Total Supplement Studies

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Deworming properties of Total

Over the past few years, the manufacturers of Total* were receiving reports that horses on the supplement were either free of parasites, or had abnormally low counts. Nothing had been consciously added to the supplement for this purpose, and the company was perplexed at first, albeit pleased, and in the summer of 2000 was able to report that the naturally chelated minerals that come from a mine in Nevada have a very high quality diatomaceous earth content. Studies have been done to verify its deworming properties on different species, including the horse, and the following is a statement made by the company. Please note that the quantities of diatomaceous earth mentioned in the studies relate to pure DE, not to Total*. One ounce of Total* is the regular serving.

"We found the answer!!

In the past we have had numerous reports from our customers telling us that by using Total* they had successfully dewormed their horses. Somewhat cautiously we had passed that information on to our readers with the comment that we were not sure exactly why it was working but that people were consistently reporting this benefit.

In fact, we frequently reminded people that there was nothing specifically in Total* that was intended to have an effect on the worms.

Well, our research into this question has produced a plausible answer.

One of the ingredients of Total is what we call Nutrimin. It is a trace mineral rich product that comes from ancient deposits in Nevada. Nutrimin makes up the base ingredient of Total*. Other similar deposits are currently mined and marketed under the name of diatomaceous earth. These deposits are composed primarily of the exoskeletons of microscopic marine life that flourished eons ago. The skeleton of the diatom is made up of secreted silicon which is very hard and sharp. When the animals die, their skeletons accumulate on the marine floor and fossilize.

It is the structure of the skeleton that is of interest. It seems that the sharp abrasive qualities are highly effective in damaging the bodies of insects and worms, literally grinding them to death inside and out. By contrast, the skin and intestinal lining of large animals and humans are impervious to diatomaceous earth and tolerate it very well. In fact, it has some of the same beneficial effects of natural fiber, scrubbing and cleaning the intestinal wall.

Studies have shown that Diatomaceous Earth (DE) has proven to be effective in deworming large animals. Please see these articles:


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Here are some excerpts:

Results of Codex food-grade diatomaceous earth fed to horses, Four Winds Stables, Robert D. Horkman, Orlando, Florida

Results of feeding 5 oz. of diatomaceous earth to show horses for a period of one year. Healthier-looking animals with a definite sheen to their coats, absence of internal parasites, better feed conversion, reduction in manure odor, fly control, cured scours in cases where other medications had failed and improved appetites in "picky eaters."


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Report on feeding Codex food-grade diatomaceous earth to walking horse, L. Thomas, Trainer, L. Frank Roper Stables, Winter Garden, Florida

With horses fed approximately 5 oz. of diatomaceous earth mixed in the feed twice daily, the following results were observed:

  1. Stopped scours even on horses that had not responded to any other medications.
  2. Noticeable fly reduction.
  3. Horses showed an increase in appetites.
  4. Weight gain due to better feed conversion.
  5. Reduction in manure odor.
  6. Elimination of any internal parasites.
  7. Healthier appearance.

Nutrimin was chosen as the base ingredient of Total* because of its rich concentration of chelated minerals. What we did not know is that our Nutrimin really comes from an especially mineral-rich source of diatomaceous earth. So, we get the benefits of DE and the value of Nutrimin - the best of both worlds.

It is noted that we do not prescribe the high dosage levels used in the above studies, but then we are experiencing comparable results. Our customers have not reported (but perhaps have not been alerted to) the benefit of fly control. But clearly, it is the control of internal parasites that has caught our interest, and now we know why it is being reported.

Since learning of the beneficial effects of the diatomaceous earth properties in Nutrimin and the higher dosages prescribed by those feeding DE straight, we have begun experimenting and have already observed marked improvement in some horses by simply doubling the recommended 1 oz. per day dose. More research will be forthcoming, but you can imagine, we are delighted with these findings."


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