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  1. #1
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    Question Intolerance to Flax?

    Do you have or have experienced a horse that could not tolerate flax and if so, what were the symptoms?
    Last edited by BornToRide; Jan. 19, 2009 at 08:33 PM.



  2. #2
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    I know of two, off the top of my head.

    1) Gets sensitive in his flanks, basically acts like he has has a hind gut ulcer. He also gets aggressive but that could be from pain. Horse has an interesting history in general, is also problematic on soy.

    2) I think has a true allergy to it as he becomes very spooky on even a small amount.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
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    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  3. #3
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    Do you worry about supplementing omega 3's in the winter to a flax intolerant horse? If so, what do you use?

    I guess the first question is do you worry about that for any horse?



  4. #4
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    Who? I? No I am just curious because I had problems with it, thanks to the phyto-estrogens and I always wondered if some horses might too. One onwer told me that she felt her two mares that were on it developed more lose ligaments becaus of it.
    Last edited by BornToRide; Jan. 19, 2009 at 08:22 PM.



  5. #5
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    Who? you-EqT-anyone else interested in answering!



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMH View Post
    Do you worry about supplementing omega 3's in the winter to a flax intolerant horse? If so, what do you use?

    I guess the first question is do you worry about that for any horse?
    Nope, I don't. Most of my horses get 8 oz. of Envision a day which should cover that, along their grass and hay. But the horse in question, he doesn't get any supplemental omega's and he seems just fine.

    Now.. Dan was a flax monster. When he was recovering flax was a huge part of his diet. As he got better and better I was able to cut it back and then he switched to the Envision, too.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
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    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BornToRide View Post
    Who? I? No I am just curious because I had problems with it, thanks to the phyto-estrogens and I always wondered if some horses might too. One onwer told me that she felt her two mares that were on it developed more igaments becaus of it.
    Interesting. The horse that I said gets sensitive in his flanks - was also ultimately treated w/hormones because he became very, very aggressive. He still gets a small dose of some natural hormone cream every day. He was a FREAK previous to this.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  8. #8
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    Does flax contain phytoestrogens?

    I know soy does and I believe we have had problems here due to the phytoestrogens in soy so we have been eliminating soy...but I did add flax for the Omega 3's. Have I just added one source of phytoestrogens in place of another?
    Altamont Sport Horses
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    Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
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  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Oh yes they do.

    I have been leery of flax for quite some time now. Just like oil, I fed a lot of it at one time. Hind sight is always 20/20.

    For most horses in moderation it seems fine. The ones who cannot tolerate it, oh WOW it is ugly. Aggression/spookiness/irritability seem to be the deal IME.

    Dan tho'... seriously, perhaps he needed the phytoestrogens. Who knows, he was so run down at the time. Hard to say.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  11. #11
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    I have been leery of flax for quite some time now. Just like oil, I fed a lot of it at one time. Hind sight is always 20/20.
    I have also always been, because of the effect it had on me, which was primarily increased breast tenderness. I could never understand that something that was supposed to be so anti-inflammatory would actually increase breast inflammation..........if I stopped using it, the next cycle the breast tenderness was much, much milder.



  12. #12
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    I had a stud colt about 4 years go who would break out in horrible bumps and want to colic everytime I fed it to him. I quit feeding it after that. Just didn't want to battle that with anyone else.
    Unbridled Oaks - Champion Sport Ponies and Welsh Cobs

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  13. #13
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    If I have a horse come in who has really messed up skin, while I am getting their minerals into them I will give them straight flax. No more than 8 oz. a day. Once they are doing ok I cut it out.

    The fat supplement I use does have flax in it. Obviously not all of my horses get it. But it also has other vegetable oils and soy oil. Again, no more than 8 oz. a day. Seriously... I don't think there is a "good" source of "vegetarian fat" for horses, I think mine do so much better on a minimal fat diet. I would really have a hard time w/an EPSM horse these days and fish oil... ah I just can't do that.. just can't.

    Some of my horses get zero fat supplementation.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
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    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  14. #14
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    Does flax contain phytoestrogens?
    So does alfalfa, and clover.

    Never had a horse that had problems with flax, other than not really wanting to eat it "plain" beyond an ounce or two.
    Click here before you buy.



  15. #15
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    I know of a horse (the one on the feed thread) that tested with an allergy to flax so I will assume that is the only way to be sure rather then blindly guessing.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Altamont Sport Horses View Post
    Does flax contain phytoestrogens?

    I know soy does and I believe we have had problems here due to the phytoestrogens in soy so we have been eliminating soy...but I did add flax for the Omega 3's. Have I just added one source of phytoestrogens in place of another?
    My soy sensitive horses did not have any problems with up to 8 oz of flax a day. I fed it as part of their detox from the soy problems they after a veterinarian's recommendation for a diet for them. I stopped feeding it when they lost the weight they needed and their normal health was restored. I may still feed it at some point...but right now I'm not using it.

    From what I leaned in my reading last Fall...not all plants with phytoestrogens are created equal nor have as much phytoestrogens as others...nor are all phytoestrogens as potent. Genistein in soy is particularly potent and is the isoflavone most often implicated as problematic in the actual scientific studies on the isoflavones.

