long hidden in sedimentary mineral rock lurks one of the world’s most beloved health supplements: Diatomaceous.
Nicknamed the ‘grass of the sea’, it’s a 30 million year old silica-rich powder derived diatom remains. In fact, the word Diatomaceous translates to “full of diatoms”. In this case, a microscopic, uni-celled oceanic algae with a honeycomb structures surrounded by a silicon exoskeleton.
Its addition to a horse’s diet can have marked internal external health improvements. From skin and hair to cholesterol and bones, this super food works overtime to optimize health.
Five benefits of purchasing a horse feed fortified with Diatomaceous include:
1. Good for skin, heart health, and connective tissue
Whereas silica used to be readily available in the foods we ate, modern farming practices have since depleted the soil of many essential, trace minerals (silica included). Today, it is suggested the grass horses eat will supply only a 1/3 of the silica needed. Fortunately Diatomaceous, with an 85% silica makeup, can help replenish some of what’s been lost in the diet. Good thing, too, since this trace mineral really takes to connective tissue like tendons, cartilage, and blood vessels. Vital organs including the heart, liver, and lungs also use it to strengthen their fibrous walls. Finally, silica is a crucial element to one of skin’s building blocks: collagen. The more collagen that’s present the firmer and healthier your horse’s skin (and mane!) will be.
2. Natural source of calcium
In addition to silica, Diatomaceous packs in a variety of other nutrients and minerals including silicon, sodium, magnesium, iron, and, perhaps most importantly, calcium. The training and activity level horses must undergo means their calcium intake is critical to health and optimal performance. According to ADM animal nutrition, “The importance of calcium to the performance horse includes normal functioning of metabolism, the conduction of impulses along the nerves to muscle, the contraction of leg and body muscles for exercise, the contraction of the heart muscle for pumping blood, the contraction of the diaphragm for breathing, the functioning of the GI muscle for digestion.”
3. Functions like an antioxidant, cleansing free radicals and harmful metals
Thanks to Diatomaceous’ unique honeycomb structure, it acts as an internal cleanser, which supports regularity. The structure also uses its negative attraction field to draw in positively charged metals then trap and remove these heavy, toxic metals from the system. This allows your horse to safely pass toxins and free radicals in their gastrointestinal tract.
4. Can Help Lower Cholesterol
Research published by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information definitively shows that “Diatomaceous earth lowers blood cholesterol concentrations”. Taken over a period of weeks, a reduction of cholesterol is reported even after the supplement stops being taken. In addition, there is evidence to suggest low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and triglycerides are also reduced with a regular course of Diatomaceous.
5. Great for Bone Density and Health
Given the benefits of calcium discussed above, this last advantage likely comes as no surprise, but when it comes to bone health, Diatomaceous really delivers. To prevent injury from running, jumping and training, a horse must have optimal bone health. Increasing bone mass is the best way to recover from and altogether prevent life-threatening fractures. With its calcium and silicon rich makeup, Diatomaceous can greatly add back what is lost over time.
In short, our food-grade Diatomaceous has been added to a variety of our all-natural horse food, all of which are designed for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.
When you buy Muenster horse food, you’re receiving the same nutrition, quality, and innovation that we’ve been providing our customers for the last four decades. Whether your horse is an energetic colt or a senior mare, choose Muenster.