Beet Pulp Warning

Here is some important information on an old mainstay…beet pulp!

Years ago I fed beet pulp and have continued to recommended it as an alternative or addition to grain as something to top dress BioEquine. Just in the last few weeks, I have made the acquaintance of a very informed animal therapist/nutritionist named Ross Buchanan from lower mainland BC. Ross has been recommending BioEquine to many of his clients there. He deals with a lot of toxins in horses from that region and has just emailed me some disturbing information on beet pulp that I like to pass on to you.

“Doing some interesting research on sugar beets right now. The bottom line is do not feed beet pulp to your horses. Three good reasons. The first is Glyphosate from Round Up Ready Sugar Beets that drastically reduces the uptake of minerals and which kills bacteria in the hindgut. The second is that sugar beets are sponges for arsenic which is a problem in the Taber area where the refinery is. The third is Disodium Cyanodithioimidocarbonate (DCDIC), the chemical that is used to strip the sugar from the beets, which is a toxin and banned from use as a pesticide…but we feed it to our horses in beet pulp.”

Analysis Results from Ross about the benefits of BioEquine…
“I just received results from a 60 day analysis I ran of balancing the nutrients and eliminating the toxins of a horse. I will send you a summary of the findings shortly. The bottom line is that in 60 days of using BioEquine as a base, and with some minor adjustments, there are amazing results. Calcium level doubled to ideal range, magnesium increased five fold to ideal range, and aluminium reduced by 70%. Very exciting to see… Ross”

The special DE base of BioEquine contains a high concentration of bioavailable silica which is a toxin binder. So if you are not sure about your feed being sprayed with herbicides or pesticides, there is another reason to supplement with BioEquine.

Please remember that there can be isolated pockets of high selenium and that mining can sometimes pour mercury and selenium into waterways. If you are downstream from a mining operation, beware. If you live in an area with extremely high selenium, it will be imperative to contact your local vet for information. However, as you can see by the map, most areas are adequate or low in selenium.

Some of the early indications of poisoning is poor hair coat and dry, cracking hooves with sloughing off of the hoof in more chronic cases. However, low selenium can result in white muscle disease which is also fatal.

So, what are safe levels and dangerous levels?

An inactive, average (1100 lb) horse needs about 1-3 mg daily and an active one about 3 to 5 mg daily. Good feed and forage supplies about 0.2 mg to 0.3 mg/kg (2.2 lbs ) of feed. Let’s take an average of 25 lbs (11.3kg) feed per horse per day. So your horse would receive about 3.3 mg selenium per day from ordinary feed/forage which is just about right.

So what is the minimum requirement to avoid deficiency?  

Apparently that is about 1mg per day per horse.  Toxicity can arise at 50 to 500 mg per day per horse for chronic poisoning and 2500 mg per day per horse for acute.

So you can see that there actually is a pretty big range between deficiency and toxicity. However, because the ranges are SO much more spread out for other minerals, warnings about selenium are rampant in the literature.

BioEquine supplies 0.6mg Selenium per daily (30 gm) dose. We have carefully chosen that middle ground. It is enough to stave off complications in areas that have absolutely NO selenium but not enough to add toxicity to areas that are on the high side.

Interestingly, the silica DE base that we use in BIoEquine is a toxin binder and we had an extremely interesting scenerio in Idaho with a herd of cattle that were being poisoned by Flourides in their pasture waterway. The local vets could not figure out what was happening! Luckily the owner tried some BIoEquine on the cattle that she had on hand for her horses. The herd, that was extremely debilitated (some were eating on their knees because their feet were so sore), recovered in two weeks!  That made us suspect some sort of poisoning.  The creek was tested, and sure enough…too much flouride. They were subsequently moved out of that pasture and are now doing well. So we feel that there is a very good chance that the BioEquine may help guard against selenium poisoning as well!

We advise anyone that thinks they may be in an area of either extreme to contact the local veterinarian. The best is to talk to the old horsemen in your area. THEY will be the local experts and will appreciate your concern and respect.

Additional Beet Pulp Warning – Added February 2015

I received an email from animal therapist/nutritionist Ross Buchanan with another Beet Pulp warning. He said “Take a look at what Dr. Susan Cook from Phoenix says about Beet Pulp. It looks like we now have a fourth reason not to use beet pulp.”

“I also had my own unfortunate experience with a feed. In less than a month my horses were all having health problems. Two had gas colic, one ran a temperature of 106 (depressed immune system), and my laminitic mare lost weight. Testing of this feed at Equi-analytical Laboratories in Ithaca, N.Y showed it contained 600 ppm aluminum and over 500 ppm iron (500 ppm is toxic to horses). As beet pulp was the main ingredient I researched its iron and aluminum content. The Equi-analytical library showed beet pulp contains high iron. I also found that aluminum sulfate is used as a press agent to remove sugar from beets. Thus beet pulp is the source of elevated levels of iron and aluminum. Beet pulp is used as an ingredient in some senior and performance feeds because of its high digestibility. In my opinion, the high iron and aluminum content makes it a poor choice for horses. Other horse feeds contain soybean hulls to increase digestibility. Since soybeans are processed by acid washing in tanks that often are made of aluminum, soy products in horse feed may also contribute to the aluminum content. The other minerals were not present at the levels specified in the “Guaranteed Analysis”. Moreover, the ratios were all off.”
– Dr. Susan Cook