The use of organic minerals is becoming more and more popular in the horse feed industry, and there are many different types of minerals that fall under the “organic mineral” term. However, they are not all created equal. Bluebonnet Feeds (makers of Stride Animal Health) is dedicated to using only the best organic mineral sources. In fact, there are over 225 peer-reviewed scientific research studies to back the organic minerals used by Bluebonnet Feeds and Stride Animal Health. This article highlights some benefits of feeding metal-specific amino acid chelates (that’s the technical term for the minerals we use, but from here on we’ll just call them “organic minerals”).
More Stable Vitamin Profiles
Using certain types of organic minerals in a feed can help maintain stability of vitamins. In a 2011 study that compared in-organic to organic mineral use, researchers found that the use of organic minerals helped stabilize and prevent the degradation of ingredients used to supply vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B-12, vitamin B-1, folic acid, vitamin B-6, and choline.
Gastric Ulcer Prevention
Zinc is a trace mineral that is needed for the healing process of mucosal tissues, such as those that line the stomach and intestinal tract. Research shows that feeding an organic form of zinc (zinc methionine) along with other organic minerals can help prevent ulcer formation and severity of ulcers in horses. These results were not seen with the use of in-organic zinc.
Improved Joint Health
A healthier joint may be achieved when horses are fed organic minerals. The joints of both performance horses and growing horses are subject to stress and inflammation on a daily basis. A 2018 study showed horses receiving organic minerals in the diet were better able to cope with inflammation in the joint which then allows for quicker joint-repair. These results were not seen in horses fed in-organic minerals.
Better Heat Tolerance
Summer months and hot climates can really take a toll on the health of all animals. Heat-stress can have a negative impact on the digestive tract causing an animal to “go off” feed, absorb fewer nutrients, and have a weakened defense against harmful toxins. A 2015 study showed that feeding organic trace minerals can help prevent some of the negative effects that occur in the digestive tract when an animal is under heat-stress.
Organic zinc has been shown to improve skin strength and intestinal integrity by 31% and 15% respectively, but it can also improve sole thickness in horses. Researchers found horses have thicker soles within 25 weeks when fed organic trace minerals.
Remember, not all organic minerals are created equal. Bluebonnet uses the exact sources of organic trace minerals that were used in each study above. Some companies may try to “tag dress” their ingredient list by adding just enough of these minerals to be included on the tag, but not enough to make a positive difference in the animal.