04 Jun Support a Healthy GI Tract with GastroBalance
by Dr Clair Thunes PhD Nutrition
Consulting Nutritionist for EnviroEquine & PET
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GastroBalance is formulated with a base of sodium alumino silicate (bentonite clay). This clay has a pH that is thought to raise the gastric pH while coating the lining of the stomach. Both these factors may help support a healthy gastric stomach by helping neutralize pH while simultaneously protecting the stomach lining. Often included as a binder in many commercial horse feeds, it has also been found in other livestock feeds (poultry and swine) to bind aflatoxins for a number of years. Aflotoxins are molds that occur on grains (especially corn) and hays that can cause digestive distress. Removing these toxins from the digestive tract helps maintain correct digestive function. Additionally the clay appears to stimulate water intake which is important for hydration. Consumption of water also dilutes gastric acid in the stomach further supporting a healthy gastric stomach environment.
Another benefit of the sodium alumino silicate found in GastroBalance is that it provides a source of bioavailable silicon. Silica is an important component of the bone matrix. While a common component of the horse’s environment it is not typically in a bioavailable form. Therefore supplementing with GastroBalance helps support healthy bones making it a good choice for young growing horses as well as hard working performance horses.
Added to the clay in the GastroBalance is a source of unrefined salt. Mined in the US this salt provides over 40 naturally occurring minerals most importantly sodium and chloride. Sodium helps stimulate thirst and both minerals are important electrolytes.
Team Tate has been using GastroBalance for a couple of years now & the health of my horses is plain to see! I have a feisty red headed mare and she has totally blossomed on it even with a very heavy show schedule. I have never had to treat her for ulcers ever. Another horse gets diarrhea in FL from the bacteria in the ground and water. GastroBalance is the only thing that solved his problems! It was a miracle cure for him!
JJ Tate – Team Tate Dressage
Enviro Equine Brand Ambassador
However unlike a number of competitor’s products, GastroBalance does not rely on the clay and unrefined salt as the sole sources of minerals. The naturally occurring levels of copper, zinc, and selenium in the clay and salt are very low and for a horse receiving only hay or limited fortified grain, would not be adequate to insure all needs are met. GastroBalance is therefore fortified with additional sources of these 3 minerals as well as vitamins A, D and E. When fed in combination with 1.5-2% of body weight as good quality hay and provided at 4 oz per day NRC requirements for these 3 minerals are met. The same is true for horses fed hay and unfortified “straights” such as oats, beet pulp and rice bran. For horses receiving fortified commercial feed only 2 oz of GastroBalance are needed. The lower intake level provides gastrointestinal support without providing excessive trace mineral intakes. GastroBalance is formulated to not have a negative impact on mineral balance in these already fortified diets.
If you are looking for a way to support your horse’s digestive health with simple natural ingredients while providing additional sources of key trace minerals and essential vitamins, GastroBalance may be an excellent addition to your nutrition program.
Consulting Nutritionist for EnviroEquine Dr. Clair Thunes is passionate about her profession—one that she decided upon at the age of 14. After earning a Bachelor of Science with Honors from Edinburgh University, and a Master of Science in Animal Science and a PhD in Nutrition from the University of California, Davis, Dr. Thunes went on to found Summit Equine Nutrition LLC an independent consulting company in 2007. An experienced nutritionist and accomplished scientist, Dr. Thunes understands the vital role that nutrition plays in managing horses today. Most importantly, she believes in making nutrition accessible to everyone and removes the guesswork so that owners have the peace of mind that their horse’s diets are optimal for maximum health and peak performance. Her clients include all horses from competitors at the 2016 Rio Olympics to retired pasture friends, mules and miniature donkeys. She writes a weekly online commentary for theHorse.com and her nutrition articles have been published in noted publications including: The Horse, Equine Wellness, Trail Blazer, Horse & Rider and The Horse Report. Besides consulting she teaches equine nutrition and equine exercise physiology in the Animal Science Department at UC Davis and equine health at Cosumnes River College. Clair continues to be involved with The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. and she is currently the Regional Supervisor for the Sierra Pacific Region.
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