Long used in livestock feed as a mycotoxin absorbent bentonite clay binds irreversibly with these common toxins in the gut thereby preventing absorption and acting prophylactically. In other species, bentonite clay has been shown to increase the length of the villi in the small intestine. These finger like projections increase absorptive surface and therefore improve feed utilization. Bentonite clay is also a good source of bioavailable silica. Silica has an important role in the development of new bone helping in the calcification process. Our bentonite is mined in the United States and contains over 40 naturally occurring minerals.
Cultured from a proprietary strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Yea-Sacc is a live yeast made by Alltech, Studies show that it promotes a stable gut pH, digestibility and digestive function during times of stress as well as promoting absorption of certain minerals. Together these benefits lead to increased fiber digestion and feed utilization. Yea-Sacc performance results are scientifically proven by over 20 equine research trials.
Integral A+ is a mycotoxin absorbent made by Alltech from hydrolyzed yeast. Mycotoxins have been implicated in a range of conditions including colic, gastrointestinal upset, neurological disorders and hypersensitivities. Integral A+ helps broaden the ability of the our products to absorb mycotoxins and molds before they can have a negative impact thus maintaining feed intake, growth rate, fertility and organ function.
Zinpro® Performance Minerals are organic trace minerals complexed with single amino acids. This process makes them more stable in the gastrointestinal tract compared to other sources of organic trace minerals. Researched in over 200 studies across a range of species, including horses and dogs, these minerals have been proven to have improved absorption and health benefits over inorganic minerals. In particular Zinc methionine is shown to support endothelial tissues (skin, intestines etc) immune function, hoof health and may reduce a horse’s susceptibility to ulcers.
Exercise causes stress on joints and muscular systems that may result in inflammation. Camelina oil contains a rich source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are precursors to compounds such as prostaglandins that are involved in inflammation. Omega-6 fatty acid is converted to pro-inflammatory prostanoids and leukotrienes whereas Omega3 fatty acids are ultimately converted into immunoneutral (thought of as anti-inflammatory) prostanoids and leukotrienes. Therefore the fatty acid composition of the diet has direct influence on whether an inflammatory stimulus will escalate or be reduced. Unlike other oils typically included in equine diets, Camelina oil provides more omega-3 than 6, and helps support a healthy inflammatory response.
Additionally Camelina oil promotes coat quality and shine from both the inside but also when used externally. Used for many years as a component of shampoo and beauty products the fatty acids and naturally occurring vitamin E in the form of mixed tocopherols smooth hair for maximum shine while protecting it from free radical damage.
Equine OmegaBalance, Pet OmegaBalance, Pet Fly Spray PLUS, Equine Fly Spray PLUS , Equine Shine Spray PLUS, Pet Shine Spray PLUS, Equine Fungicide PLUS, and Pet Fungicide PLUS all contain Camelina oil.
In addition to the more than 40 minerals provided by the bentonite clay and raw salt, our equine and pet supplements have added trace minerals to support vital metabolic functions. Zinc is involved in over 300 metabolic processes, is a key operator in immune function as well as the health of hooves and skin. Copper, a constituent of collagen, may help reduce the risk of orthopedic conditions in horses when fed in adequate amounts to broodmares during pregnancy. The level of trace minerals provided in GastroBalance and GastroBalance Plus are designed to work with your commercially fortified feeds. If feeding unfortified feeds greater quantities of GastroBalance and GastroBalance Plus should be fed to insure your horse’s requirements are being met. Trace mineral levels in ElectroBalance are lower not only because of the chelated mineral sources but also so that larger daily intakes may be safely fed to hard working horses for sweat replacement.
EnviroEquine & PET is proud to offer OmegaBalance with added pumpkin seed oil. Pumpkin seed oil is a source of Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, D, E and K, as well as magnesium, zinc, manganese, iron, and calcium.
It also contains between 60 to 90 percent unsaturated fats, is rich in vegetable protein and has both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids in a 3 to 1 ratio.
Our organic pumpkin seed oil provides support to the kidneys and bladder and skeletal support. It is high in anti-oxidants, GMO and gluten-free, and does not need to be refrigerated.
