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When it comes to horse supplements, the term “natural” can raise mixed feelings. For some, “natural” means a product is safer for horses than an artificial counterpart. For others, “natural” feels less effective or less based on hard science. The truth really depends on the ingredient! As Australia’s foremost provider of equine nutritional solutions, HYGAIN® is generally considered to be at the very cutting edge of feed and digestive technology. Boasting some of the world's most advanced and modern processing techniques and ingredients, HYGAIN® is proud to be a world leader in equine nutritional science. However one of the secrets to our success is a willingness to embrace both new and old principles and to perfect the partnership of scientific breakthroughs and traditional remedies. This article provides a brief background on ‘natural’ vs ‘artificial’ and then explores some of the more traditional, naturally derived substances that HYGAIN® has found to be of sufficient nutritional merit to be included in a variety of our products
The ingredient list on a product label isn’t always easy to navigate. Take for example, Pantothenic Acid –It sounds like an ingredient that will cause your horse a digestive upset, but it’s the alternate name for Vitamin B5 and is naturally occurring in certain foods. Other ingredient names are not so innocent and deserve closer scrutiny. As always, it pays to be armed with a little knowledge when navigating the supplement aisle at your local feed store and to buy from a reputable brand.
A common misconception is that natural ingredients are unproven by science and outdated. It’s easy to assume that surely, there must be a modern replacement that’s more effective. But just because an ingredient has been around for a long time, it doesn’t mean that it is less fit for purpose. Slippery Elm, for example, is a remedy that’s been used to aid digestive issues for thousands of years. In humans, Slippery Elm has been traditionally used to treat wounds, boils, ulcers, burns, skin inflammation, coughs, diarrhoea and digestive upset. The beneficial properties of Slippery Elm are found in chemicals that naturally occur in its bark. That’s right, chemicals. Everything is made of chemicals (including us and our horses!) In the case of Slippery Elm, some manufacturers have taken the original source product and concentrated it through specialized processing techniques to refine the ingredient into a more active form. In this way, a natural ingredient can be made more powerful and effective. (Image above: While it looks like an ordinary tree, Slippery Elm holds beneficial properties in its bark) (Image above: Tumeric is a renowned natural ingredient that is popular in equine supplements) Fast forward to modern times and much of today’s medicine has its origin in natural sources. Take the example of Penicillin, which is chemically synthesized from naturally-produced Penicillins. It’s a good example of a potent ingredient that is artificially produced but has its beginnings in nature. HYGAIN® uses naturally derived herbal ingredients in selected supplements. Curcumin (from Tumeric), Concentrated Slippery Elm and Red Seaweed are just some of the ingredients that are used to support horse health in HYGAIN® supplements.
HYGAIN® DIGEST & PROTECT® is a digestive supplement that is primarily herbal. It provides complete digestive support in a palatable blend, formulated to stimulate digestion and promote the health of the digestive tract.
The formulation of DIGEST & PROTECT contains: RED SEAWEED EXTRACT (Lithothamnion calcareum), is rich in a specific, highly effective source of calcium, known for its superior acid buffering properties.
DIGESTIVE ENZYMES support the breakdown of feed which improves digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
GLUTAMINE & THREONINE, amino acids assist with digestive health. Included to ensure adequate supply to support mucin synthesis and cell regeneration.
CONCENTRATED SLIPPERY ELM traditionally used for gastric challenges. Slippery Elm contains mucilage factors which act as a coating agent.
CURCUMIN, is the active compound in Turmeric known for its powerful antioxidant action.
PREBIOTICS have a defined mode of action, promoting a healthy gut and supporting natural defences essential for optimum health and performance.
PROBIOTICS enhance fibre fermentation and stablilise the microbiome, stimulating activity of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.
MYCOTOXIN BINDER traps and expels mycotoxins to protect and support healthy gut function.
ANISEED flavour is highly palatable for horses.
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