Monday, June 27, 2011

Magnesium Supplementation: Is It Necessary? - Full Article

by: Marie Rosenthal, MS
June 26 2011, Article # 18442

In an equine society dominated by supplements for everything imaginable--from joint health and calmers to antioxidants and vitamins and minerals--some horse owners likely wonder what, if any, feed additives they should provide their horses. Take magnesium for example: Science has shown us that horses require this macromineral to keep their bodies functioning properly, so should owners provide a supplement to ensure their animals get enough in their diet? According to an Auburn University researcher, hold off on buying that magnesium supplement, as it likely isn't needed by your horse.

Magnesium is an essential macromineral for horses that aids in maintaining normal nerve and muscle function, as well as the production of protein and DNA. Previous research from Cornell University indicates that horses need to consume just under 5 mg of the mineral to carry out normal body functions.

According to Allison J. Stewart, BVSc(hons), MS, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVECC, associate professor of equine internal medicine at Auburn, who recently composed a literature review on magnesium deficiencies in horses, "As there is generally a large amount of magnesium in vegetative matter (i.e., grass, hays, and grains), deficiency is rare in horses..."

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