How GastroBalance, ElectroBalance and OmegaBalance Work Together to Support Equine Health
by Dr Clair Thunes PhD Nutrition
Consulting Nutritionist for EnviroEquine & PET
GastroBalance and ElectroBalance products provide unique combinations of Bentonite clay, unrefined salt and trace minerals, as a result they are able to provide hydration support, gastrointestinal support, growth support and detoxification all while providing a source of vital trace minerals. Where the above products have a foundation in Bentonite clay, the Camelina oil is an ancient oil that provides larger quantities of omega-3 than omega-6 fatty acids. In addition the Gastro Balance Plus provides extra gastrointestinal support in the form of live yeast and a prebiotic.
Read on for a full explanation on how these products work together.
Bentonite clay has long been appreciated for its properties as a binder in animal feed and also as a digestive tract conditioner in livestock production. Bentonite clay, a type of smectite, is a natural clay containing sodium calcium aluminosilicate that comes from volcanic ash in the United States. Clays are crystalline molecules made up of alkali cations meaning that they have an alkali acidity. The molecules within the clay are arranged in a 3 dimensional arrangement that results in internal voids and channels in which a wide variety of other molecules can become trapped. When added to diets clays are able to trap toxic materials lowering their toxicity and essentially removing them from the gastrointestinal tract. Smectite clays such as the clay in the EnviroEquine products have high absorption capacity.
Clays such as smectites are able to absorb large amounts of water which is one way that they are able to reduce diarrhea. Additionally in pigs they have been shown to alter the microbial population in the gastrointestinal tract resulting in more favorable gut flora. It is thought that this is achieved by changing the intestinal environment due to the clay’s alkaline pH which influences the growth of specific types of bacteria. One of the causes of diarrhea can be low grade colonization of the gastrointestinal tract with pathogenic bacteria. These bacteria proliferate more readily when the pH of the gastrointestinal tract is more acidic. Therefore the addition of the more alkali clay may help stabilize pH maintaining an environment less favorable for these bacteria and more favorable for the gastrointestinal tract’s “good” bacteria. Additionally clays may attract bacterial cells with enough force to break these cells apart. Smectite clays have been shown to reduce post-operative diarrhea in horses with colic associated with the large intestine.
Other ways in which the gastrointestinal tract may be negatively impacted is from molds that occur in feeds. While thought to be less sensitive to mycotoxins and aflatoxins than some other species, horses may still suffer from the negative consequences of these molds being present in their feed. Bentonite clay and sodium calcium aluminosilicate the two main ingredients of Gastro and ElectroBalance have been shown to be beneficial in livestock feed by reducing the negative effects of toxins such as fumonisin and aflotoxins that are molds that can occur naturally in feeds. Unless removed, these toxins absorb quickly from the gastrointestinal tract after consumption and may cause a number of problems. In other species they have been linked to lack of appetite, weight loss, poor performance, depression, as well as reduced fertility and growth rate. It is thought that the clay binds irreversibly with the toxin in the gut thereby preventing absorption thus acting prophylactically. Preventing these toxins from entering the body has been shown to reduce severity of stress on the liver. Additionally clays bind toxins or detoxify bacterial toxins and have been shown in pigs to reduce permeability and damage to the intestinal lining caused by these toxins.
The Integral A+ prebiotic, supported by many research trials, and provided in the GastroBalance Plus powder and paste products also helps to remove potentially harmful mycotoxins. Integral A+ is derived from hydrolyzed yeast so is also a completely natural ingredient.
Feeding Bentonite clay and Integral A+ together provides two powerful approaches to supporting the gastrointestinal tract protect itself from the effects of unwanted bacteria and mycotoxins.
Clays may also reinforce the physical mucus barrier providing some protection against diseases that originate in the digestive tract. Goblet cells in the intestinal mucosa release mucin which acts as a first line of defense to protect the intestinal cells from infections. Smectite clays have been shown in pigs to modestly increase the size and number of goblet cells in the gastrointestinal tract lining. Not only does mucin protect against the negative effects of pathogenic bacteria but in the stomach it is released by the cells that secrete gastric acid to protect them from erosion.
