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locked Equi-analytical 604 analysis on Timothy Balanced Cubes and Amino Trace +


Sandra Draibye
 

Hey,

A couple of years ago, I switched both my horses (only one is potentially EMS) from Dr Reeds, Farrier's Formula and Biotic 8 to Amino Trace + and replaced one meal - 5lbs of hay with Timothy Balanced Cubes - with probably another pound used for treats in their treat ball.  I started doing mineral panels this past Spring and I was expecting to see lower iron and higher copper and zinc.  To say I was surprised by the higher iron and lower copper and zinc would be an understatement.  So then I set out looking for the source of iron and manganese - I tested everything from water to gravel and came up with nothing out of the norm.  So as a last resort I tested the Timothy Balanced Cubes and the Amino Trace +. 

The Timothy Balanced Cubes results showed 900 ppm iron.  The Amino Trace + showed 2020 ppm iron.  I have pasted screen shots of the results below - and I am happy to send the pdfs to someone if you want them for your files.

So I sent the results to the manufacturers and asked equi-analytical to retest the iron.  The retest showed the same results. 

The Timothy Balance Cube tag is silent on iron.  The website says that a typical analysis for the cubes is 242 ppm.  So I spoke with Aurelio Henriques - a clearly lovely decent and competent guy.  He says that the manufacturing process adds between 200 -600 ppm iron but that most of this is not bioavailable to horses.  He said: the last 10 tests on Timothy Balance; ppm were, 516; 871; 988; 1050; 774; 329; 302; 409; 337; 319.  So an average of around 500 ppm.  I get that ECIR relies on balancing minerals.  But if someone were to replace all of their forage - around 10kg - with cubes - at 500 ppm, the total iron would be 5000 mg - and isn't that the level the NRC identifies as toxic to horses?  I am fairly certain I have seen Dr. Kellon say that all this 'that ECIR does not rely on certain irons not being bioavailable (apologies if I have this wrong)'? If you balance the minerals does the toxic level no longer apply?  To be fair, besides iron - the results are remarkably close to what the typical analysis predicts.  And for sure these are low sugar - so great to lower the overall sugars a horse is getting.  But given how much ECIR emphasizes that keeping iron down is important for EMS horses - can someone please explain this to me - and shouldn't this info be readily available to horse owners.  Hasn't that been a complaint of ECIR with respect to products like Farrier's Formula?  I think Aurelio has some frustration with the labelling laws - but I am not really certain of the nature of that frustration.


In my case I was using closer to 6 lbs of cubes per day.  But if I was feeding out of one of the higher iron bags - which would last one horse about 10 days - and taking the 900 ppm in the results - 450mg/lb *6 - that is 2700 mg of iron.  If I add the amino trace + - 2020 mg/kg /5 = 404 mg = 3104 mg + 1.5 cups of fibre max
345 mg/kg-  another 129 mg of iron (full disclosure I am relying on coop analysis) + 2 cups of flaxseed = 20 mg = 3253 mg of iron - before any hay.  My hay is fairly low in iron for this area at 90 ppm - 45 mg/lb * 15 lbs = 675 mg. For a total of 3928 mg of iron per day.  But the normal iron in hay in this area is 240 - 340 ppm - even taking 300 ppm = 150 mg/lb = 2250 mg - for a total of 5503 mg of iron per day - for more than a week, and this is neither the highest ppm in Aurelio's tests nor the highest in the range of iron in the local hay, so it seems very easy for a horse to be getting more than 5000 mg/kg of iron per day?  Again, Aurelio seems great, I love the fact that I can have my horse stand on a pemf while munching on the cubes, I love the fact that they can knock the sugar average down.  But, I feel a bit blindsided - that what I thought I had every reason to believe was low in iron seems to be able to easily result in what I understand to be toxic levels.  I told Scott and Aurelio that I would be sharing this information here.  Aurelio said he was fine - you guys clearly have a close relationship with him.  And again, he has been totally open and helpful and clearly takes great pride in his processes and in helping horses.

