The Wonders of HSCAS: Healing Clay for Horses
On my frequent journeys down the rabbit hole of research, I stumbled upon a silicate clay designated in scientific terms as Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate (HCSAS). What first brought my attention to this clay was a study done in 2010 at the Department of Cell Biology, National Research Center in Giza Egypt. This study examined the actions of HCSAS on reducing the effects of aflatoxins in chickens. The study concluded: “HSCAS had antigenotoxic effect against aflatoxin as observed by increasing the frequencies of micronucleated cells in bone marrow.” (Journal of American Science, 2010; 6(10).) The study went on to point out that this healing clay significantly decreased the percentages of DNA fragmentation caused by aflatoxins.
Aflatoxins are the most dangerous of the fungal toxins known as Mycotoxins. These fungi grow as molds on stored grain. Some of the feedstuffs most susceptible to Mycotoxins are peanut meal, corn, and cottonseed meal.
HSCAS has been studied since 1978 for it’s ability to reduce some of the effects of aflatoxins in farm animals. Even the Russians found that it helped their minks.
This healing clay is negatively charged, so it can literally “pick up” positively charged” toxins, and metabolites. This ability to bind toxins makes HSCAS a very valuable supplement for equine athletes. Like human athletes, training and competition actually increases the amount of toxins in the body. A build up of these toxins can cause inflammation, stiffness, and soreness in equine athletes and reduced performance.
In studying the various clays, I found a particular form of silicate clay called Azomite. This silicate clay was formed thousands of years ago when a volcano erupted in what is now Utah, and spilled into a sea bed. The moisture and pressure from rains and tectonic activity helped transform the volcanic ash mixed with sea water into rock. The combination of sea water and volcanic ash created a deposit of HSCAS that provides 70 trace minerals, many of whom are no longer found in most North American soils. This particular deposit is rich in Boron ,Chromium, Germanium, Molybdenum, Strontium, Silica, Sulfur, Vanadium, and Zinc. It also contains small amounts of Selenium.
Boron: increases the absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Chromium: metabolizes glucose. Germanium: enhances cellular oxygenation. Molybdenum: integral nutrient for the conversion of purines to uric acid and nitrogen metabolism. Strontium: supports the function of osteoblasts (the cells that form new bone). Silica: vital for the production of collagen and connective tissue. Sulfur: aids in enzyme reactions, protein synthesis, and cellular respiration; it is the flexible bond that connects cells, it is the lubricant found between joints. Vanadium: aids in cellular metabolism. Zinc: critical to the work of over 300 enzymes in the body including energy metabolism, and the immune system.
Equine athletes use up more minerals than horses that are in light work. This is due in part to sweat, which contains many of the macro and micro minerals.
Unfortunately, due to agricultural farming practices in the US, our soils are deplete in many trace minerals. Nitrogen is the most common fertilizer used, not trace minerals. Two trace minerals in particular (boron and strontium) were found in abundance in our soils. Now our soils are depleted of these two trace minerals. The fact that our horses are not getting enough trace minerals from their food, is reason alone to make sure they are supplied with trace minerals. A common source of trace minerals is Himalayan Salt, Spiriulina, and Celtic sea salt.
Many electrolyte formulas focus on the macro minerals (sodium, chloride, potassium) without including the micro (trace) minerals.
BENEFITS OF SILICA CLAY AND THE TRACE MINERALS
Helps reduce toxins and metabolites by the attraction of positively charged molecules to negatively charged ones. Since silica clay is negatively charged, it draws and picks up positively charged toxins. This is especially important for equine athletes who produce more metabolites due to training and hard work.
Provides essential trace minerals who perform a variety of functions in the body including: cellular oxygenation; increasing the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus; supporting the cells that form new bone; aiding in the production of collagen; supporting enzyme reactions; supporting protein synthesis; providing the lubricant between joints; supporting energy metabolism and the immune system. Trace minerals are essential for all horses.
SILICA CLAY IN BIOSTAR FORMULAS:
Three of Biostar’s products provide silica healing clay and the trace minerals that are trademarked as Azomite.