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May 31, 2016

The Negative Effects of Feeding Soy To Horses

by DePaolo Equine Concepts

It has been a common practice for today’s low carbohydrate feeds to contain a large amount of unfermented soy in the form of oil, meal or hulls.  Soybean crops are typically sprayed heavily with chemical herbicides leaving the hulls contaminated with these toxins.  Although high in protein, soy may contribute to:

  • Allergies
  • Endocrine Dysfunction
  • Digestive Problems
  • Hormone Imbalances

soy spray

Why is there soy in horse feed? At this time, soy is the cheapest form of protein available. Soy is highly estrogenic and should never be fed to either sex of horses, especially those that are already suffering from any type of metabolic disorder like Hypothyroidism, Insulin Resistance or Cushing’s Syndrome.

99.9% percent of soy included in human and horse food is genetically modified to be Round-Up Ready. Glyphosate, one of the active ingredients, is the leading cause of leaky gut syndrome in horses. Leaky gut syndrome can cause food allergies, diarrhea, mal-absorption syndrome, colic and irritable bowel syndrome.

Phytates in soy are also undesireable. They will bind to certain nutritional minerals in a horse’s diet and prevent them from being absorbed into the body. It is very common for a horse that is being fed soy to be lacking Iron, Manganese, Chromium, Cobalt and sometimes Selenium when tested utilizing Horse Hair Analysis. These minerals are very important in the production of proteinaceous connective tissues such as tendon, ligament, joint cartilage, hoof and hair coat.

Nutritional Minerals are also hugely significant portions of a healthy immune system, without them horses are more prone to damage from foreign invaders and pathogens that can cause Lyme disease, EPM, respiratory tract infections, etc.  For your horse to be as healthy as possible you should be vigilant in eliminating any and all forms of soy from the feed and supplements that you give.  To learn more about your horse’s mineral levels, visit Horse Hair Analysis.

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