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Carolina Gold now a banned substance

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  • Carolina Gold now a banned substance

    email from USEF
    Important Information Regarding the Use of the Prohibited Substance GABA – Ingredient in Commercial Product “Carolina Gold”

    From the USEF Communications Department
    Lexington, KY - Tasked with protecting the welfare of equine athletes and ensuring the balance of competition, the USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Program consistently monitors new products and product claims. From time-to-time products appear on the equine supplement market making claims of their effects on the performance of horses in competition.

    Recently, reports of the use of a product called "Carolina Gold" have been brought to the USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Program. One of the principal constituents of this product is gama aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter.

    While initially not considered a forbidden substance, the use of GABA as a "calming supplement" does violate the spirit and intent of the Equine Drugs and Medications Rule. During recent research and administration trials involving "Carolina Gold," many adverse reactions were documented. The nature of these reactions has prompted immediate action from the USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Program.

    Effective immediately, "Carolina Gold" or any other product containing GABA is considered a forbidden substance under USEF rules. Further, because there are no recognized medical uses for this substance, the use of a Medication Report Form to report its administration is not applicable.

    The detection of GABA is being actively pursued by the USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Program and will be implemented without delay or notice. No further announcements will be forthcoming regarding the use of “Carolina Gold” or GABA. All positive findings will be forwarded to the USEF Hearing Committee. Trainers and veterinarians involved in the sale or use of this substance may be subject to fines and/or suspensions.

    The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation® is to provide leadership
    for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the pursuit
    of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
    foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
    of its human and equine athletes.

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

  • #2
    YAY! Go USEF


    • #3
      What medications have Carolina Gold in them??


      • #4
        Wedgewood compounds it: http://www.wedgewoodpetrx.com/items/...-solution.html


        • #5
          That is the only thing I could find when I googled it. Just making sure it's not hiding in a supplement somewhere. Thanks!


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by fxhillfarm View Post
            What medications have Carolina Gold in them??
            Carolina Gold is the NAME it is sold under, apparently as an injectable..

            The specific banned ingredient is GABA - gama aminobutyric acid .

            chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


            • #7
              Got the email too, had never heard of the stuff. What is GABA supposed to do?


              • #8
                I was always in the understanding GABA was yet again another one of those supplements with no proof behind it (that it actually reaches the brain) and that it did very little in a sense of calming a horse.
                Is it different or more effective as an injectable in that case? Those in the knowing?

                You have it in powdered formulation too, here's an example.

                What is GABA supposed to do?


                • #9
                  An "inhibitory neurotransmitter" does what? Calm a horse? I would assume that is the reason it is banned.

                  The USEF's position on stuff like that is: [1] you can't use any calming agent, if it works and/or masks something; and [2] you can't use any agent, EVEN IF IT DOESN'T DO A THING, if you think it does something.


                  • #10
                    I actually had really good results with it on race horses. I was under the impression that it was just tryptophan.
                    McDowell Racing Stables

                    Home Away From Home


                    • #11
                      Isn't Passionflower thought to raise GABA levels in the brain?


                      • #12
                        This thread is so like 20 minutes ago LMAO


                        Here is the original thread where Janet argued about 'intent'


                        • #13
                          All of my information is human-based, and I don't know if equine physiology differs.

                          GABA is a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system that inhibits nerve impulses. It is secreted by neurons. It affects muscle tone as well as other enzymatic processes in the body. In humans it is thought to not be able to cross the blood-brain barrier, but it does affect other systems. It is sold as a calming agent, but in humans, those claims have not been substantiated. It is given with care to human patients.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fxhillfarm View Post
                            That is the only thing I could find when I googled it. Just making sure it's not hiding in a supplement somewhere. Thanks!
                            Amino acids (and neurotransmitters) won't survive the acidity of the stomach. The main function of the digestive system is to degrade nutrients, which include amino acids, into usable energy and metabolic precursors. IOW, if GABA is in an oral supplement (and it is sold in oral formulations) it won't BE GABA for very long. I'm not familiar with precursors and how GABA synthesis is regulated, so I don't know if feeding something particular can increase endogenous GABA, but common sense tells me that unless it's injected, it's not conserved.
                            "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ACP View Post
                              An "inhibitory neurotransmitter" does what? Calm a horse? I would assume that is the reason it is banned.

                              The USEF's position on stuff like that is: [1] you can't use any calming agent, if it works and/or masks something; and [2] you can't use any agent, EVEN IF IT DOESN'T DO A THING, if you think it does something.

                              Yes, inhibitory neurotransmitters have a "calming effect", they block certain signals originating in the brain from getting to their intended target. This results in slowed reaction times, mood changes, relaxation, drowsiness, anxiety relief, etc... And it's all over Ocala and Wellington based on the number of clients asking us for scripts. Don't know about other areas.
                              "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen


                              • #16
                                Is passionflower legal in that case?
                                Scientists believe passionflower works by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA lowers the activity of some brain cells, making you feel more relaxed.

                                Read more: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/p...#ixzz1nES283xG
                                And how about L-theanine, a derivative of Green Tea (in supplements like the latest cosequin & recovery eq), isn't l-theanine supposed to be involved in the formation of GABA in the brain?
                                L-theanine is thought to pass the blood brain barrier better.
                                Again potentially an unsubstantiated claim, but if you ban one, then you need to ban the other one too.

                                Isn't glutamine (in ulcer sups) thought to increase GABA?
                                Is oral l-glutamine banned?
                                The glutamine cycle in the brain is simple and elegant. Glutamine readily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Neurons take up glutamine and convert it to glutamate or GABA (through the additional step of decarboxylating the glutamate).
                                Oral L-glutamine increases GABA levels in striatal tissue and extracellular fluid

                                Just wondering however, not a chemist, so not into the intricities of those substances.


                                • #17
                                  Carolina Gold is apparently also available in an injectable form, so no breakdown in the GI tract.


                                  • #18
                                    I'm not sure what the benefit of injecting GABA would be, since it not supposed to cross the blood-brain barrier and it's actions are on neurons in the brain. It would be detectable in blood if injected, but not if you could give a precursor that increased GABA production in the brain. Anyone know how it functions in the peripheral nervous system vs the CNS?


                                    • #19
                                      Do you mean uses as neuropathic pain relief?

                                      No doesn't do much, gabapentin, structurally related but does not affect gaba, is used instead.
                                      I have a horse on gabapentin, would have been nice if I could have used GABA instead.

                                      GABA orally will not pass the blood brain barrier, but it's questionable if at larger doses IM or IV it may pass the BBB, that's how I understand it.


                                      • #20
                                        I'm curious to know what side effects they found in their "trials". I didn't even know USEF did safety tests on supplements.

                                        I can't contribute to the discussion of GABA since I have never heard of it.