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24: Liver Health for Horses
Episode 2419th March 2024 • Healing Horses with Elisha • Elisha Edwards
00:00:00 00:33:04

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This week, we are talking about liver health for horses.

The liver is a workhorse, carrying out over 500 functions in the equine body. If even one of those functions were compromised, it could potentially affect all other areas of health.

Today, I highlight the most significant roles of the liver, explaining how they impact horse health. It is essential to understand these roles to ensure you provide the right support for your horse through proper diet and nutrition.

Liver Regeneration 

The liver is unique in its ability to regenerate, highlighting its essential role in maintaining health and survival. Liver functions include the metabolism of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats), manufacturing vital substances, like bile and clotting factors, nutrient storage, and detoxification.


The liver plays a central role in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism, converting those nutrients into usable forms and metabolizing toxins. It also manufactures proteins, bile, and clotting factors.

Detoxification and Immunity 

Liver detoxification involves filtering toxins, microorganisms, dead cells, and old red blood cells. The liver is also a lymphoid organ, supporting immune function through lymphatic circulation and immune cell production. A healthy liver aids in fighting antigens, maintaining fluid balance, and producing substances like interferon for antiviral response.

Supporting Liver Health 

Factors like diet, supplements, medication, and environmental toxins can impact liver health. Nutrients, like selenium, zinc, vitamin C, and B vitamins, and herbs, like milk thistle and dandelion root, can support liver function and detoxification. Monitoring sugar, protein, and fat intake is crucial, especially for horses with metabolic issues like insulin resistance and PSSM, as those conditions directly affect liver function.

Common Signs of Liver Issues 

Symptoms like itchy skin, weepy eyes, fluid retention, poor appetite, ammonia smell in urine, mental dullness, and neurological symptoms can indicate liver dysfunction. Addressing the diet and reducing the toxic load can often improve those symptoms.

Nutrients and Herbs for Equine Liver Health

There are several key nutrients and herbs essential for improving equine liver health. Selenium is crucial for detoxification, especially for horses that are deficient in it. Zinc supports immunity and addresses eye issues, while vitamin C aids in fat metabolism and is an antioxidant. B vitamins like B12 and folic acid are necessary for overall health. Herbs such as milk thistle and dandelion root help support liver function and detoxification. These nutrients and herbs are available in products like Reverse Remedies Eco Cleanse. They can benefit horses by promoting optimal liver function and overall well-being.

Overall Importance of Liver Health 

A healthy liver is crucial for maintaining equine well-being, from metabolism and detoxification to immune function. For that reason, owners must support the liver health of their horses through nutrition and lifestyle choices to prevent and address various equine health issues. 

Links and resources:

Connect with Elisha Edwards on her website 

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