Why feed Magnesium to Horses?
Magnesium plays an important part in nerve and muscle function, and horses deficient in this important element can show signs of nervousness, wariness, excitability, jumpy, tight sore backs not related to saddle fit, muscle tremors and skin is hypersensitive. This gives magnesium its reputation for having a calming influence on equines. A deficient horse is likely to have a poor tolerance to work, fatigue quickly and is prone to tying up. They build up lactic acid more readily. This is why magnesium deficient horses sometimes have behavior problems…it’s because they are prone to muscle cramping and have a poor tolerance for work, they fatigue quickly and have poor recovery from hard workouts. Magnesium is also known to play an important part in reducing equine obesity, and can lessen the risk of laminitis in animals prone to it during periods of strong spring grass growth.
Magnesium and the athlete
Research in human athletics-Muscle endurance and total work capacity, declines rapidly with nutritional deficiency in the area of key minerals like zinc and magnesium. “Magnesium is essential to a diet for athletes under a lot of stress or want to experience the ultimate rush,” says Dr. James Thor, National Director of Extreme Sports Medicine. “Several reasons, one is if you are working out in a gym, or
continual stress excessive amounts of lactic acid in the muscle have been linked to higher levels of anxiety,” Dr. Thor adds.“Large amounts of magnesium are lost when a person is under stress and when magnesium chloride is applied to the muscles topically it promotes the release of lactic acid from the muscle tissue”. The combination of heat and magnesium chloride increases circulation and waste removal and this principle can be applied during breaks in competition as well as after the game in deeply relaxing baths similar to Epsom salt baths, but much stronger. A magnesium chloride bath helps draw inflammation out of the muscles and joints.
Magnesium and Laminitis
Magnesium supplementation has been advised by veterinary surgeons with excellent results. The supplementation serves not only to re-balance the diet in low magnesium areas or with high grain diets, but also to help in combating fat deposition in overweight animals (cresty necks). In particular, with laminitis, to aid weight loss where necessary, and aids horses with insulin resistance.
Dr. Steven Johnson…
…puts it better. “The range of pathologies associated with Magnesium deficiency is staggering:
hypertension (cardiovascular disease, kidney and liver damage, etc.), peroxynitrite damage (migraine, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.), recurrent bacterial infection due to low levels of nitric oxide in the cavities (sinuses, vagina, middle ear, lungs, throat, etc.), fungal infections due to a depressed immune system, thiamine deactivation (low gastric acid, behavioural disorders, etc.), premenstrual syndrome, Ca deficiency (osteoporosis, mood swings, etc.), tooth cavities, hearing loss, diabetes type II, cramps, muscle weakness, impotence, aggression, fibromas, K deficiency (arrhythmia, hypertension, some forms of cancer), Iron accumulation, etc.”