3 Principles of Equi-Bone

The process behind healthy bone remodeling is more complex than simply ingesting calcium. There is a particular series of actions that needs to be performed between the nutrients that are essential for bone health. In other words, the activation process for bone restoration requires the proper balance of nutrients to be effective. TLC's EQUI-BONE follows 3 principles to help establish the most effective use of these elements. 

1) Circulation - We provide nutrients that support healthy circulation to be sure that the nutrients responsible for producing the results can reach the target area effectively.  For instance many horses have poor blood flow into the foot.  So by providing a healthy supply of these nutrients, we can increase the diameter of the blood vessels which allows the blood to flow more freely through the vascular channels and increase nutrient delivery to hard to reach areas that otherwise would not receive the nutrients responsible for producing results.

2) Ideal Mineral Ratio for Calcium Solubility - This principle is especially important for horses with calcium deposits or bone spurs (including ringbone, side bone & bone chips).  These conditions are the result of hypercalcemia, where the balance of calcium to other minerals in the nutrient supply have become skewed and calcium is not being used effectively by the body, allowing the mineral to collect on the outside of various tissues.  Typically these conditions worsen if not corrected and calcium will continue to collect on the outside of the area, resulting in a larger, more painful calcium deposit.

Proper mineral balance will aid in improving the rate at which calcium is converted to liquid, meaning that the calcium is in its proper liquid state to be absorbed by the bone cells, instead of being deposited on the outside of the bone.  Thus the term, calcium deposit.  
One of the more basic nutritional facts that many horsemen know is that you want to give a 2:1 ratio of calcium:phosphorus.  But supporting optimal bone development and making sure that the body is using calcium efficiently is much more complicated than simply giving those two nutrients.  So, to make it easy as possible, we have optimized the mineral supply for you in order to help support the bone building process so it is much more efficient than other supplements you find on the market like joint supplements or general health supplements sold as "multi-vitamin/mineral".  These other products just don't have the focus on Bone related health issues that you're looking for.  EQUI-BONE is specifically formulated to target your goal of improving bone development.

3) Alkaline pH to Improve Calcium Retention - This principle is especially important for horses with navicular bone (or any other bone) deterioration, fractures, etc... 

Studies show that diets consisting of acid forming minerals lower pH values and lead to bone loss.  So, the body will actually allow calcium and supporting nutrients to actually leach from the bone, which creates a weaker bone structure over time. Diets consisting of alkaline forming minerals raise pH values and have shown the ability to support bone preservation.  So, the body will actually retain calcium and supporting nutrients in the bones, resulting in a stronger bone, more resistant to breakdown.  Over time if the horses diet, exercise demands & lack of proper nutrient availability have allowed some level of bone deterioration or fractures to occur, EQUI-BONE can help the horse to store calcium in the bones more effectively by improving calcium retention in bones, which - again, over time, leads to better bone development.

The Process of Bone Deterioration and Demineralization  (This applies specifically to fractures, navicular, OCD and other deteriorative bone conditions)

Bone deterioration is a result of bone resorption, a process in which bone cells called osteoclasts break down bone and release the minerals, resulting in a transfer of nutrients from the bone matrix to the blood. These cells break up the organic and inorganic portions of bone, removing the minerals which comprise the bone density, and transporting the material away from the area, leaving the bone in a weakened state. This process, known as bone resorption is stimulated, or inhibited by, signals from other parts of the body, depending on the demand for specific nutrients. An acid diet will induce such effects, so diets containing foods that promote acidic conditions will lower pH values and promote bone loss. Diets consisting of alkaline forming foods raise pH values and promote bone preservation. In humans, this can be seen in the Western diet as it consists mostly of acidic forming foods such as meat, dairy, soda and alcohol and we have the highest incidence of osteoporosis of any other country or individual nationality. In the horse, influencing factors like stress, illness or mineral availability will greatly influence pH levels and for this reason, minerals must be properly balanced to create the most favorable conditions for bone retention and integrity.


But how do we correct this imbalance?

Most people simply think they need to increase calcium, since we’ve been told time and again how calcium helps develop strong bones.  Calcium is certainly an important component when it comes to supporting bone integrity, and most of the calcium in the body is stored in the bone. However, there are other elements that make up the bone matrix and there are other factors that influence calcium solubility; and calcium solubility determines how well calcium is utilized in the bone. Not only do these other elements effect the ability of the body to use calcium in the bone structure but also influences the pH levels in the blood so helps to determines how much calcium is retained in the bone.  With the proper conditions and delivery of bone building nutrients in specific proportion that optimizes absorption, we can greatly minimize or even eliminate degenerative effects of horses in a nutrient deficient state.

Calcium Deposits/Bone Spurs (This will include ringbone and side bone)

Diets providing a vitamin/mineral imbalance where calcium is out of balance with the nutrients needed for proper utilization is likely the main cause for most calcium deposits.  Diets too high in Vitamin D and/or calcium relative to some of the other nutrients in the bloodstream will create difficulty for the body to convert calcium into its liquid state and will likely gradually accumulate on a specific area, getting larger over time.  Trauma to the area may also increase the need for calcium (this is why we see calcium deposits in/around joints more than anywhere else - the energy from walking/running is transferred to a specific area and the body attempts to build the area up by asking the body for more calcium - and the body is responding, it just can't use the calcium correctly).

Give TLC's Equi-Bone to improve calcium solubility.  Assuring conversion of calcium to its proper liquid state means that the mineral is available to be absorbed by the bone, rather than collecting on top of it.  Over several months there may be an effect of dissolving excess calcium and reducing the size of the existing calcium accumulation, which can reduce or even eliminate the pain associated with it.

Dietary Changes  (Applies only to calcium deposit related issues)

For most injuries we will leave the diet alone, however we typically make some dietary adjustments for horses with calcium deposit problems. Since hypercalcemia is responsible for producing the problem, we typically try to eliminate Vitamin D3 and supplemental calcium from the diet.  These nutrients are the catalyst to allowing the calcium deposit to develop, so failure to comply with this may reduce the supplements ability to be effective.  To start with we ask that you reduce or eliminating alfalfa hay, which delivers almost entirely calcium and not enough other nutrients to balance out the high calcium content, switching to grass hay can really help us get the calcium:phosphorus ratio back in check. Secondarily commercial grains (anything sold with a vitamin/mineral pack added in where Calcium & Vitamin D have been added to the grain).  Any grain without a vitamin/mineral fortified additive is ideal.  We have a feeding recipe available HERE for how you can mix your own grain using oats or beet pulp without molasses.  Please call or e-mail with specific questions or concerns with making these specific changes.

The take home message here is that over time the correct environmental conditions can improve the rate of mineral retention, and ultimately, bone mineral density. These effects can reduce both the occurrence of, and recovery time from bone related injuries and get your horse back into competitive condition before you know it.

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