Due to impoverished agricultural lands it happens that levels of magnesium (Mg) in forage are low. Adding on to this fact, high levels of calcium (Ca) and phytic acid in the feed make it rather difficult for the body to absorb the magnesium that is provided. In situations of stress, when sweating and when the body is in an acidic (low pH) state, the kidneys will expel more magnesium. Magnesium is an intra-cellular mineral. By measuring magnesium values in the blood you do not get a reliable diagnosis. You can have normal blood values and still have a shortage of intracellular magnesium. This can happen because magnesium is freed from the body (usually from the bones) to fill up the shortages elsewhere.
25% of the healthy horse population has a proven shortage of magnesium. Of the sick horses this percentage goes as high as 55%. This was scientifically proven during investigations of the Animal Health Agency in the Netherlands. Magnesium is an essential mineral. It is necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system, to free up energy in the muscles and for the activation of more than 300 enzymes in the body.
When there is a shortage of magnesium in the body, the body resolves to free up magnesium from the bones. When this happens calcium and phosphorus are automatically freed from these same bones. The result is brittle bones and problems in places where tendons and ligaments attach to the bone, resulting in lameness. Horses with a clinical shortage of magnesium are often characterised as nervous and they cannot relax their muscles well.
Magnesium often is insufficiently present in normal diets or is restrictedly absorbed from the intestines;
• Relaxes the muscles
• Optimises the nervous system
• Supports more than 300 other bodily functions
When there is a big shortage in magnesium you will see an effect on the horse’s behaviour within one week of supplementing the mineral. Horses can be quite drowsy the first 10 days of treatment when they have had a big shortage of magnesium.
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