Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin is a water-soluble vitamin with important roles in the nervous system and liver. It is involved in energy metabolism and red blood cell formation.
As a dietary supplement, cobalamin is sometimes given to horses to fight symptoms of fatigue and stress or to address digestive problems.
The horse needs cobalamin to ensure normal production of red blood cells in bone marrow, to maintain a healthy reproductive system and to support myelination of nerves.
Vitamin B12 is also involved in the metabolism of fats and amino acids for energy. This vitamin is said to improve physical stamina and to stimulate appetite in horses.
Unlike other B- vitamins, vitamin B12 is not produced naturally within plants and cannot be gained through the horse’s diet. Instead, it must be synthesized during hindgut fermentation using the mineral cobalt.
While deficiency is rare, there may be times when providing additional Cobalamin by way of supplements can improve well-being and performance.
Supplementing with vitamin B12 and other B vitamins might be beneficial for horses in high stress situations like travel and competition. Horses on antibiotics or with poor digestive health might benefit from added vitamin B12 in their diet.
Wondering if your horse could benefit from added cobalamin? Contact Mad Barn for a complimentary diet analysis and one of our equine nutritionists will be happy to help!