“It takes the body a long time to recover from a selenium depletion, and this
study emphasizes the importance of continuous organic selenium
supplementation of 0.3 ppm.” – Dr. Kelsey Johnson Nonella
In search of more knowledge of selenium, an essential trace mineral that is extremely deficient in the northwest, Horse Guard funded an extensive research trial at West Texas A&M University. The study took ten Quarter Horse geldings through a 4-month selenium depletion period and 4-month selenium repletion period, during which they were fed a grass hay grown in the Northwest. We monitored whole blood selenium concentrations monthly.
SELENIUM DEPLETION PERIOD
The depletion diets provided only 7.6% of selenium that we, at Horse Guard, recommend. All of the horses had normal blood selenium before the start of the trial. After 56 days, the horses’ whole blood selenium concentrations (136 ng Se/ mL whole blood) indicated that the horses were sub-clinically deficient in selenium.To gain more knowledge about the effects of selenium deficiency on horses in the Northwest, we kept the horses on the selenium-deficient diet for two more months. At the end of depletion, the horses’ whole blood selenium concentrations averaged 109 ng Se/ mL whole blood, which is considered sub-clinically deficient. With the less severe deficiency (sub-clinical) the horse has lowered immunity, decreased muscle function, lower conception rates and other maladies that cannot be seen with simple observation.
SELENIUM REPLETION PERIOD
After being fed the deficient diet for 4 months, the horses were then put on a repletion diet for 4 months (the selenium repletion phase). They were fed the same deficient hay and Horse Guard, containing two different levels of selenium. One group was fed 0.1 ppm (the level of most supplements) or 0.3 ppm organic selenium (the level in Horse Guard Products). The horses consuming 0.3 ppm organic selenium supplementation increased more rapidly and had significantly greater whole blood selenium concentrations by day 28 as compared to horses supplemented with 0.1 ppm organic selenium, and continued to have higher values throughout the rest of the trial. It is very important to note that after 4 months of organic selenium supplementation after being depleted, with a hay grown in the Northwest, that the horses’ whole blood selenium concentrations did not reach levels that are considered adequate.
This information indicates that it takes the body a long time to recover from a selenium depletion, and this study emphasizes the importance of continuous organic selenium supplementation of 0.3 ppm. This university research is validation that Horse Guard Products provide the critical levels of organic selenium for optimum health.
– Dr. Kelsey Johnson Nonella Ph.D. P.A.S, Equine Nutritionist at Horse Guard Inc.