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Why magnesium as a horse supplement?

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  • Why magnesium as a horse supplement?

    What the title says. I would love a reasoned discussion, with facts. Anecdotal stories are also okay. Or feel free to direct me to another thread if this has already been discussed ad naseum. My interest is that I'm fiddling with my Smartpaks. My 7 y/o has been on (1) no magnesium, (2) Quiessence, and (3) Magnesium 5000. I can't say that I've seen any measurable difference. If anything, she seems to be most "quiet" on the Magnesium 5000 that I have her on this winter, but she's also a year older. She's an athlete. She has lots of energy. She occasionally spooks. She's a mare My trainer likes to "use" the occasional extra energy

    To be clear, I'm happy with the horse I have now. I'm just wondering if I'm wasting money on something she doesn't need or doesn't work. I am curious both as to whether magnesium helps with calming and whether it helps with muscle function. I am also curious as to how we can tell if a horse is deficient.

    Thank you for any information !

  • #2
    I fall into the camp of magnesium supplementation is unnecessary. It fixes nothing a wet saddle pad and time can.

    There are no tests that accurately measure Mg deficiency. The symptoms of a deficiency are the same as an overdose. Thus again, supplementation is for the owner and not the horse.

    The only thing I feel Mg supplementation accomplishes is to increase the risk of enterolith formation and to hinder gut function due to its action on smooth muscle (e.g. laxatives are Mg based).

    Comment


    • #3
      I disagree it's unnecessary in all cases. Not all horses can be ridden or even exercised unmounted, certainly not to the degree that their issues might indeed be fixed (and I agree, exercise and reduced calories should be the first to try).

      It's just a fact that there are horses who lose IR symptoms when properly supplemented with magnesium.
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

      Comment


      • #4
        Search "Mag Restore" and "Performance Equine".

        There are a LOT of threads on mag on here. I for one believe in it and use the magnesium from Performance Equine along with many other posters on this forum.
        ~~~~~~~~~

        Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!

        Comment


        • #5
          I fall into the camp of magnesium supplementation is unnecessary. It fixes nothing a wet saddle pad and time can.
          I disagree. Some horse are magnesium deficient and NEED supplemntation. My own mare is a Jeckyl and Hyde , according to her magnesium supplementation. Iave let her off it for a couple weks twice to test is and the result was consistant. She turned into a raging beeeaatch within a week . Back on it after three days ....her nice self returned.
          Magnesium is a nutrient necessary to help control a multitude of bodily functions, from muscle contraction to thyroid to insuklin sensitivity. (all scientifically studied in human medicine) so IF a horse (or person) is deficient ,supplementing them can be very beneficial. If a horse exibits no change on it them probably they are not deficient. Excess magnesium simply gets pooped out the other end.
          There are no tests that accurately measure Mg deficiency. The symptoms of a deficiency are the same as an overdose. Thus again, supplementation is for the owner and not the horse.
          Again, I disagree. The only thing an overdose of Mg does is cause loose stools. (laxative effect)
          On the other hand a deficiency can cause a multitude of symptoms including muscle cramps, low thyroid, and increased insulin resistance. Human physicians sometimes prescribe it along with Chromium for type 2 diabetics for that reason. In my own personal case, If I fail to take my Md for a few days the result is extreme nightime muscle cramps.
          The only thing I feel Mg supplementation accomplishes is to increase the risk of enterolith formation and to hinder gut function due to its action on smooth muscle (e.g. laxatives are Mg based).
          That is another if its benefits.
          Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
          Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
          www.hoofcareonline.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Also magnesium blood levels AND uptake can be acurately tested. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15077683
            Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
            Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
            www.hoofcareonline.com

            Comment


            • #7
              I didn't really get the Magnesium thing until I was put on it by my doctor. Holy crap I felt a million times better. I slept great and the intense muscle aches that had been bothering me for a long time disappeared.

              So if an animal has a condition in which it may be Mag deficient, yes, I think it is worth it to supplement.

              However, willy nilly supplementation-- of anything-- just makes for expensive pee, IMO.
              We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Patty Stiller View Post
                Also magnesium blood levels AND uptake can be acurately tested. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15077683


                Uh, that is a URINE test! It in no way determines blood or muscle ionic concentrations nor activities. EMg is urinary excreted Mg.

                As for over dose I suggest you read the medical literature. A sufficient OD of Mg can cause cardiac failure. Yes, oral administration precludes this as there are physiologic mechanisms that remove excess Mg+ from the body. However, accepted clinical indications of Mg overload are: muscle flaccidness and reduced reflex response (hmmm, the same relaxation that folks claim?).

                I am quite familiar with Mg in biology/physiology. I am developing resorbable magnesium implants and have to know how the Mg is degraded and eliminated within the systems. As a matter of fact I can substitute strontium or Ca for Mg and have the same effects.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think mag gets overused. A lot. And in many cases it's a placebo effect on the handler.

                  But I think it *can* help some horses.

                  For my mare, it's definitely physical -- her muscles were tight and tense even standing in her stall or out in her paddock. On mag, she was measurably more relaxed. Any attitude changes she had were directly related to defensiveness from being so tight and tense -- she didn't get "calmer," just more comfortable in her body.

                  I pull her off it every time her bucket runs out to see if she still needs it. Currently she's been off for four weeks and doing fine, so she's not getting supplemented at this time.

