How much flax seed?

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How much flax seed?

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    07-01-2009, 03:21 PM
How much flax seed?

Hi, I am new here and I love this forum. It is very informative. I have two hard keepers that were doing very well on 2 cups of corn oil per day. One of them was recently diagnosed with mild arthritis and I decided to feed flax seed instead. I just can't figure out the amount that will equal out to the corn oil. I don't want them to lose weight while I am adjusting. Does anyone know how I can figure the conversion? They are also on 1 & 1/2 scoops of Legends performance, Corta flex (added after diagnosis) and dac orange vitamins. Thanks for the help!
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    07-01-2009, 07:21 PM
Green Broke
1 cup for weight gain of whole or milled or ground flax usually does the trick. You can feed up to 8 oz by weight of milled or ground flax, which usually equals about 1.5-2 cups dry measure. has a good producted called NutraFlax. It's balanced Ca:P ratio and won't spoil. It comes with a 2 oz (1/2 cup) measuring scoop.
QHH likes this.
    07-02-2009, 02:03 PM
    07-02-2009, 11:36 PM
Make sure you feed the right balance, high volumes of flax oil can cause diarrhea and colic signs in horses. It also contains cyanide.
    07-02-2009, 11:48 PM
Green Broke
The Flax grown in North America does not contain cyanide. You do not have to grind it, soak it, or boil it. For a horse to colic on flax, you'd have to feed 3 lbs a day or more. 8 oz is a very safe amount for any horse.
    07-02-2009, 11:53 PM
All flax, just like apples, corn, alfalfa, cashews extra.. contain cyanide. No matter where it was grown.
    07-03-2009, 01:17 AM
Green Broke
Flax Seed

"the two components of cyanide that are found in flax are stored in different parts of the seed, never touching each other, and therefore never able to create cyanide."

"(Note that saliva, stomach acid, and other digestive juices break the two components up before they could ever become joined and create cyanide within the horse's digestive tract.)"

"Thankfully, the amount of cyanide created when boiling flax is very fact, we take in more cyanide in our daily lives through our food, water, and the air we breathe than is found in a cup of boiled flax. Cyanide is also very quickly removed from the body and is not stored in the body tissues"


In looking at the human research on Flax, most sources agree that between 30-75 grams daily (1-2.6 oz) is safe for a human to consume. Horses are 5-10 times our size, so 4-8 oz should be just fine.
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    07-03-2009, 01:34 AM
Green Broke
Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet Blog - Journal Entries - Is Flax Seed Safe to Use inHorses?

"However, a recent study confirmed that stomach acid inactivates the enzymes that interact with the cyanogenic glycosides to form cyanide so that is why toxicity is not observed. "

ENRECO | Essential Nutrient Research Corporation

"Flax contains cyanogenic glycosides. Under extreme conditions (pH1 or less), cyanide can be produced – but has never been reported to happen in mammals. Instead, cyanate is produced which is non-toxic. The US FDA did a study in which they fed 10, 20, and 40% of the diet as flax and found no harmful effects of any sort."


"However, we now know that glycosidase enzymes are destroyed in the equine stomach and small intestine long before they can trigger cyanide release. So it appears there is no risk of cyanide toxicosis when horses are fed raw flaxseed."


Don't believe everything the AQHA tells you . Tens of thousands of horses are fed flax in varrying forms (whole, home ground, milled, in supplements, etc.) for decades. If there was any real threat of health issues, I think we would have heard something about it by now.
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    07-03-2009, 01:43 AM
Be sure to cut out the corn oil - it is high in omega 6 and will defeat the anti-inflammatory properties of your flax. I like to use dac Oil for omega 3.

I would also start a joint supplement to help keep the joint lubricated aid in stopping the inflammation. Here is info on some of the ingredients found in joint supplements.
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    07-03-2009, 01:51 AM
And don't believe everything you read on a website. I didn't say that using flax will kill a horse form the cyanide but I'm just making her aware of it.

A direct quote from Equine wellness magazine July/Aug 09, From veterinarian Dr. Hannah Evergreen :

Q: Is it true that the levels of cyanide in flax can harm my horse?

A: It is true that flax contains cyanide. If fed in proper amounts, however, flax is not harmful to your horse. Studies have shown that high volumes of flax oil can cause diarrhea and colic signs in horses, but it is safe at the recommended levels of 1/3 to 1/2 cup ground flax seed per day.

Another side I found, Ask the Expert -- Supplements

"Q:I have fed flax seed in the past: cooked whole seeds, then ground raw flax meal. I have always gotten 25 -50 lb bags. The last time I picked up a bag, I noticed that the label stated, “Not to be fed to horses intended for food. Not for human consumption.” What is the story? Is it toxic raw or ground? Is it worth feeding?"

A: "I know many people who do swear by flax seed, however, I do not have any personal experience using it. The raw seeds contain cyanogenic glycoside compounds which, when the seeds are ground, and especially if moistened, will release cyanide! However, this really is not a concern, since the enzymes needed to cause the cyanide release are inactivated by boiling and gastric acids. So, as long as you don't add water before feeding the flax meal, it should not be a problem. If the meal is processed in any way it is also probably totally safe. Read the label again to see if there are other substances added. If not, the warning is probably due to the minuscule risk of cyanide poisoning. But it shouldn’t hurt in small enough quantities.
The presence of cyanogenic glycosides in the diet is significant only in relation to dose and the nutritional status of the consumer. Flax seed meal contains two cyanogenic glycosides, linustatin and neolinustatin. Many foods are slightly cyanogenic (e.g. Wheat and barley!), probably as an evolutionary adaptation to discourage herbivory, and our body and our horses have a limited capacity to detoxify low concentrations of cyanide through addition of sulphur (from amino acids). Thus, if the dietary levels of sulphur-containing amino acids are high, the body can resist a low intake of cyanide, but if the diet is low in protein overall, then we see toxicity.

It has been determined that up to 50g high-alpha-linolenic acid flaxseed is palatable, safe and may be nutritionally beneficial in humans by raising n-3 fatty acids in plasma and erythrocytes and by decreasing post-prandial glucose responses. (Cunnane S, et al, (University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada) Br J Nutr, 69:443, 1993)"

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