I have included the amino trace + results below as well. The bag says 100 mg/kg of iron - the results were 2020 mg/kg of iron.   Scott  says it has never tested that high- I asked for he results from his last 10 tests (as Aurelio voluntarily provided), but have not received them.  Scott says he is certain there is a mistake in the results and that the lab contaminated the sample.  Equi-analytical is equally adamant that they did not contaminate the sample.  I do not know if different iron tests/equipment have different results.  But 2020 ppm seems a long way from 100 ppm.  Scott says he is very concerned and will investigate.  I can't really justify buying another bag and paying another $150 to have it tested to see if I managed to purchase the one bag with higher iron than any other bag.  If someone else has some amino trace + and is having any concerns - they might want to do so.  My vet  knows that blood tests are not definitive for iron - but I have had 4 done since last Spring - and my vet was concerned that they all showed high iron (which neither of my horses had had before) - and until I started adding additional copper and zinc (which scares me a bit because there is a ton of that in the amino trace +) low copper and zinc and a problem keeping my horse's soles thick.   With additional supplementation, they have moved into the normal copper/zinc range, the soles have gotten thicker and my vet says she is no longer concerned.  But I feel a bit stunned.  I do not want to hurt anyone's business - I declined to provide equi-analytical with the bag labels or to identify the source of my samples.  But I have seen a horse founder now - and I could not forgive myself if I didn't share whatever information I might have that might make that less likely to happen to my horse or any other horse.  And maybe I just don't understand.  But I sure would like to.


TIMOTHY BALANCED CUBES:

-AMINO TRACE +


-
Sandra on Vancouver Island, B.C.
December 2018


Sherry Morse
 

Hi Sandra,

You can't attach files to emails sent to the group.  If you have a case history folder you can put PDFs in that folder.  As you know only KSU can accurately test for ferritin levels in horses so I would take the test results with a grain of salt.

Are you working with a balancer on your diet?  There are ways to balance high iron in a diet although the whole point of the ODTBC is that they can be fed without any other minerals as they are balanced to themselves.  The bio-availability does have an effect on the overall numbers as well but I'm not as educated on balancing as some of other members who may be better able to address your concerns.





 

Wow is all I can say ..I’m a bit stunned as well because I feed Ontario Dehy Timothy Balance Cubes as my base to all of my horses as well as the sole diet for my pony ...who interestingly had high insulin levels at his most recent bloodwork recheck that we can’t figure out why because his diet is tight and nothing has changed?? and as far as I remember Dr Kellon says iron overload can drive IR higher...I feed Vermont Blend for my mineral balancer and California Trace Plus to a picky eater.
--
Michele Goldberg
Bernville, Pa 
joined 5/19/2016


Melissa V
 

Wow! I literally just posted about Amino Trace plus as I was considering buying it and switching my horses to it with timothy pellets. Ugh. 
--
Melissa
Ruffin NC 2020

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Tango%20Case%20History?p=dirname,,,20,1,0,0

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=252260







Alicia Harlov
 

I interviewed Scott for my podcast, and they test their supplements regularly to check iron levels and mineral levels in general. They do this on site and have done third party testing as well. It's part of what makes their company unique as they can do it on their own. I haven't had any issues with clients who are on MadBarn products, so assume his testing is legitimate. I'm not sure about EquiAnalytical results, but I wouldn't put it past an error, with how meticulous Scott is. 

You mentioned mineral panels. Do you mean bloodwork? Bloodwork is unreliable for mineral balancing as many minerals are not stored in the blood. Are you doing the KSU iron assay? 
--
-Alicia Harlov in South Hamilton, MA 
PHCP hoofcare provider, The Humble Hoof podcast


Lorna Cane
 

I'd be a lot more comfortable with this discussion , considering the data we have, if Scott and Aurelio were a part of it, before sweeping assumptions are made.

--

Lorna  in Eastern  Ontario
2002
Check out FAQ : https://www.ecirhorse.org/FAQ.php


Nancy & Vinnie & Summer
 

Following, as the odtbc cubes are 4lb of Vinnies diet and I want to make sure I don't have any more setbacks that I could have prevented.  

Thx Nancy
--
Nancy and Vinnie and Summer
Oakley, Ca
Joined Nov 2018
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Nancy%20and%20Vinnie 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=245855

Summer
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Nancy%20and%20Vinnie/Summer 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=249104


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

Hi Sandra,

You mention doing mineral panels - could you please be more specific? If you are referring to blood work on the horses, what type of tests are being done? The only way to get accurate body-wide iron stores is to run ferritin - which only KSU can do for horses. Serum iron doesn't tell you anything about actual body-wide stores of it. Copper and zinc blood levels in the blood are very tightly controlled and you won't see excesses/deficiencies showing up until an animal is extremely, visibly ill due to an excess or deficiency.

Agree with Lorna that including Aurelio (Ontario Dehy) and Scott (Mad Barn) in this discussion would be very helpful.

--
Lavinia, George Too, Calvin (PPID) and Dinky (PPID/IR)
Nappi, George and Dante Over the Bridge
Jan 05, RI
Moderator ECIR


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

Hi Nancy,

You are already working closely with Dr. Kellon, so no need to worry about this.

