BUCKEYE Nutrition Finds First Evidence to Support Calcite as a Hindgut Buffer in Horses

Photo of ulcerated area in horse's stomach.
Photo of ulcerated area in horse's stomach. Boehringer Ingelheim

Newsdate: Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 11:35 am
Location: DALTON, Ohio

Digestive disturbances such as gastric ulcers and hindgut acidosis affect many performance horses, especially those that are stalled for long periods of time and are fed feeds high in starch to meet their energy requirements.

Three horses grazing in pasture - Chestnut, Dabble Gray, Bay.

Three horses grazing in pasture - Chestnut, Dabble Gray, Bay

Calcite has been touted for its gastro protective effects in horses attributed to the increased surface area of its honeycomb structure that facilitates greater acid-buffering capacity versus calcium carbonate.
© 2021 by Equine Guelph New window.

Recent advances in ways of providing digestive support may provide a nutritional non-medicinal option, such as marine-sourced calcium like calcite. Calcite has been touted for its gastroprotective effects in horses attributed to the increased surface area of its honeycomb structure that facilitates greater acid-buffering capacity versus calcium carbonate. However, the effects on the equine hindgut have not been evaluated until now.

New research conducted by BUCKEYE Nutrition, Waltham Petcare Science Institute and The Ohio State University to be presented at this year’s Equine Science Society (ESS) Conference has shown that calcite can significantly raise fecal pH in horses.

The study was conducted by Dr. Sara Mastellar and her students using mature horses in moderate exercise at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute (Ohio State ATI) Equine Center in Wooster, Ohio.

In a cross over trial, horses were fed in addition to their forage the same core feed containing 1.2% calcium as either 100% calcium carbonate or 74% calcium carbonate and 26% calcite from Lithothamnium calcareum, a red marine algae containing calcite in its cell walls.

Horses consuming the feed containing calcite had a significantly higher fecal water pH compared with when the same animals were fed the control diet. “We are very excited about these new study results, and even more excited to utilize another research-proven ingredient to ultimately benefit the horse in a practical way,” said Nettie Liburt, PhD, PAS, Senior Equine Nutrition Manager working on the BUCKEYE Nutrition brand.

About the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition Brand

The BUCKEYE™ Nutrition brand combines science, innovation, and a genuine passion for horses to produce the highest-quality, safest feed possible. Every product is formulated by equine nutritionists and produced in a state-of-the-art, medication-free facility. The BUCKEYE Nutrition brand takes feed safety seriously, using only 100 percent pure ingredients delivered daily and traced from field to feed bucket. These stringent quality standards are backed by the Waltham Petcare Science Institute, a world-leading authority on animal care. In business since 1910, the BUCKEYE Nutrition brand is passionate about unlocking the full potential of horses, allowing them to live longer, healthier and happier lives. Visit BuckeyeNutrition.com.

About the Waltham Petcare Science Institute

The Waltham Petcare Science Institute is Mars Petcare's pet research center. Our work focuses on the nutritional and behavioral needs of pets, as well as preventive health. We use this knowledge to support development of innovative products and services, advancing science to deliver our Purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS™. The WALTHAM™ Equine Studies Group, which is headed by Dr. Pat Harris, MA, PhD, VetMB, DipECVCN, MRCVS, is dedicated to advancing the science of horse nutrition and provides the scientific support for MARS Horsecare globally including the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition, SPILLERS™, and WINERGY™ brands. By collaborating with key research institutes and universities around the world its work remains at the forefront of equine nutritional science.

About The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

Ohio State ATI is located on the Wooster campus of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES Wooster). Ohio State ATI provides educational programs leading to associate degrees in agriculture, horticulture, environmental sciences, business, and engineering technology. A high value is placed on lifelong learning and provision of accessible, high-quality, applied educational experiences. Our goal is to prepare individuals to be technically competent, self-reliant, and productive citizens in a global society.

Press release by Kristen Janicki, Technical Marketing Specialist - Mars Horsecare US, Inc.


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