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Re: Question on MSM/Sulfur

I wouldn't be concerned about horses (even endurance horses) having a sulfur
deficiency.  Any decent quality hay, with or without any alfalfa content,
plus good quality grain, is going to supply adequate sulfur in the diet.
Beet pulp is also a good source, and any feed is going to contain more
bioavailable and cost effective sulfur than MSM will.

Sulfur, btw, isn't generally supplied as a direct mineral (as, say, calcium
carbonate directly supplies calcium).  The majority of sulfur is going to be
supplied through the sulfur-containing amino acids, ie methionine and
cysteine.  Although it hasn't been specifically studied in the horse, a
significant sulfur deficiency would in all likelihood show up as a poor hair
coat and hood quality (as both those tissues contains alot of
sulfur-contianing amino acids), in an inabaility to put on muscle mass and
metabolic problems secondary to insulin deficiencies.  So unless you're
feeding sawdust and seeing some seriously poor health in your horse, I
wouldn't lose sleep over it.  If you really were losing sleep anyway, then
instead of adding additional MSM (which potentially can interfere with
copper metabolism), I would just switch to a better grade of grain mix
containing some soybean meal as its protein source.  You want to be careful
about adding in specific minerals to a diet, because there are alot of
interactions between different minerals which can easily be upset.

Good luck, hope this helps.

Susan G
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tamara Woodcock" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 9:31 PM
Subject: RC: Question on MSM/Sulfur

> Question o the necessity of sulfur inthe diet:
> According to the cute little program that came with the NRC 1989 nutrition
> book, my horses all need sulfur.  Around 10 grams each
> My horses are on "city water", nice and filtered <g>.  I have no pasture,
> horses are effectively on dry lots with free choice hay.  I had the hay
> tested once, but sulfur never showed up on the report.  Sulfur also
> show up in the feed according to the feed mill's nutritionist.
> So at what dose does MSM cease being a normal supplement and become a
> "drug"?  If MSM in any amount is considered a "drug", what other source of
> bio-available sulfur is there?
> -Tamara
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