--
Lavinia, George Too, Calvin (PPID) and Dinky (PPID/IR)
Nappi, George and Dante Over the Bridge
Jan 05, RI
Moderator ECIR


Nancy C
 
Edited

Before we go into full blown panic, there are a couple of points to consider about iron concerns.  This being a holiday weekend, it is unlikely we will hear from Aurelio, Scott or Dr Kellon, but I trust we will at some point. Scott and Aurelio have a history of willingness to work with members to clear up any misunderstandings or errors. Please, hug your horses and keep breathing.

Sandra, I am not sure I agree with your average assessment of intake of 500 ppm, but for the sake of discussion, let’s talk about 500 ppm. Like you, my understanding is that process iron could be bioavailable, and it is not safe to discount it.

From Dr Kellon’s NRC Plus course:

National Research Council has set an upper safe limit for iron at 500 ppm

And….

Toxic Mineral Intakes General Notes: What constitutes toxic mineral intakes is a very common question. The levels listed below are those suggested by the NRC for individual minerals. However, in most cases it is recognized that toxicity results because of the imbalances high levels cause, not as a direct effect of the high mineral. Therefore, if the diet is balanced, with correct ratios, these numbers may be meaningless.

Only selenium and iodine are generally recognized as being potentially directly toxic. High iron intake by foals can be fatal. Otherwise, chronic high iron intake may damage liver and could be a factor in insulin resistance.

*******

The following is what has worked for my horses, including an iron overloaded, very severe IR Morgan:

  • Balancing iron copper, zinc and manganese depends on total dietary intake and the ratios between these minerals. We correct imbalances by addressing the excesses and deficiencies.
  • These are the ratios we strive for:
    • Fe:Cu:Zn for Non-IR horses 10:1:3;
    • for EMS/IR horses 4:1:3;
    • for iron overloaded horses 3:1:3.
I don’t think that this has been considered, Sandra, and honestly, without a case history, we are flying blind. Same for you, Michelle, but you know that.

What we do know is that it is very hard to get tightly balanced ratios using a commercial supplement.

Iron overload is often misunderstood. It cannot be measured by serum iron only. Ferritin needs to be measured. In the US, that can be done only at KSU.  As noted in the link below serum iron (and copper and zinc) is just a snap shot in time.

https://ecir.groups.io/g/main/files/6%20Diet%20Balancing/BLOOD%20TESTING%20FOR%20MINERALS.pdf
  • Circulating iron is very tightly controlled and iron status cannot be assessed by serum iron only.
Testing just "by the bag" is a very inefficient way to assess what is or is not in the mix.

I have fed ODTB Cubes as the complete diet. No issues. Over the last 20 years, there have been many others who have done the same.   Some — NRC Plus grads, who know how to balance, with diagnosed iron overloaded horses— have worked with Aurelio to bring the ratios even tighter, however, I did not find the need to do so.

--
Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
ECIR Group Inc. President/Treasurer  2020-2021
Join us at the 2021 NO Laminitis! Conference, August 13-15, ECIR Virtual Conference Room


Sandra Draibye
 

Alicia,

If you know Scott, maybe ask him to provide his last ten tests the way that Aurelio did. I asked and if his results are 100 mg/kg, I am not certain why he didn't just send them to me. I already test my soil, pasture, hay, water and horses blood - and now I have started testing manufactured products - paying for one test seems sufficient.  If anyone else wants to test more amino trace +, I for sure would be interested in the results.
 
I copied the response from equi-analytical below - again, I don't know if there is different equipment/processes for iron testing and whether Scott would get different results on that basis.  I currently have my IR samples tested by two different labs that use different assays - and I have yet to see comparable results.

We have the retest results from the samples for Sandra Draibye. We have confirmed the iron values originally reported. The data was reviewed with our Director of Analytical Services and we do not see any areas of potential iron contamination in the lab. I think our next step would be for the customer to submit new samples for testing if they are still concerned.”

Does anyone know if there are only certain types of iron that need to be disclosed on labels?  Is it only iron that is added as opposed to that naturally occurring in ingredients or added by manufacturing itself?  Maybe it is the labelling laws that are the issue...
--
Sandra on Vancouver Island, B.C.
December 2018


Sandra Draibye
 

Lorna, the first thing I did was send the results to both of them.  And I have included their responses in my post.  And I told them both I was going to be disclosing my results on this forum.  Aurelio said he was fine with that.  Scott did not respond to that.   I refused equi-analytical's requests for their labels and I identified the samples as forage cube and vitamin mineral supplement.  I did a big debate with myself about whether or not to disclose these results on ECIR - but I have seen my horse founder - and this forum says that iron is a huge issue for IR horses - I don't know what these results mean - but I had to disclose them to other horse owners with similar worries for their animals.  But invite Aurelio and Scott to the discussion.  All we want is the truth for our horses.
--
Sandra on Vancouver Island, B.C.
December 2018