Thanks to their binding abilities, the bentonite clay and sodium calcium aluminosilicate found in the Gastro and ElectroBalance products in conjunction with the Yea-Sacc in the GastroBalance PLUS powder and paste can help stabilize the gastrointestinal environment.
Increased Feed Utilization
Both Bentonite clays and Yea-Sacc have been shown in numerous studies to improve feed utilization. One of the ways in which this is thought to occur is through a change in villus height within the small intestine. The entire length of the small intestine is covered with finger like projections known as villi. The purpose of these villi is to increase the relative surface area of the small intestine resulting in a greater surface area for nutrient absorption. The longer the villi the greater the increase in surface area for absorption and therefore increased nutrient digestibility. Clay has been shown to increase villus height in other species.
Feeding clay may also slow the rate of passage of feed through the gastrointestinal tract. This gives more time for digestion resulting in greater utilization of nutrients in feed. Some research in pigs has shown greater utilization of dietary protein, dry matter, calcium and phosphorous in pigs supplemented with clay however other studies have shown no improvement of nutrient digestibility.
Inflammation and Immunity
Gastrointestinal stress and overall physical stress increases inflammation and depresses immune response. The gastrointestinal tract is one of the body’s first lines of defense and therefore if gastrointestinal health is compromised inflammation may occur both in the gastrointestinal tract and beyond. The clay in Gastro and ElectroBalance in combination with the Yea-Sacc and Integreal A+ GastroBalance Plus helps maintain a strong gastrointestinal lining to resist the effects of stress.
Exercise causes stress on joints and muscular systems that may result in inflammation. The Camelina oil provided by EnviroEquine OmegaBalance contains a rich source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are precursors to compounds such as prostaglandins that are involved in inflammation. The key to their efficacy in regulation of inflammation is their relative balance within the body. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) the plant based omega-3 is converted to EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (decosahexaenoic acid) via an elongase enzyme that is shared with the omega-6 pathway that converts the omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) to Arachidonic acid (AA). It is these fatty acids that are incorporated into cell membranes. Under inflammatory stimulation, these fatty acids are released from the cell membrane and further converted into prostanoids and leukotrienes. AA the omega-6 fatty acid is converted to pro-inflammatory prostanoids and leukotrienes whereas EPA is converted into immunoneutral (thought of as anti-inflammatory) prostanoids and leukotrienes. Therefore the fatty acid composition of the diet has direct influence on whether an inflammatory stimulus will escalate or be reduced. Unlike many oils typically included in equine diets, EnviroEquine OmegaBalance provides a unique blend of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and helps support a healthy inflammatory response.
Many performance horses spend large amounts of time traveling to and from competition. Data has shown that long periods of travel alter the horse’s neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (two kinds of white blood cells) which contributes to disease susceptibility. Introduction to new environments and feed sources in the period immediately after travel exposes horses to new pathogens at a time when their immune function may be reduced.
Zinc plays an important role in immune function. GastroBalance and ElectroBalance products provide supplemental sources of zinc to help support immune function. GastroBalance Plus and ElectroBalance products contain zinc methionine from Zinpro® a bioavailable source of zinc which research has proven provides greater immune system support.
All GastroBalance and ElectroBalance products contain a source of naturally occurring unrefined salt. Daily sodium intake is vital for insuring adequate water consumption which is an important component of reducing impaction colic risk as well as the many functions in the body that require water. These include maintaining adequate lubrication of mucus membranes, production of secretions necessary for digestion, proper kidney function and many others. Sodium is also a vital mineral for proper muscle contraction. Horses that become dehydrated will suffer decreased performance.
ElectroBalance provides twice the salt per serving compared to GastroBalance and provides electrolytes in a ratio that mirrors that of equine sweat. ElectroBalance is formulated to be an electrolyte that can be used to replace losses incurred through heavy sweating.
