- Best Trait = transparency
- Worst Trait = cost
Consider this product if…
- You are struggling to control insulin levels in a chronically laminitic horse.
- Your overweight IR/EMS/Laminitis horse has chronic lameness.
- You have an obese horse that is finding weight loss difficult despite severe calorie restriction, and you want to help control inflammation.
If you have read any of my previous reviews, you will know that I prefer to get to know products in reverse fashion. This means that I start at the bottom of the feed label and webpages to find very interesting things like disclaimers, refund policies, manufacturing locations, third party regulators and other surprises.
Company Information & Communication
I was pleasantly surprised the quantity and quality of information available on EquiThrive’s website. Much of the details that I normally go searching for were already there; peer-reviewed articles, creator credentials, and manufacturing information. The owner and creator of EquiThrive is a PhD biologist with plenty of his own research experience. The company is a member of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) , and the manufacturing location is regulated overseen by USDA/FDA auditors.
This product recommends unique dosage depending on the horse’s weight. They do recommend splitting the daily dose into two feedings during or shortly after the consumption of hay/grain. Since I typically use an average 1,100 lb horse in moderate work as the “standard”, I’ll use their recommendation of 4 scoops (50grams) or 4,000 mg of Resverasyn to calculate costs and compare studies.
According to the product creator, greater than 4 scoops per day is safe, but it is unclear if there is a maximum allowable dose. Four scoops per day is what the supplement was trialled at for horses, but I would like to see more descriptive feeding directions on this label. Feeding directions do say that it is safe for broodmares, and the creator says it has safely been used in conjunction with metformin and levothyroxine in some cases.
The ingredient in question for this review is a form of resveratrol called Resverasyn®, a synthetic form of a molecule produced by plants for protection. A large volume of literature exists that have noted the effects of resveratrol on rates and mice. Most of these studies point towards promising use in mammals. Sadly but predictably, there are far fewer studies involving horses, but those that do exist are positive. It’s important to realize, however, that each of these studies was supported in part by a supplement company with a resveratrol product to sell. One study funded by the AQHA and supported by EquiThrive found significant improvements in metabolism indicators but no change in body condition score or percent body fat (Adams et al., 2013). A more recent study by researchers at Michigan State University, also supported by a supplement company, found similar results when resveratrol was coupled with leucine supplementation (Manfredi et al., 2021). Despite the supplement funded studies, I would consider trying this product on overweight, chronically laminitic horses that were difficult to exercise due to lameness.
The other ingredient of significance is yeast culture. As I’ve stated in many other digestive aid reviews, I’m a fan of yeast products for digestive and immune health.
Other ingredients include Beet Pulp, Calcium Propionate, Flaxseed Meal, Flaxseed Oil, Lignin Sulfonate, Natural Flavor, and Vegetable Oil. These are carrier type products that allow for pelleting and good palatability, so we won’t discuss these any further.
EquiThrive Metaboral promises 700 mg of “yielding” resveratrol plus 6.2 billion CFU of yeast per 12.5 g of product. I appreciate this guarantee.
At the time of this review, a 3.3 lb bucket of EquiThrive Metaboral cost $167.99 on the website. Since the company only offers refunds if purchased through their site, I do recommend buying it here. At that price, feeding a 1,100 lb horse 4 scoops per day (a 30 day supply) will cost you $5.60 per day. My oh my oh MY! Considering that you could spend more than $2,000 a year on this product, I have to give EquiThrive Metaboral 1 star for cost!
Despite the 1 star rating for cost, this is a supplement that I would consider recommending in tough IR/EMS/Laminitis cases. Compared to other supplement claims, EquiThrive has some research to hang their hat on. Was that research supported by supplement companies…yes…but when you have an IR/EMS horse in pain, these sorts of products could be worth a try. Just be prepared to spend about $2,000 per year to maintain your average sized horse on this product.
Manfredi, J.M., E.D. Stapley, J.A. Nadeau, and D. Nash. 2020. Investigation of the Effects of a Dietary Supplement on Insulin and Adipokine Concentrations in Equine Metabolic Syndrome/Insulin Dysregulation. Journal of Equine Veterinary Medicine. Volume 88, 102930, ISSN 0737-0806, Retrieved Feb 5, 2021 from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2020.102930.
Other references are listed on the company website https://equithrive.com/pages/proof.