SPECIAL EDITION – False Advertising – Where’s the FDA When You Need Them?

I’m a big believer in the importance of nutrition but nothing makes it harder to keep nutrition front and center as a basic, main stream consideration, than outrageous claims being made.

A feed manufacturer is claiming (illegally by the way) that the following Do’s and Don’ts will prevent Equine Cushing’s Syndrome and Insulin Resistance:

Do’s:  Feed hay/forage 24/7; feed whole foods; kelp; ground flax; curcumin; exercise; chaste tree berry; spirulina; cinnamon; chia seeds; peas.

Don’ts:  Soy products; iron amino acid complex; ferrous sulfate; ferric oxide; lecithin; glyphosate/Round Up; cane molasses; wheat middlings; preservatives;  distiller’s dried grains and solubles (corn syrup)**, oversupplementation of selenium; processed feed.      **this is NOT corn syrup.

I’ll make this short.  Which things on the DO list will prevent PPID and IR? None.  Which things on the DON’T list will cause PPID and IR? None.  Will the combination of the DO with the DON’T prevent PPID and IR? No.

The proposed solution, of course, is their feed which is not organic, contains pelleted (isn’t that processing?) hays, high inflammatory omega-6 ingredients, dried fruit (? sulfites) and to top it off is a whopping 11% fat, 28.3% starch + sugar.

Their advertised “team” includes two people calling themselves nutritionists. They should be ashamed.

‘Nuff said.

Note: They’re a bit more careful about claims they make on the web site – not so much on Facebook and in their direct e-mail advertising.  I’ve got copies.

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

About Dr. Kellon

Graduate of University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School. Owner of Equine Nutritional Solutions, www.drkellon.com, industry and private nutritional consultations, online nutritional courses. Staff Veterinary Expert at Uckele Health and Nutrition.
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7 Responses to SPECIAL EDITION – False Advertising – Where’s the FDA When You Need Them?

  1. Dr. Kellon says:

    The only fresh, raw food natural to a feral horse is browse and grass. The other part of the equation is 20+ miles per day of movement. Even hay is unnatural, much more concentrated in calories – basically ‘grass jerky’. You won’t find an endurance Arabian with elevated insulin, even when fed some grain, but take them out of work and their genetics kick in. You are correct that diet is essential, but it’s only part of the reason why you don’t see IR in feral horses. You also won’t find oats, papaya, alfalfa etc on a feral horse’s diet.

    Most don’t live long enough to develop PPID.

    There’s no need to wait for formal research. Confirm horses are indeed insulin resistant with correct lab work, feed the diet of your choice and test them again. Post copies of the lab work.

  2. “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food” –Hippocrates

    • Dr. Kellon says:

      This is very true, but disease does happen and you cannot always deal with it simply with food. PPID is a perfect example. Insulin resistance on the other hand is a basic metabolic type built into their genetics. It cannot be prevented, only properly fed – and an 11% fat, 28.4% starch and sugar feed is not the way to properly feed an insulin resistant horse.

      • The ferals don’t get processed anything … They eat nothing but forage and get what they need from that. I don’t know if there’s ever been any wild mustang with PPID or even IR or EMS. While yes, IR might be recognized as genetics, just as with humans, reversals can, and do, happen with diet changes. Getting.away from anything processed and into a diet of fresh, raw foods and hay … Mimicking the wild equine.diet … Can and does reverse IR AND the symptoms (and possibly the root) of PPID. Anectodal … However, I do wish formal studies would be executed to back up the thousands+ anecdotals.

  3. Sandy Carr says:

    Bravo! It’s so simple. Learn from smart people on the Equine Cushing’s and Insulin Resistance Group (ecirhorse.org). Make your horse’s and your life better! Amen.

  4. Karen Kent says:

    Dear Dr. K,

    I was a bit surprised that you don’t think glyphosate/Round Up ist detrimental to the health of horses. I am a firm believer that it causes digestive problems by destroying healthy intestinal bacteria and causing leaky gut. I live the in Germany where glyphosate residue has been found in the groundwater (most yards use this for their water source. Also it’s in straw made from wheat that has been sprayed shortly before harvest to make it “ripen” faster.

    • Dr. Kellon says:


      The specific issue here was preventing pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction and insulin resistance. There is no reason to believe glyphosate is causing those conditions.

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