Feed at the rate of 15-30 ml daily when additional B-vitamins are needed.
B-Vitamin Complex consists of eight different vitamins, all of which are intimately involved with the metabolism of carbohydrate, fats, and protein. Supplementation can become important when horses are off feed, on high grain diets, need immune support, or have gastrointestinal upset of any kind because bacterial production by organisms in the intestinal tract is a major source of B vitamins for the horse.
When a horse is stressed by exercise, or in need of immune support, their calorie burning goes up, which means a greater need for the B vitamins. Building new tissue in response to exercise also requires more B vitamins, as does processing of high grain diets. Since a sizeable proportion of the horse's B vitamin intake comes from what is synthesized by organisms in the intestinal tract, any disruption of GI function can also compromise that source. In all these scenarios, B vitamin supplementation is suggested, and response will be evident in a brighter attitude, more energy and improved appetite. Improved red blood cell counts may also be seen in horses that had borderline B vitamin status before supplementation.
Although supplemental B vitamins are commonly added to commercial feeds and vitamin/mineral supplements for horses, they normally get these vitamins from their base diet and from synthesis by the millions of organisms in the intestinal tract.
The 8 B vitamins most effective in a formula are:
- - Thiamine (B1): Required for normal activity of the enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase, which is the final step for glucose or pyruvate derived from lactate to enter the Krebs cycle to be burned for energy. Also required for some enzymes that transform the structure of amino acids.
- - Riboflavin (B2): A critical cofactor in enzymes (flavoenzymes) involved in the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
- - Niacin (B3): Essential for the NAD and NADP enzyme systems, involved in energy generation from fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
- - Biotin (B7): Cofactor for enzyme systems involved in gluconeogenesis, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism.
- - Folic acid (B9) is required for amino acids synthesis, which is very important, with Pyridoxine (B6) and B-12, when protein degradation is taking place.
- - Cyanocobalamin (B-12) and Pyridoxin are important to the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins, and amino acid synthesis.
- - Pantothenic Acid (B5) is an essential cofactor for metabolism of all energy sources in the Krebs cycle.