Bone Builder is a feed supplement formulated to help increase bone density in young horses. It contains Silicon, Magnesium, Boron and Lysine and is designed to be fed in conjunction with Vetpro High Performance Mineral Supplement which provides Calcium, Phosphorus, Copper and Zinc.
For a long time it was considered that to have achieve stronger bone all that was necessary was to feed more Calcium. Research has conclusively proven that increasing dietary calcium above recommended dietary levels has no effect on bone density. What research has shown is the important role that Silicon, Magnesium and Boron play in bone mineralisation.
The rate of skeletal growth in young horses occurs faster than weight gain. By 12 months of age a horse can attain 94% of its mature height and 65% of its mature weight. Total bone mineral content (BMC) lags behind skeletal growth. At 12 months of age bone mineralisation is 76% complete. Maximum BMC is not reached until a horse is 6 years old.
The period when young bones need to be strong is often the time when they are subjected to the most stress. A horse traveling at race speeds is subjected to forces three times its own bodyweight. Maximising bone density is important in improving bone strength and thereby preventing bone injuries. By paying careful attention to mineral supplementation, bone density and skeletal durability can be improved.
Bone mineralisation begins during the last three months of pregnancy. At this stage fetal bones are cartilage models of the adult bones. The skeleton of the newborn foal contains only 17% of the adult bone mineral content. The first 12 months are an important nutritional period as bone mineralisation proceeds at an accelerated rate.
The importance of Calcium and Phosphorus in bone development is well known. Less is known about the importance of Magnesium, Boron and Silicon.
Magnesium is essential for the formation of the collagen matrix and bone mineralization. Around 60% of the Mg in the body is found in bone tissue. Human studies have shown a positive correlation between bone mineral density and dietary magnesium. Low magnesium is associated with reduced activity by osteoblasts and osteoclasts – the cells involved in bone remodeling. Boron is a trace element that up until recently has received very little attention. Human research indicates that boron aids the uptake of Calcium and Magnesium into bone as well as increasing vitamin D3 levels, important for bone mineral metabolism.
Silicon is an essential nutrient for normal body function and one of the most common, but most of the silicon found in nature is in a sand form and is unable to be absorbed by the body. Plants can take Silicon up from the soil so consequently the forage and grains that horses consume contain small amounts. Silicon is also involved in the formation of the collagen matrix. Experiments showed Silicon deficient diets resulted in lower bone collagen levels, resulting in abnormal bone growth. The same series of experiments also showed that Silicon supplementation increased the rate of bone mineralisation as well as increasing the Glycosaminoglycan levels in cartilage, important in the prevention and treatment of degenerative joint disease.
Studies carried out at the University of Texas underlined the importance of Silicon in maximizing bone density in young racehorses. In these studies horses on Silicon supplemented diets were able to train and race for longer and sustained less bone injuries than non-supplemented horses. This was attributed to a reduction in bone absorption and an overall improvement in bone density. It was noted that Silicon supplementation had no effect on growth rate, therefore was not connected with any risk of growth related diseases like OCD.
Bone Builder contains a highly absorbable form of Silicon, along with Magnesium, Boron and the essential growth promoting Amino Acid Lysine. Each 30g dose delivers 9.48g Lysine, 5.25g Magnesium, 30.5mg Silicon and 25ppm Boron.
Bone Builder should be fed to weanlings, yearlings and 2 year olds in training. Older horses (36 months upwards) do not benefit from supplementation as the collagen matrix has developed fully. It should be fed to broodmares during the last three months of pregnancy. When fed during lactation the levels in the milk increase, resulting in Silicon being available to the foal.
Registered ACVM Act 1977, No A9377
Recommended Daily Dose Rates:
Foals & Weanlings: 15gms
Yearlings & 2 year olds: 30gms
Pregnant (last trimester) & Lactating Broodmares: 30gms