Iron overload is common in domestic horses because they do not have a good mechanism to dispose of excess iron. Because iron is a cause of oxidative damage (think rust throughout the body), the body sequesters the iron where ever it can – liver, muscles, heart. Within the cell, the iron damages the mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of the cell. Increased oxidative damage can be a driver for insulin resistance, cardiomyopathy, and poor muscle performance.
There are a few ways to address this in the horse:
- Reduce the iron in the feed, or balance the feed so that copper and zinc will compete for absorption.
- Supply supplements that nutritionally support the horse
- Removing blood from the horse, so that more iron is used from the body stores to create hemoglobin (the heme part is made up of iron).
How can you nutritionally supplement a horse with iron overload?
There are many supplements available:
Resveratrol, Mov-Ease, and turmeric are bioflavonoids, which are naturally occurring compounds. These compounds also give the benefit to nutritionally support horses with arthritis or stiff joints.
Help your horse with natural supplements, so that they can perform their best.