Micro-Phase Guaranteed Analysis (per 4 oz):
Crude Protein (min.) 15 g
Calcium (min.) 3 g
Phosphorus (min.) 1.5 g
Copper (min.) 136 mg
Selenium (min.) 1.8 mg
Zinc (min.) 400 mg
Vitamin A (min.) 40,000 IU
Vitamin D (min.) 4,000 IU
Vitamin E (min.) 720 IU
Thiamine (min.) 24 mg
Choline (min.) 650 mg
Folic Acid (min.) 12 mg
Niacin (min.) 120 mg
Pantothenic Acid (min.) 50 mg
Riboflavin (min.) 40 mg
Vitamin B12 (min.) 120 mcg
The fat-soluble vitamins
A, D, E and K are known as the fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins are absorbed in the small intestine and stored in the body, in either the liver or in fatty tissue. Horses, with the help of sunlight, can synthesize vitamin D. Green grass is an excellent natural source of vitamin E and beta carotene, which is metabolized into vitamin A. The vitamins found in fresh, green forages lose their potency when the forages are processed into hay, cubes or pellets, so horses eating little green grass may need supplementation. The good bugs in the hindgut typically synthesize enough vitamin K to meet a horse’s needs.
The water-soluble vitamins
The B-complex vitamins and vitamin C are considered water-soluble vitamins; they are not stored in the horse’s body. The B-complex vitamins are thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9), and cobalamin (B12). All B-complex vitamins are available in fresh plant material, such as pasture, but as with fat-soluble vitamins, potency diminishes over time when fresh forage is stored as hay. The horse, with help from the good bugs in the hindgut, can synthesize a certain amount of B vitamins, but those with limited access to fresh pasture, or horses that are working hard or stressed, may need additional supplementation. In a healthy, unstressed horse, adequate amounts of vitamin C can be synthesized from glucose in a horse’s liver.
Minerals are inorganic compounds that serve both as components in body tissue and as catalysts for various body processes. Calcium and phosphorus are perhaps the most recognizable macrominerals. As with all minerals, they are vital to your horse’s well-being.
Calcium makes up 35% of your horse’s bone structure. It supports proper muscle contractions and plays a role in blood clotting.
Phosphorus makes up 14% to 17% of your horse’s bone structure. It supports energy transfer reactions and plays a role in the synthesis of certain proteins.
Calcium and phosphorus must be provided in the appropriate ratios. Diets with more phosphorus than calcium can result in decreased absorption of calcium, which can cause skeletal malformation. A calcium-to-phosphorus (Ca:P) ratio of between 1.2:1 and 2:1 is ideal. Micro-Phase contains a balanced Ca:P ratio.
Selenium works in concert with vitamin E to defend the body’s cells from damaging oxidative byproducts known as free radicals. Free radicals are released during energy production. Selenium is a component of glutathione peroxidase, a beneficial enzyme that prevents free radicals from forming. Glutathione peroxidase also destroys lipid peroxidases (non-beneficial enzymes), which damage cell membranes. Once damaged, cells no longer function properly, leaving horses susceptible to multiple health problems.
Horses use energy to fuel bodily functions and movement. The greater the demand for energy, the greater the number of free radicals produced. Your horse’s body is equipped to deal with small amounts of these oxidative byproducts, but as the demand for energy increases, so does your horse’s need for additional antioxidants to counter the onslaught of free radicals.
Hard-working horses, breeding stock, horses consuming feedstuffs low in selenium, or horses with certain muscular disorders may require supplemental selenium.
However, too much selenium can cause problems so always know how much selenium your horse is getting in his diet. Do not use multiple selenium-containing supplements without the advice of your veterinarian. Micro-Phase is safe to feed with most commercial feeds that contain selenium when both are fed at recommended levels.
The FDA guidelines for selenium are a good place to start when deciding how much selenium should be in your horse’s diet.
The Food and Drug Administration has set the daily recommended level of selenium for an “average” horse at a total of 3 mg per day. This is a very safe level of selenium consumption and well below the maximum tolerable limits. When determining if your horse’s diet contains adequate selenium, you can use this average as a good reference. Each horse is an individual and has individual needs, so it is best to work with your veterinarian or nutritionist to determine your horse’s exact requirements, which in some cases may be higher than the recommended 3 mg per day.
Copper is necessary for healthy connective tissue, cartilage, and bone. Other important functions of copper include red blood cell formation, hoof wall formation, and hair pigmentation.
Zinc plays a role in healthy hooves and coat, bone development, and reproduction.