Re: Esc + starch vs NSC

Kathy Brinkerhoff

Hi Kathleen & Eleanor,


Thank you for writing and posting the fructan article/s.  In my situation, I had asked the owners to have their vet give them her references for using NSC vs ESC + Starch and here are the vet’s comments from an email to the owners (paraphrasing).


Vet said she spoke with two nutritionists who recommended that the NSC be calculated by adding WSC and starch. One nutritionist was from the University of Minnesota (at a CE meeting in NY) and the other nutritionist was at a CE Purina Nutrition Conference she had just attended in MO. The Purina nutritionist mentioned that the ESC may become useful as part of the evaluation of clinically relevant sugars in hay, however it was yet to be determined exactly how that value can help us extrapolate useful clinical information regarding that sample and its in vivo effects. Until that point, NSC is calculated by WSC + starch. The vet said she had attended the Purina conference less than 10 weeks ago.


I sent the owners the information I have gathered from the Board archives and my files to send on to their vet.  I always suggest the owners search the files/archives here and refer them to the information on ECIRhorse dot org when they are confused by recommendations.  The owners did forward my information/links to their vet and she has promised to look into it.  I thought it might be interesting to share with the Board the sources from which the vet drew for her recommendations. 

I am always eager to add to my information arsenal regarding NSC vs ESC + Starch since this topic comes up periodically and most recently in the past weeks from different vets reviewing horses’ hay analyses.  It is incredibly helpful to have the information in a series of articles to send rather than my piece meal version.   Thank you!



Kathy Brinkerhoff


SE/WI 10/12



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