There are literally tens of thousands of equine supplements on the market, but does each live up to its claim? Equine nutritionist Clair Thunes, PhD, recommends being open-minded, yet skeptical, when evaluating what a supplement can do for an equine, reports The Horse.
Using a fictional supplement to look critically at what the product claims to do, Thunes notes that “Foolszyme” makes some incredible claims, including complete digestion and absorption of a horse's diet. The made-up supplement is made using “cold temperature extraction” from the “fool berry” and then spun out to create a supplement that helps with hoof, immune, metabolic and digestive tract issues.
Some supplements explain their usage in very complicated, “scientific” terms. Thunes recommends calling the manufacturer with questions if the label is difficult to decipher. The company should be willing to discuss their products and the research that went into their creation.
Thunes, looking at the made-up supplement, notes that there is no such thing as complete dietary digestion, as it would mean there would be nothing to excrete as manure. Never heard of an ingredient included in the supplement? Do an Internet search, but be sure to dig a little deeper to see if you can locate a reputable information source from which to glean knowledge.
The best type of research is that which has been peer-reviewed, meaning the product has been examined by an unbiased third party to ensure that their findings are legitimate. The FDA classifies supplements as those that have supportive roles; they cannot treat, cure or prevent any condition. A manufacturer cannot claim that a supplement can prevent anything (colic, laminitis) unless it has gone through FDA trials.
When reading the label of supplements, be sure to think critically about their claims. Don't be afraid to call the manufacturer for additional information, or contact a veterinarian or equine nutritionist for their input.
Read more at The Horse.
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