B VITAMINS IN THE EQUINE DIET

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All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy.  B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body use fats and protein. B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver and they also help the nervous system function properly.

Vitamins are a class of nutrients that are required in small amounts by the horse. Vitamins can be divided into two types; fat soluble and water soluble. B Vitamins are water soluble so therefore are not stored in the fat and can be more safely added to a horse’s diet without risk of toxicity.  Vitamins that are water soluble are excreted from the body on a daily basis in the urine.

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BIOTIN IN THE EQUINE DIET

What Does it Do?

Biotin is a member of the B-complex group of vitamins and is most known for supporting nutrients for a healthy skin, coat and hoof.

Horse Hoof - Hooves

Biotin is a vitamin that must be obtained either through the diet or via the absorption of Biotin that is synthesized by intestinal bacteria.

Where Does My Horse Get Biotin?

The best place for your horse to get Biotin is pasture but good quality forage can also provide your horse with Biotin. Horses derive most of their Biotin requirement from the fermentation of forages by the microbial population in the hindgut.

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Grains such as oat, barley, and soybean meal only provide moderate concentrations of Biotin and the lowest levels are found in corn. Because of this some formulated feeds usually add Biotin but it is typically less than 1 mg per day on an as feed basis. 

There are also numerous supplements on the market that contain high levels of Biotin.  These supplements  are intended to improve the horse’s hair coat or hoof condition.

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B6 PYRIDOZINE IN THE EQUINE DIET

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What Does It Do?

B6 is essential for energy production, nervous system activity and for blood production.

B6 is actually three compounds, phosphorylation, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine (PALP) which are found in various enzyme systems for their functions in the equine body.

Although research has been very extensive, the multiple functions of vitamin B6 through PALP are still not yet fully understood; but over fifty enzymes are  known which depend on it.

Nutritional Requirements:

Many factors such as age, performance, and protein uptake effects a horses’ need for vitamin B6.  Although deficiency symptoms have not been identified, all the evidence suggests that the amount of vitamin B6 in feeds may not be sufficient for optimum performance at any age.

Active horses appear to require a minimum dietary level of B6 greater than 2.5 mg/kg. The aim should be a supplement of about 3 mg per kg of feed which therefore supplies an active, performance horse with 30 mg/day, a resting adult with 18 mg/day, mares and stallions with 12 mg/day and foals and yearlings with 3 to10 mg/day.

Where Does My Horse Get It?

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B3 NIACIN IN THE EQUINE DIET

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What Does It Do?

B3 is one of those vitamins that is essential to almost everything your horse does.  B3 is a water soluble B group vitamin required on a daily basis and used in metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and amino acids. It also supports healthy skin and digestion.

Niacin has been known it’s ability to increase blood flow to the extremities.  Therefore, B3 supplementation has been used successfully to promote improved blood circulation.

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