The Effect of a Seaweed-Derived Calcium Supplement on Gastric Juice pH in the Horse

Document Type


Publication Date



Low gastric pH for extended periods of time can increase the risk of gastric ulceration in horses. Therefore, nutritional interventions that buffer stomach acid may be helpful to decrease ulcer risk. The objective of this trial was to evaluate whether the incorporation of calcified Lithothamnion corallioides and Phymatolithon calcareum (Calmin; Celtic Sea Minerals, Cork, Ireland) into an equine ration would buffer equine gastric juice. Nine mature, Thoroughbred-cross horses, including 6 geldings and 3 mares (524 ± 49 kg) were housed in stalls and fed 2 kg/day of a texturized concentrate (Purina Omolene 100) and 1.5% BW grass hay/day. On testing days 0, 7, and 14, the horses received one of three pelleted dietary treatments (CON, MIN1 ×, MIN2 ×) in a randomized, crossover design. CON contained no added Calmin, MIN1 × provided Calmin at a 1 × concentration, and MIN2 × provided a 2 × dose. All horses underwent gastroscopy (Karl Storz, El Segundo, CA) prior to feeding the treatments, and at 2 and 4 hours postfeeding. Gastric juice was aspirated and pH measured using a benchtop pH meter (ThermoOrion pH Meter Model 410A). Overall, there was a significant time effect (P < .0001) with an increase in gastric juice pH from time 0 (2.31 ± 0.58) to 2 hours (5.52 ± 0.48) and 4 hours (3.59 ± 0.48). Gastric juice pH at 2 hours was higher (P = .0122) in MIN1 × (5.92 ± 0.58) and MIN2 × (5.92 ± 0.57) than CON (5.08 ± 0.58). These results demonstrate that adding Calmin to a meal increases buffering capacity at 2 hours postfeeding.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Journal of equine veterinary science

First Page


This document is currently not available here.