                  FWIW, Quiessance and Mag5000 work just fine for her. Mag5000 is a little easier on my wallet.
                  Halt Near X | Horse Bloggers - Blog Directory

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Human physicians sometimes prescribe it along with Chromium for type 2 diabetics for that reason
                    Not really. Some give it a reluctant "OK" if patients ask them about it because it is wildly popular, reasonably safe, and unlikely to do harm. But it does not enjoy any particular status as a useful treatment for diabetes, etc. in the world of evidence-based medicine.

                    99% hype, 1% actual benefit, largely harmless, (should be) cheap (but often isn't) and wildly fashionable. It is the supplement du jour.

                    Good thing the OP indicated that anecdotes are OK, because this would be a REALLY short thread if he/she had asked for solid scientific evidence.
                    Click here before you buy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                      Good thing the OP indicated that anecdotes are OK, because this would be a REALLY short thread if he/she had asked for solid scientific evidence.
                      We're just providing anecdotes so the OP doesn't have to listen to the crickets chirping. They have no sense of rhythm and the one in the back is tone deaf.
                      Halt Near X | Horse Bloggers - Blog Directory

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Not really. Some give it a reluctant "OK" if patients ask them about it because it is wildly popular, reasonably safe, and unlikely to do harm. But it does not enjoy any particular status as a useful treatment for diabetes, etc. in the world of evidence-based medicine.
                        I know you are a physician but several people I know including my diabetic nephew were put on Magnesium/ chromium suppmenent as part of treatment for tyoe two diabetes, along with of course diet and exercise. They did not ask for it, the MD suggested it.
                        And if my memory has not failed me, there have been lab studies with rats that indicated increased insulin sensitivity. I'll have to do some digging to find it.
                        Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                        Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
                        www.hoofcareonline.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I tried a couple "calming" supplements for my horse, who is now retired, when she was younger. Hot hot hot and and bit on the overly stimulated side when she wasn't focused on working. Randomly spooky etc.
                          I tried Quiet-X??? Or something like that years ago and it did didley. Once SmartPak came out I tried the SmartCalm Ultra. It may have done something, may not have. The horse was calming down anyway and I'm inclined to think it was just age related. As far as I understand, the Vitamin B and Magnesiums of the world only calm a horse that's deficient in either.

                          I do have the horse I currently own on Magnesium because of a neuro thing. It's helped immensely for that, but thats a neuro and muscular problem.
                          I also know people who keep their insulin resistant and cresty necked horses on quiessence for the the chromium and magnesium and it seems to keep the crest down.

                          But as far as feeding it for calming, don't waste your money.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not just rats, but people!

                            But again, the use of magnesium/chromium in diabetes is weakly supported, and is NOT based on solid evidence at this point. A lot of physicians are OK recommending it because the risk/benefit profile is favorable and people like "natural remedies". This doesn't mean it won't be accepted as solidly evidence-based at some point, but the evidence is still WEAK. We're talking studies with 40 or 50 subjects. The supplement industry, however, has taken these weak findings and absolutely RUN with them, without waiting for full study and conclusions. As is typical--there are billions to be made out there, and the devil take the hindmost!
                            Click here before you buy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Uh, that is a URINE test! It in no way determines blood or muscle ionic concentrations nor activities. EMg is urinary excreted Mg.
                              But it says this:
                              (bolded mine) CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The 24-hour EMg was the most sensitive indicator of reduced Mg intake in horses. Spot sample FCMg can be conveniently used to identify horses consuming a diet deficient in Mg.

                              as well , blood levels of magnesium can be checked. I am just saying that your statement that there are no accurate tests for magnesium levels is incorrect, as far as I can tell from all the scientific papers that come up in web searches.
                              Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                              Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
                              www.hoofcareonline.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                That was a study of NINE horses, six of whom were manipulated whereas the other 3 (the so-called control group) were just sort of left alone. There is all sorts of variability in what they measured (although no detail) and no attempt at statistical analysis, probably because it can't be done with any confidence on a tiny handful of subjects.

                                This is what you might (generously!) call a hypothesis-generating bit of elementary research, not a definitive study. Not something I'd hang my hat on nor cough up $100/month for in justifying the supplement budget.
                                Click here before you buy.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'll let you know if it works for me. I have a psycho mare that I won't even ride in the winter because she explodes. It's to the point that she can become literally electric, even on the ground. She is better in the summer but I only think that is because the heat drains her. She gets no grain, and is never locked in a stall. I bought a 45 day supply of Mag Restore for the heck of it, it was certainly inexpensive enough.
                                  Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

                                  Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Of course these studies were with humans, not horses (abstracts only):

                                    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12537988

                                    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12486495

                                    http://www.mendeley.com/research/ora...domized-trial/

                                    The human studies do indicate a correlation between magnesium levels and insulin resistance.
                                    Last edited by grayarabpony; Jan. 21, 2012, 10:34 AM. Reason: edited because no one had commented on the links

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
                                      I didn't really get the Magnesium thing until I was put on it by my doctor. Holy crap I felt a million times better. I slept great and the intense muscle aches that had been bothering me for a long time disappeared.
                                      Huh. I started using magnesium oil perhaps two weeks ago (to see if it has any effect on long term anxiety and insomnia issues) and my chronic SI injury has been very quiet since then, even though I'm running more and that usually pisses it off. Curious.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        What is magnesium oil?
                                        Click here before you buy.

                                        Comment

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