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Using Freestep Lamalert

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:44 pm    Post subject: Using Freestep Lamalert  Reply with quote

I was recommended (by another horse owner) to use Lamalert for our pony who had laminitis and have been using it for the last 10 months. However it now seems to contain Magnesium and Spinach and some Zinc. Previously the ingredients were more chemically named. I know at first they claimed that trials had shown it had plant extracts which helped weight and insulin resistance. There has been a complaint to the advertising standards agency about their claims on other Freestep products which makes me suspicious about claims for Lamalert.
Does anyone have any proper evidence for the use of this supplement in laminitic ponies and horses? Or for the use of other supplements such as Global herbs laminitis prone supplement?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We were informed by an owner using the product that the ingredients listed for LamAlert (presumably in a recommended serving) in 2016 were:
22 Hydroxyecdysterone 2 acetate
Carthamasterone A ecdysterone
Magnesium (8 g)
Zinc (100 mg)
Copper (25 mg)

Spinach contains ecdysterones and 22 Hydroxyecdysterone 2 acetate.  

To our knowledge LamAlert currently has no published research to back claims of efficacy or safety.  

We are not aware of any research showing the efficacy or safety of the first two ingredients in horses.
Magnesium, zinc and copper should be supplied by a horse’s basic diet, along with other essential minerals that are likely to be deficient in a forage diet, such as selenium, sodium and possibly iodine – see  There is some anecdotal evidence that increasing magnesium over levels provided by most mineral supplement may help to reduce fat pads in some horses.  This can be done by adding magnesium oxide, which is available from many suppliers, such as ForagePlus or Equimins.  

The ASA upheld 2 complaints against Freestep Superfix in 2016:

We are not aware of any products (other than licensed medicines) that have been proven to help horses with EMS, PPID and/or laminitis.

TLS suggests owners only use products with proven efficacy and safety, ideally from published research or at least a large body of anecdotal evidence from a reputable source, such as the ECIR group.  Owners should be aware that it is illegal for manufacturers/suppliers to claim that products prevent or treat diseases, or that they restore, correct or modify physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, without a marketing authorisation.  From p 363 of Equine Applied & Clinical Nutrition (2013): “Various supplements including herbs are being used in the equine industry… many of the supplements have never been proven safe or effective in horses, therefore caution must be taken when selecting and using such supplements”.  Paraphrasing: in vitro studies don’t always translate to in vivo.  Traditional use doesn’t mean something is safe, e.g. garlic (now known to cause anaemia).  “Cross-reactions and contraindications are known to occur between certain medicinal/drug therapies and herbal preparations.  In animals currently being prescribed or about to be prescribed any medication, the veterinarian should be informed of the concurrent administration of any herbal preparation”.  See also

We have found reviews both for and against this product on the internet.  Through internet support groups TLS monitors some 15,000 horses with EMS/PPID/laminitis, and we tend to notice if a lot of owners suggest that something is helping their horses.  That has not been the case for this product.  Nor are we aware of any expert vet recommending this product. It is important to be aware that the placebo effect has been proven in animals, and owners are sometimes keen to justify spending money on a supplement and not always objective in their feedback.  It’s also important to be aware that products like this are often used after or during a period of weight loss and correct diet, and therefore benefits perceived may be the result of the diet, weight loss and general management, rather than the supplement.  Many owners have come to TLS for help believing that product x is helping their horse (and often adamant that they cannot take their horse off it!), only to find no change for the worse, and usually a change for the better, when the product is no longer given, but the basic diet and management of the horse is tightened up.  There is research showing that diet and exercise alone lead to weight loss and an improvement in insulin sensitivity - - and at TLS we have not yet come across an EMS case that didn’t respond to diet, weight loss and exercise alone, with no need for medication or supplements.  In the few cases we have seen where an EMS case didn’t seem to respond to correct management as might be expected, the horse was later diagnosed with PPID, and started to respond once treated appropriately with Prascend/pergolide.

You may find this article and links helpful:, and may like to join our Facebook support group, which is open to Friends of The Laminitis Site:

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