Sandra Draibye
 

Lavinia,

I have enormous respect for you and follow your trimming comments regularly.  I am not a vet, I am interested in the thoughts here for various tests - which I convey to my vet - but I have to rely on my vet to tell me which tests are relevant.  I have three recent mineral panels that show deficiencies in the blood mineral panels. And a most recent one showing just within normal.  My horses appear perfectly healthy?
--
Sandra on Vancouver Island, B.C.
December 2018


Sandra Draibye
 

Nancy,

Did you mean a safe upper limit of 5000 ppm for iron?  I think the NRC minimums are around 590 ppm? 

Thanks for the input on ECIR's position on toxicity and balancing.  My concern is that when levels of anything are so high  - one little thing - environmental, a fluke change in manufacturing and the whole thing falls apart like a house of cards.   I have learned a lot from this group and am grateful for its existence - but that is not a risk I am willing to take for my horses.  
--
Sandra on Vancouver Island, B.C.
December 2018


Nancy C
 

No, I meant 500 ppm as I stated, as is stated in NRC.

Balance the diet. That will support your horses to help keep your house of cards from falling.

--
Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
ECIR Group Inc. President/Treasurer  2020-2021
Join us at the 2021 NO Laminitis! Conference, August 13-15, ECIR Virtual Conference Room


Lorna Cane
 

Yes,Sandra, but reporting what each one said to you, in a case like this, is not the same as hearing from them here.

I'm confident we will hear from them and from Dr. Kellon.

In the meantime, I  regret that  members are unnecessarily working themselves into a panic while the issues are being worked out.

The devil is always in the details. We're short on those.


--

Lorna  in Eastern  Ontario
2002
Check out FAQ : https://www.ecirhorse.org/FAQ.php


Nancy & Vinnie & Summer
 

I am going to weigh in here. My apologies if I offend.

I don't think this is causing unnecessary panic. I think it is valid for each and every one of us to reassess what we learn as we learn it.

If you recall I made a post about Vinnie's dramatic weight loss, about a week before he was hospitalized for hypertriglyceridemia.  My instincts were correct that something was awry. Many here posted that it was probably dehydration. We all know now what happened in his case.

What I think is super relevant about this post is that our environment is fluid and constantly changing. We have to be open- minded about the possibility that something we once thought to be infallible, can be fallible. 

I will also note that I made a post about Vinnie when we started the odtbc cubes and his crest seeming to increase. That was last summer.  

Thanks for letting me air my thoughts. 

In gratitude,

Nancy
--
Nancy and Vinnie and Summer
Oakley, Ca
Joined Nov 2018
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Nancy%20and%20Vinnie 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=245855

Summer
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Nancy%20and%20Vinnie/Summer 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=249104


Lorna Cane
 

On Sat, Apr 3, 2021 at 02:21 PM, Nancy & Vinnie & Summer wrote:
I think it is valid for each and every one of us to reassess what we learn as we learn it.
Absolutely !!
 
--

Lorna  in Eastern  Ontario
2002
Check out FAQ : https://www.ecirhorse.org/FAQ.php


Sandra Draibye
 

Ah, we are just phrasing it differently - I think you mean 500 mg/kg  per day- which is roughly 5000 mg per day.  My diet was reviewed by a nutritionist at madbarn last Fall - and more recently by Scott this past week - his view was that except for the copper and zinc I have been adding since the test results - even with the 2020 ppm of amino trace + - my diet is balanced.
--
Sandra on Vancouver Island, B.C.
December 2018


Nancy C
 

On Sat, Apr 3, 2021 at 02:21 PM, Nancy & Vinnie & Summer wrote:
What I think is super relevant about this post is that our environment is fluid and constantly changing. We have to be open- minded about the possibility that something we once thought to be infallible, can be fallible. 
Agreed. Which is why we request all the details. We don't have them.

Sorry, but I know from experience, there will be folks in panic.

I hope everyone with concern may hold final judgements until we can hear from all shareholders.  Dr Kellon balances this product.  She knows about iron increases from processing. Aurelio and Scott deserve the time to investigate and report back. This info has been shared with potentially  8000 members.

I would also especially like to hear more about the correlation/causation issue with Vinnie -- from Dr Kellon.

And thank you for letting me air my thoughts.

Respectfully,

--
Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
ECIR Group Inc. President/Treasurer  2020-2021
Join us at the 2021 NO Laminitis! Conference, August 13-15, ECIR Virtual Conference Room