Posted: 12th March 2019 | Back to news feed

New research has shown that horses being given omeprazole, the ingredient used to manage Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS), are at risk of a calcium deficiency as omeprazole is reducing the digestibility of calcium in the diet.  Alfalfa is abundant in calcium and has long been recommended for helping to reduce the incidence of gastric ulcers due to its natural acid-buffering properties.

 The paper, presented by Swanhall and colleagues at the Australasian Equine Science Symposium in 2018, showed that omeprazole reduced the digestibility of calcium in the diet by between 15 and 20% depending on the source.

 The researchers suggested that this increases the dietary requirement for calcium. Organic calcium sources were recommended as inorganic sources such as limestone were less bio- available than organic sources.  

 Keeping starch levels down is an important part of the overall management of horses with EGUS. At 1.5% calcium, alfalfa provides at least 50% more calcium, and in some cases, more than double the amount per kg than grass based forages, and provides highly bio-available calcium without increasing starch intake.

 Made from pure alfalfa, Dengie Healthy Tummy is a nutritionally balanced feed providing 11.5MJ/kg of digestible energy, comparable to a medium energy mix or cube but with around 10 times less starch, and when fed at the recommended levels additional mix, cubes or supplements are not required. Dengie Healthy Tummy is free from molasses and preservatives and contains Protexin In-Feed Formula to supply prebiotics and yeast to maintain gut health.


For help and advice on all aspects of feeding call the Dengie Feedline: 0845 345 5115* or visit the website for further information:

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