    This is from a pdf report on the effects of Phytoestrogens in Sheep and Cattle...nothing on horses as usual so we have no hard information to bas our choices on. I copied only the discussion on the different plants.

    Estrogenic Pasture Plants

    Most of the common legumes have been reported to
    contain phytoestrogens. The content of phytoestrogen
    varies, depending on a number of factors.

    Alfalfa
    Alfalfa (Medicago satiua) contains little phytoestro-
    gen unless it is suffering from foliar disease. Attack
    by aphids or fungal pathogens may cause alfalfa to
    produce estrogenic coumestan phytoalexins, including
    coumestrol, sativol, and 4’methoxy coumestrol. En-
    vironmental effects such as humidity, age of the plant,
    amount of fertilizer, or temperature affect the concen-
    tration of coumestans through their effects on the
    ability of the plant to resist attack by pathogens.
    Similarly, plants with genetic resistance to attack by
    pathogens suffer less damage, and so contain less
    estrogenic activity (Loper et al., 1967).


    Red Clover
    As with subterranean clover, the main estrogenic
    compound in red clover (Trifolium pratense) is the
    isoflavone formononetin, which is primarily under
    genetic control. However, environmental factors seem
    to play a greater role, so that pasture is most
    estrogenic in spring, and estrogenicity declines after
    flowering. Fertilizer deficiencies that
    impair plant growth also increase the concentration of formonone-
    tin. As with subterranean clover, silage or hay may
    retain considerable estrogenicity.

    Soybean
    Soybean ( Glycine sp.) products may contain up to
    .25% isoflavones, mainly genistein, diadzein, and
    glycetin, and also contain significant amounts of
    coumestrol. A soy-based diet has been reported to
    cause estrogenic effects in swine (Drane et al., 1981)
    and laboratory animals (Sharma et al., 19921, but
    there are no reports of effects in ruminants.

    White Clover

    There have been sporadic I reports of estrogenic
    problems in animals grazed on white clover ( Trifo-
    lium repens). If affected by foliar disease, white clover
    may produce estrogenic coumestans including
    coumes- trol, trifoliol and repensol.

    Here's an interesting article I googled tonight.

    http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning...estrogens.html



  17. #17
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    Lots of references out there on stock grazed on clover and alfalfa having fertility problems. A few ounces of soy or flax may contain (ounce for ounce) more phytoestrogens, but how many of our animals eat alfalfa and clover by the tens of pounds per day? From what I was able to find (including the article linked above), the culprit family of isoflavones/phytoestrogens is present in ALL legumes. Just food for thought--I know I won't convince many people, but from what I'm able to gather it's not just soy and flax that contain potentially problematic levels of these substances. One must consider the amount of the stuff that's fed--ounces per day vs. kilograms per day--when calculating the possible exposure levels.
    Click here before you buy.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    Just food for thought--I know I won't convince many people, but from what I'm able to gather it's not just soy and flax that contain potentially problematic levels of these substances. One must consider the amount of the stuff that's fed--ounces per day vs. kilograms per day--when calculating the possible exposure levels.
    I agree-and CONSTANT exposure to the same feedstuffs day in-day out. I am telling you there is something very good about seasonal rotation of what you feed. I have no reports, it just makes sense!



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    The fat supplement I use does have flax in it. Obviously not all of my horses get it. But it also has other vegetable oils and soy oil. Again, no more than 8 oz. a day. Seriously... I don't think there is a "good" source of "vegetarian fat" for horses,
    what are your thoughts on cocosoya?



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    Lots of references out there on stock grazed on clover and alfalfa having fertility problems. A few ounces of soy or flax may contain (ounce for ounce) more phytoestrogens, but how many of our animals eat alfalfa and clover by the tens of pounds per day? From what I was able to find (including the article linked above), the culprit family of isoflavones/phytoestrogens is present in ALL legumes. Just food for thought--I know I won't convince many people, but from what I'm able to gather it's not just soy and flax that contain potentially problematic levels of these substances. One must consider the amount of the stuff that's fed--ounces per day vs. kilograms per day--when calculating the possible exposure levels.
    I know of horses that have had trouble on clover...developed udders like mind did on soy last Summer. If you kept reading, you also read it's mainly a problem with clover in the Spring...not year round. I've never heard of a horse developing an udder on alfalfa hay or pellets (and I've talked to a number of vets on the topic) and if you read that scientific paper, you'll see that alfalfa has very little in the way of phytoestrogens unless the plant is infected. Soy has up to .25/lb of phytoestrogens of dry matter..that's a lot of isoflavones per pound!

    Wouldn't it be nice if we had some real research on horses? I hear what you are saying about consuming lbs of alfalfa versus ounces of something like flax or a couple lbs of soy in a RB...but we don't have the hard evidence of how much they are getting in alfalfa versus soy versus flax versus clover nor what the different estrogenic compounds in each plant actually do to a horse...one may have no effect and another may be particular potent. Soy has been well researched and has a crapload of negative findings done by real scientists. I have not seen much out there on flax or alfalfa as health warnings at least not to people.



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