Silica has an important role in the development of new bone helping in the calcification process. While this element in the environment is bountiful, being a major component of sand it cannot be absorbed when in this form. Additionally silicon has a major part to play in forming the collagen matrix. A good matrix is vital to preventing bones from being brittle. Therefore adequate silica in an absorbable form is vital to young growing horses. Research has shown that feeding silica in the form of hydrated aluminosilicates to racing Quarter horses dramatically decreased injury rates. These horses were able to train and race further before injury. Mares supplemented with hydrated alumino silicates have higher levels of silicon in their milk and serum. Per serving both GastroBalance and ElectroBalance provides a generous amount of silica from aluminosilicates.
Yea-Sacc provided by GastroBalance Plus has been shown to improve nutrient transfer from mares to foals thus supporting foal growth.
In addition to the more than 40 minerals provided by the bentonite clay and raw salt, Gastro and ElectroBalance have added copper, zinc and selenium to support vital metabolic functions. Zinc is involved in over 300 metabolic processes, is a key operator in immune function as well as the health of hooves and skin. Copper, a constituent of collagen, helps support strong skeletal development when fed in adequate amounts to broodmares during pregnancy. Selenium plays a vital role in glutathione peroxidase which protects cells from the toxic effects of hydrogen peroxidases that are produced during exercise. It also plays a role in thyroid hormone metabolism.
GastroBalance Plus and ElectroBalance utilize Zinpro® Performance Minerals which are amino acid complexes. This means that unlike the naturally occurring oxide and sulfur forms of zinc and copper commonly used in supplements, these trace minerals are attached to the amino acids methionine and lysine respectively. This may improve their absorption as it allows the minerals to leave the gastrointestinal tract via pathways meant for amino acids rather than those used by other minerals. This reduces competition for absorption. Zinpro has performed more than 200 peer reviewed studies into the effects of their minerals in a number of species and have shown improvements in hoof health, improved feed utilization, immune function, skin and epithelial health and improved production response in stressful conditions.
The level of trace minerals in both GastroBalance and GastroBalance Plus are such that when fed at the lower end of the recommended daily intake level they will not disturb the trace mineral balance in a diet containing fortified feed. If being fed to horses with no other source of mineral fortification the daily intake of Gastrobalance and GastroBalance Plus may be increased to the higher end of the daily recommended intake to insure daily mineral needs are being met. The level of trace minerals in the ElectroBalance is lower not only because of the chelated mineral sources but also so that larger daily intakes may be fed to horses being fed a broad range of diets in order to provide adequate electrolytes for sweat replacement.
Some of The Science
Hassel, D.M. et al., (2009) Di-tri-octahedral smectite for the prevention of post-operative diarrhea in equids with surgical disease of the large intestine: results of a randomized clinical trial. Vet. J. 182(2):210-214
Abbes, S., et al., (2006) The protective effect of hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate against haematological, biochemical and pathological changes induced by Zearalenone in mice. Toxicon. Vol 47, Issue 5, Pages 567-574
T.C. Schell et al., (1993) Effectiveness of different type of clay for reducing the detrimental effects of aflatoxin-contaminated diets on performance and serum profiles in weanling pigs. J.Anim. Sci. 71:1226-1231
Caloni, F. and Cortinovis, C. (2001) Toxicological effects of aflatoxins in horses. Vet. J. 188(3):270-273
Lang, K.J. et al., (2001) Increased plasma silicon concentrations and altered bone resorption in response to sodium zeolite A supplementation in yearling horses. J. Equine Vet. SCi. 21(11):550-555
Lang, K.J. et al., (2001) Supplemental silicon increases plasma milk silicon concentrations in horses. J. Anim. Sci. 79:2627-2633
Nielson, B. et al., (1993) Training distance to failure in young racing quarter horses fed sodium zeolite. A. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 13:562-567
Buchanan, B.R. and Andrews, F. (2003) Treatment and prevention of equine gastric ulcer syndrome. Vet Clin. Equine. 19:575-597
Zhao, J. et al., (2010) Comparison of hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate and yeast cell wall on counteracting aflatoxicosis in broiler chicks. Poultry Sci. Vol 89. Issue 10: 2147-2156