What’s in Sel-Plus?
SELENIUM AMINO ACID CHELATE
Common symptoms seen in horses with low or inadequate selenium levels include :
- horse’s with tight sore muscles
- fade at the finish or do not recover well
- muscle condition is poor, tend not to build up with work
- horses that won’t round their backs and go on the bit
- poor reproductive performance
- bad temperament secondary to muscular pain
- sore when finger pressure is applied along the back, loin and rump muscle
Beta-carotene, the form of Vitamin A in Sel-Plus, has recently received attention as a cancer prevention vitamin. This form of Vitamin A has an important anti-oxidant role in removing another free radical called singlet oxygen, thus supporting the roles of selenium and Vitamin E. It is also essential for healthy connective tissue and maintaining the strength of tendons and ligaments. Vitamin A levels are low in hay over 3 months old and in high grain diets. It is a heat sensitive vitamin, destroyed in heat-processed feeds (i.e. pellets) or boiled barley. The horse has a very large capacity to store Vitamin A in the liver and is rarely deficient if regular access to green grass is possible.
Vitamin D is required for normal Calcium and Phosphorus metabolism. It is also involved in the conversion of inorganic minerals to organic (a process called chelation) in the small intestine. Low Vitamin D levels over time will cause swollen joints and stiffness of gaits. Horses can obtain sufficient Vitamin D from 2 hours direct exposure to sunlight daily. Sel-Plus contains a small amount of high quality Vitamin D that may enhance the uptake of trace minerals, and in this fashion assist the anti-oxidant functions.
Vitamin E and Selenium are so closely linked in function they are rarely mentioned separately in scientific literature. Selenium is the first line of defence against free radicals and Vitamin E the second by destroying any free radicals that are formed. Vitamin E helps reproductive function, immune function and is important in preventing anaemia (low red blood cell counts). It is widely accepted to have a calming influence on nervous horses.
CHROMIUM AMINO ACID CHELATE
Sel-Plus also contains the trace mineral chromium in the amino acid chelate form. Recent research in Kentucky, USA has shown chromium chelate decreases the lactic acid build up in muscles of exercised horses. It was also noted in Chromium supplemented horses that their post-exercise cortisol levels were lower. Cortisol is a stress-associated hormone. Lactic acid accumulation is the most important cause of fatigue in muscles of performance horses. It is also important in maintaining constant blood sugar levels. Sel-Plus’s role as an anti-oxidant is complemented by the addition of chromium chelate.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and have many functions in horses. Several are synthesised by the horse but some must be supplied by the diet and are termed essential. Sel-Plus contains high levels of all the essential amino acids for two main reasons:
- They are needed to form the anti-oxidant enzymes of selenium (glutathione peroxidase), copper (super oxide dismutase), and iron (catalase) so important for working horses.
- Any inorganic mineral ingested by horses must be combined with an amino-acid to form a mineral chelate before becoming bio-available. All trace minerals in Sel-Plus are chelated in their manufacture.